View Full Version : Project: OSIDIAS (Carbon Fiber SFF taken to the extreme)

07-28-2010, 02:08 AM
Hey guys, congrats on the shiny new forum! DarthBeavis mentioned to me a while back that it was coming, and I'm going to get you all up to speed on my latest project. In the interest of not cluttering things up to badly, I'll give you a few links to my past projects, and then start right in with OSIDIAS.

Alpha Blue (http://losias.net/category/project-alpha-blue/)

L.O.S.I.A.S. (http://losias.net/category/project-losias/)

Project Rogue (http://losias.net/category/project-rogue/)

Project: Hutch (http://losias.net/category/project-hutch/) (Currently in progress)

Okay, shall we get on to the real fun? Since these forums are new, and I've been working on this project for some time, I'm going to have to copy and paste posts from another forum. I apologize in advance if there is anything that seems confusing, or if I refer to another post that obviously isn't here. I'll get everything current, and we should be good from there on out! I'll start with my original planning posts, and it will give you some idea of how things have progressed since the beginning!

07-28-2010, 02:09 AM
Feb. 6

Hey guys, I'm throwing around ideas for another new case... I've been sketching up some ideas and wanted a little feedback. Keep in mind that what you are about to see, is unfinished, and missing some key details. However, I like the concept, but I want your opinions on how it all fits together.

Okay, here is the core of the case. It's SFF of course, and it's damn tiny due to efficient space usage. I'm planning a DFI X58, SLI, full size PSU, 4 full size hard drives, pico, and watercooled CPU in this little package. Due to it's design, it should also run fairly cool. As of now, I don't plan on deviating much from this except for details like adding mesh, or possibly windows.


I was then inspired by a RED camera cage I saw, and wanted to add a more industrial and sci-fi look to the case. The following is what I came up with. Of course it's subject to revision, but wasn't sure how it all fit together.





Feb. 8

I've been playing around... what do you think of holes? Or maybe some variation of this?


Okay, one more here. I added vents to the side panels. What do you think... too many holes? They will have mesh behind them, with the exception of the most forward hole, that will have a window...



Well, I didn't have as much time as I had hoped for last night, but I did make a few small revisions. I made the side window slightly smaller, and added another opening beside it. Even thought the window is still larger than the rest of the openings, the spacing between them is consistent. Also, I added matching holes the the 'cage'. I'm unsure about the abundance of holes now, but I need the airflow. There will also be mesh behind them, so they won't stand out as much as the vents, for example. Speaking of mesh, I created some mesh with 1mm holes... Lol, talk about a CPU killer! I'll have to revise that... :D


Now, this next part is just for Xtra. He wanted to see the interior arrangement....





Feb. 14

...and we have a name for this project... It will be OSIDIAS, and I've got to give my wife credit for coming up it. It's sad how much I concentrated on this trivial little detail, but I was convinced that I wanted something completely original. I think I've found it.

Over the last few days I've been making up a parts list. It's amazing how much aluminum will find it's way in to this box. I'm planning on making the outer shell out of a single piece of aluminum. I'll cut all the holes, then bend accordingly. Should be fun, huh? Also, as mentioned earlier, I'm going to braze all the parts together. This will free up any concerns about fastening parts together, and will guarantee a rock solid case. I also like the idea of no exposed fasteners anywhere on the case. This will be a new technique for me, and one that is rarely used in modding in general. I'm sure it's been done, but I can't name a project that incorporates it.

Feb. 16

I managed to get the interior tray about 90% finished over the weekend. Here is a pic of what I've got so far. Most of it will be bent out of a single piece, and the rest will be brazed together.


Another updated pic...


07-28-2010, 02:09 AM
Feb. 20

Okay guys, I've been playing around with renders. Since I'm using ViaCAD, Kerkythea isn't as easy to use as with Sketchup. I've basically got to export a .dxf, and then import it into SketchUp. However, when I do, not everything gets exported. I'm not sure how to fix that yet, but I'll keep playing around with it. So, the render below is missing a few components...


Feb. 28

Okay, I've got a small update here. I've added the LCD to the front, and an Aquaero to the right side. There's also a new reservoir on the rear, but I've got to finish a little tube routing before you see that.



I probably should have added a few comments. The LCD is capable of rotation and swiveling. Left, right, up down, and portrait/landscape.

One more thing... I've started to order a few parts... :D

One more small update here. I've finished the interior tubing layout. Simple and efficient...


Mar. 3

I've got about 90% of the details finished on this case. I'm still tweaking though. Last night I managed to make a little more room for larger fans. Originally I was only planning on 25mm thick fans, now I've got room for my monster San Ace 1011's. This thing might have enough thrust to fly. I've also got to do a little more interior parts placement. The Pico-ITx was originally located on the lower right rear, but I've since added the Aquaero to that location. That means I need to find a new spot for the Pico. I'm also looking for room for a Multiswitch, and USB hubs. I'm also thinking of adding a single SSD to the system for my OS. That would make for a total 5 drives. A SSD for the OS, a pair of Velociraptors in raid 0 for games, a 750gb drive for data and backups, and another 750gb drive for the Pico.

Mar. 5

I've got a quickie ViaCAD render here. No time for anything prettier, but I thought I'd show you the color scheme I'm likely going to use. Although my Duality project may be postponed, I loved the colors enough to use them here. Before settling on the orange, I ran through a rainbow of choices, and came back to this. It just stands out. :thumb:


Just a slightly better render...


Mar. 23

Okay, I'm sure you guys are tired of seeing all the lame render pictures in this thread... I assure you, these are different though. Dark~3nergy has put his talents to use for me, and created the following...




Many thanks go out to D~3 for all his time!

Okay, thanks in part to partial inspiration from this (http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=164178) thread, I came up with an idea I'm going to expand on. I've long thought about having fun with transparent LCD's, but redders' thread made me consider it all over again. So, it was time for a little experiment. The following is a standard 7" LCD removed from it's housing, and with all backing and polarizing film removed. What we have here, is what I intend to use as the side panel windows on OSIDIAS. For lack of a better term, I'll call them active windows. You can see that as long as there is a light source behind the LCD, dark objects and text is shown through. Granted, colors would be washed out, but the concept is still sound...



This could be fun!

Apr. 22

It's been awhile since I've posted an update. So, I figured I'd get you all up to speed on how I've been spending my time. Project: Hutch will be getting some long overdue attention soon, but in the meantime, I've got some new hardware to play with. Although I've not started an official log, there have been some parts arrivals for Project OSIDIAS.

I've got an Asus Rampage GENE II, Intel i7 920, 6GB OCZ Platinum, and a SilverStone DA1000 PSU freshly delivered. I'll be pairing the new parts with my existing EVGA GTX 260's. There may be a video card switch in the near future, but I'm using what I already have for the moment. Also arriving shortly, will be a slot load Blu-ray drive. All the above parts will be the heart of OSIDIAS, and I'll have a running system long before the project is actually finished.

So, how about a few hardware pics?







As of now, I've got most of my software and games installed. Although I've only been using the hardware a short while, I can tell you this... It's the best hardware combination I've ever used. Everything is rock-solid, and I've not had a single error or glitch in two weeks of a fresh Vista 64 install. I'm really looking forward to getting the CPU on water and hitting the overclocks. Stay tuned!

May 11

Just a non-update update here... In between all of other miscellaneous projects (including current, but not log-updated Project: Hutch), I've been giving OSIDIAS's design a slight tweaking. One of the benefits of delaying the start of a project, is that it allows new and alternative ideas to come out. Ideas that may not have been possible if work was already underway. One of the things I realized, is that I may need to find away to attach all the ribs to the interior of the case. They will need to slide out with the motherboard tray. This will require them to be mounted to easily removable frames of their own. It's not really a big deal, but will require some interior redesign. I've also found the need to widen the case itself by a single centimeter. That change alone allowed for the following...

The biggest idea came to me as a sat at my desk listening to the whine of the fan on the Via pico-itx board in the Rogue. I've got no way to quantify it, but it seems lightly louder than before. So, I've decided to 'Langer-ize" it. In Jesse's outstanding Prometheus (http://www.realredraider.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=446) log, I suggested the possible use of a Cooler Master Aquagate Viva for watercooling the pico. Well, I'm now taking my own advice. I've found room for a secondary watercooling loop... Utilizing the Viva's pump and radiator, as well as some very creative parts placement, will allow me to ramp the insanity up another notch. Stay tuned for updated sketches...

07-28-2010, 02:11 AM
June 23

I've been pretty busy lately, but I thought I'd show you one of my interior revisions. I've changed the internal supports to something a little stronger, and changed the layout slightly. In addition, the case is now able to fit most any rad up to 56mm in depth. Also, I've made room for the second radiator (Aquagate) for cooling the Pico, and a 3rd fan over the video cards. Once I get that done I can get the tube routing planned out. More to come!


07-28-2010, 02:11 AM
June 27

I just can't stop revising... I was looking at the newly added 70mm radiator, and I got to thinking... It's just not big enough. Granted it's plenty for the Pico, but what if I ditch the idea of watercooling it, and add another radiator to the main system? Well, with a few small revisions, I now have room for a X-Flow 240. Why the X-Flow? I'll need to relocate the G1/4 fittings, and this rad would allow the most workable solution. I won't be able to fit 120mm fans on the second radiator, but I'll make sure it does get some air. Details are to be worked out on that yet...


07-28-2010, 02:12 AM
June 29

A few changes... No more aluminum exterior. Here is what I'm planning on using for the case itself. You can't go wrong with carbon fiber, right?



Since the case will be formed out of a single piece of material, I'll be experimenting with some reverse molding and vacuum bagging techniques. It's either going to be the coolest thing ever, or a colossal failure. I can't wait!

07-28-2010, 02:12 AM
August 23

As the beginning of this project gets closer, I've been receiving a steady stream of parts and materials. Of those parts and materials, the carbon fiber is probably the most integral. With it, I'm hoping to take what I hope is a pretty cool concept to begin with, and take it to the next level. While there are many cases made of aluminum or even wood, a case constructed of carbon fiber is a much rarer occurrence. Fellow modders Langer, MKmods, jhanlon303, and rendermandan, have all worked with it in some capacity, and I owe them credit for inspiring me to use it here as well. With that in mind, I went ahead and ordered an orange carbon fiber/kevlar blend. This particular fiber will be used for the side panels and ribs on OSIDIAS.

So, without further delay...


And one more pic...


More to come!

07-28-2010, 02:12 AM
September 17

Despite the lack of 'real' work done on this project, I've still been collecting a steady stream of parts. One of the most anticipated of these parts arrived in a box from Aqua Computer (http://aquacomputer.de/) in Germany. Inside was the electronic heart of OSIDIAS. These parts will be responsible for monitoring almost every electrical aspect of the case. From fan speeds, to temp monitoring, to lighting, and even powering up and down. Although I've got much detailed planning to do to make this all happen, I'm looking forward to the challenge.

So, what did I get? Here are all the parts laid out for inspection.


One of the most critical parts, is this Multiswitch. It is controlled via USB through the Aquasuite software. This will be the electrical switching station for anything having on/off requirements. The lighting would be a good example of this.


Next up is the new Aquacover for the DDC pump. All specs aside, it was just too damn good looking not to throw in the system.


Now we have the new flow sensor and inline temperature sensor. Both of these parts are very high flow, and low restriction.


And finally, we have a VFD Aquaero. This is really the brains of the operation. Everything starts here. All monitoring and control runs through here and the Aquasuite software via USB. The Aquaero will be linked to the secondary Via pico-itx system, and a touchscreen LCD. These components working together will allow seamless and automated system control and monitoring.


One last thing worth mentioning, is the Powerbooster modification made to the Aquaero. This addition is a special cooling block and a small hardware modification of the Aquaero which will allow you to use a Laing pump on fan channel 1. The other three channels will be able to handle 15W instead of 10W. This increases the available overall power to 45W. It's more than enough in my case.


Now, to go play with some hardware...

07-28-2010, 02:13 AM
Oct. 24

Although I've been busy with other things, I'm still taking the time to tweak the internals on OSIDIAS. Things are so tight in there, I've got to have the placement of every part planned in advance. I really don't want to get started on something, and then realize I've got to remake a part. The material budget on this case is much higher than in my last projects, and I want to get it right the first time.

So, with that in mind, I've finally got the tubing layout finalized. Everything has sufficient room, although i had to get creative on parts placement. The newest addition to the loop was the Aqua Computer flow meter. That's what you see partially obscuring the CPU block. It's a decent sized part, but it's a worthwhile addition. You can also see that I reversed the pump's position. I've got that great looking AC top, and I intend to show it off a little...

With the tubing taken care of, now I need to finalize cable routing, and various electronic component placement. I'll work on that as I continue to work on Project: Hutch.



07-28-2010, 02:14 AM
Dec. 18

There's a funny thing that happens when you are planning a project way longer than you had anticipated. Changes. Changes happen. Many changes actually. Although I've stood by the basic form factor I had first envisioned, things have been in a constantly evolving state. A tweak here, a tweak there, in the ongoing pursuit of perfection. Every last detail is being planned and thought out in advance. Just when I think I've got it nailed, another idea pops in to my head, and I'm revising again. Now, I can't keep this up forever, and I'll soon have to commit to a design plan, but until that happens I'm going to have a little fun.

So why the rambling intro? Well, I've got another idea. This one is slightly more costly, slightly more unique, and way more insane. In fact, this sort of thing wouldn't even have been very economically feasible even a year or two ago. What sort of thing am I referring to? UMPC's... Yes, why stop at 2 systems in a single machine, when you can have 3. Do I have your attention now?

Here's what I'm thinking... As OSIDIAS stands right now, I've already got a 7" touchscreen on the front. This screen was to act as the control interface for the pico-itx system, which in turn monitors and controls almost every aspect of the main system. If I replace that touchscreen with a UMPC linked via a wireless connection to the pico, I can retain the same functionality through software. The biggest advantage then, is the ability to remove the UMPC and control the system remotely. On top of that, I've got still got all the original functions of the UMPC itself. Overkill? Nah, there's no such thing! So, stay tuned for updates as the plan gets revised and implemented. Insanity has reached a new level...

I suppose you want to see the UMPC I plan on using, huh? :D



07-28-2010, 02:14 AM
Jan. 14

I really need to make an update here! The Viliv has arrived, and I'll be doing a video review of it shortly. In the meantime, I've been playing with other ideas. You see, with the addition of the UMPC for system monitoring, I needed a reliable way to relay information to it. I have been toying with bluetooth, but have a 2 device limit on networking them. So, wi-fi was the next obvious choice. That brought it's own set of issues. The pico must always be on and networked, the main system may not always be, and the Viliv must also always be networked. I also want to ensure the Viliv and pico always have internet access. Not that big of a deal, right? Well, Samurize needs static IP's for relaying information, and while that is great for home use, what about when I go to a LAN? The IP's are subject to change, and that would throw everything off.

So, what's the fix? How do I get static IP's? The easiest way is to use an access point, in this case, a wireless one. Everything is wireless capable anyway, so I can assign each adapter it's own IP, and they won't change regardless of where the system goes. That's where this comes in to play... It's the smallest AP available.

07-28-2010, 02:15 AM
Jan. 19

I had a little time over the weekend, so I thought I'd make something special for everyone that has been following this project. This is a video walkthrough of OSIDIAS. It explains how some of the components fit together, and I cover some of the design basics. Although I've left out a few details, I think you'll understand the project a little better. Enjoy!


07-28-2010, 02:16 AM
Feb. 6

Well, disturbed13 at bit-tech managed to pry an upcoming sponsor out of me...

So, since the surprise is out there, I might as well make the official announcement. I've been speaking with Ron Rogers of Romaxx CNC (http://www.romaxxcnc.com/main.html), and he's been generous enough to sponsor a HS-1 machine ready to run. I'll be using the machine on this project, as well as any future projects where applicable.


The HS-1 is a very solid tabletop CNC, and will be able to handle most any job I throw at it. I wanted to work with Romaxx for several different reasons. The first of which is the standards by which their machines are built. There's no doubt they are solid. The second is the support Romaxx offers after the sale. They stand by their machines, and are quick to take care of any issues should they arrive. Lastly, there is a pretty good community of users on the Romaxx forums (http://romaxxcnc.proboards59.com/) that are willing to help and share their experience. All of these things added up to make it an easy decision for me.

I'll keep everyone updated on the machine's arrival, and I'll certainly post pics as soon as I can!

07-28-2010, 02:16 AM
Mar. 17

Well, it's finally arrived! Thanks to Ron Rogers of Romaxx (http://www.romaxxcnc.com/) for making this possible. What you are about to see is the unboxing of a shiny new HS-1 (http://www.romaxxcnc.com/hsproduct.html) CNC router.

This machine is considered a tabletop CNC, and as such, doesn't take up a lot of space. Since I work primarily in small form factor, this will fit 99% of every need I have. Even though it's a compact design, this thing arrived to me in a 125 pound box. 105 pounds of that is the machine itself. If weight is any indicator of strength, then this thing is a beast.

So, shall we look at a few pics of this thing?

The box...



Let's crack this thing open. It's definitely well packed, and bolted through the bottom of the crate.









That's it for now, but I'll follow up once the machine is setup in the shop. Until then!

07-28-2010, 02:17 AM
Mar. 30

While I know everyone is anxiously waiting to see the CNC running, I needed to take care of a few small details first. One of those details involved a custom misting solution for cutting aluminum. Why mist? Well, for the work I have to do it can be just as effective as flood, yet it's so much easier. I should say it's easier, only if you can find a workable and convenient way to implement it.

I have been doing some research into CNC misting techniques, and most of the options are geared towards commercial applications, and are quite expensive. I wasn't really willing to spend $300 on something I was convinced I could do myself. Since I'm a modder, it only made sense to mod a homebrew solution. Many hours were spent Googling anything that misted, before I came across the mention of using an airbrush as an option. I tried to find where someone had actually followed through using this method, and came up with nothing. So, I figured I might as well be the first. Even if I'm not, I'm hoping my methods and documentation will make it easier for others to find and implement themselves.

Now, before any fabrication could begin, I needed an airbrush and dedicated on-demand compressor. Amazon came through with this (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001TO55PQ/ref=oss_product) nicely outfitted kit.




Okay, well, now that I've got the airbrush, I need to find a way to get it mounted to the Romaxx machine. Since the mister needs to follow the mill bits as they cut through the material, it was obvious that it needed to be attached to some location near the spindle. It just so happens that there were some unused spindle mounting locations that would be perfect. So, I just needed to come up with a workable bracket of some kind. Not only did the bracket have to hold the airbrush securely, but it couldn't interfere with any machine operation whatsoever. I needed full X, Y, and Z operation with no limits or restrictions. I broke out the cardboard and started experimenting. This got me in the ballpark...


Since I was satisfied I had a workable idea, I committed it to metal...


I love bending things, so the newly cut bracket received some attention.


With the cutting of a few well placed slots, and the help of some rubber o-rings, the brush and it's coolant reservoir were attached to the bracket. I used a simple mounting method for two reasons. Ease of maintenance, the ability to have flexible mount points should some unforeseen interference occur.


So, let's get this bracket mounted! You can see how cleanly it sits in it's location. It's also easily adjustable for height.



There is plenty of room for travel with no interference.


Now finally, here are a few pics of the machine as assembled and ready to run.




All that I've got left to do is make sure I'm set for live streaming, and I'm ready to cut. If I can find a good material hold down solution, I'll give it a go tonight. (Yes, I'll likely be getting the aluminum top w/ mounting holes soon.)

07-28-2010, 02:18 AM
Apr. 9

Okay guys, since I have a habit of never being satisfied... I made a few changes to my CNC router. After my dry run with the picture in picture webcams, I started thinking about how cool it would be to add one of the cameras near the spindle itself. I thought it could capture the mill bit working as I machined. Well, in order to make this happen, I went ahead and got a $10 camera from newegg, and set out to find it a home.

I knew I had to get it as close to the spindle as possible, yet there could be no interference in the machine operation or safety. This was a must. The machine comes first, and these little extras second. So, as I was poking around with the cam, one thing became clear. My new mister bracket wasn't going to cooperate. I could either ditch the idea of a camera, or redesign the bracket. Well, I chose to make a new bracket. It is greatly simplified over the other one, but required the flexible metal shaft from a donor lighter. This shaft was the key to making everything work, as only this, a piece aluminum angle were going to be used in the new design. After a short while, the new bracket was in place, and I could move on the mounting the camera. This was even easier. I just needed a small aluminum triangle and a rubber washer... I removed the camera's original mount, and attached the aluminum. I then bolted the bracket to a free hole behind the spindle, and I was in business. So, shall we get on to a few pics?

Here you can see an overall pic of the machine. The new mister bracket, and the webcam behind the spindle are visible.


A little closer...



A few more closeups...





As you can see, there are no clearance issues of any kind. The machine is still just as easy to maintain, and I don't foresee any issues. Now all I need to do is get something cut!

07-28-2010, 02:19 AM
Apr. 23

I came home from work today to find a nice sized box on my front porch. Inside was one of the last items I needed for setting up my Romaxx CNC machine. It was a VT6040 vacuum table that I had purchased from ebay seller dcad100. It measures 24.0”x16.5” x 0.8125", and was the perfect size for my machine. The vacuum table will allow me to hold parts in place without clamping. Should I need to clamp things anyway, there are M6 holes on the table that should easily allow this.

So, should we take a look at the table? Here it is as it arrived to me.


Opening the box revealed a very well packed table.


The table also came with a the necessary tubing for hooking up to a 2" vacuum line.


Also included was a solid rubber mat for blocking off unused holes during vacuuming, and a holed rubber mat that sits below parts that are being cut. The holed mat not only allows transfer of suction, but will help keep the end mill just above the aluminum table surface. These should be easily replaceable should the need arise.


The table looks to be of pretty good quality, and is well constructed.


Now finally, here is the table sitting on the machine. As you can see, it's the perfect size. All that's left is to get the vacuum lines hooked up, and it's ready for use. More coming soon!


07-28-2010, 02:19 AM
Awesome rendering & nice new machine

07-28-2010, 02:20 AM
Apr. 26

I had a little more time tonight, and was able to get the vacuum assembly finished. As of now, the vacuum table is completely ready to use. I am pretty happy with the way that things turned out. It's compact, easy to maintain, and fairly cost effective. Of course, none of that matters if the table doesn't perform as expected. Well, I'm happy to report that it performs even better than I had hoped. I know everyone is anxious to see how it turned out, so let me walk you through the rest of the setup process...

There are really only 3 major components needed in a vacuum table setup. The first is obviously the table itself which I covered in the last update. The second is the source of the vacuum itself. For this, I went to industrial parts supplier Grainger, and picked up a vacuum pump. I selected a two stage tangential unit capable of 97 CFM and 81.8 Hg vacuum. There were more powerful units available, but this one was an outstanding deal, and worth taking a chance. So, let's take a look at the pump...


Now, I should mention that although this is a vacuum pump, it's also a blower by it's inherent design. Unfortunately the only fitting for attaching a hose is on the blower end. That meant I had to get a little creative and epoxy a fitting over the vacuum hole. It was a simple fix, but just one more step I had to take before I could move forward.


Okay, now we've got two of the three major components out of the way. The third? Well, that should be easy. We've got to have tubing connecting the table and the vacuum pump. This shop vac hose kit offered the perfect solution.



As you can see the shop vac hose was a perfect match for the tubing adapter and splitter that came with the table.


Now all that was left was to route the tubing and hoses, mount the pump, and connect everything together. As you can see, the whole assembly is pretty clean and simple.



At this point I was pretty anxious to kick it on and do some testing. I'll try and get some video of that up in the next day or two, but as I mentioned above, I was very happy with the results. I could lay a block of wood in the center of the table, and with the pump running, it was surprisingly hard to move laterally. Keep in mind that this was without blocking off any of the other holes in the table. Doing so would increase the vacuum significantly. I'm pretty confident that as long as my feed speeds are appropriate, and my end mills are sharp, nothing is going to move while vacuum is applied. The only way to know for sure is to actually cut something, and I'll be doing that very soon!

07-28-2010, 02:20 AM
June 1

Well, here it goes guys. After more than a year of planning, I've decided to officially to start Project OSIDIAS. Granted, I still have other projects I'm still working on, but I don't want to delay this any longer. I can't promise daily updates, but I have a feeling you all will keep motivated to keep my work as updated as possible.

OSIDIAS will take everything I've learned from my Rogue project, and double it, in both scope and ambition. I've got some pretty unique things I'll be attempting here, and I've got no assurances that everything will work out as I've planned. That doesn't matter though, as I enjoy the challenges of problem solving on the fly. Even though at this point, almost every detail of the case is planned, there are still going to be things I decide to change. However, due to the way the case is designed, there are certain things that must remain set in stone. The overall exterior of the case and the carbon fiber shell for example.

So, where do we begin? Well, for those that may not have been following along up until this point, this (http://www.vimeo.com/8832516) video gives the best project overview. If you've got 20 minutes to spare, this should catch you up to speed.

Now, although this is the first official post of the project, I've only got a few pics to show you. Don't worry, I've got more incoming, but I this should get things started. :D

This case will be the first time I move away from aluminum as my primary construction material. There will still be plenty of it in this case, but I figured it was time for something more exotic. That's where carbon fiber comes in to the picture. Actually, carbon fiber, as well as a carbon fiber/kevlar blend. The carbon fiber will be placed around molds that I'm currently building, and them vacuum bagged. This is a proven technique for manufacturing, but the first time I'll be attempting it. There aren't many computer mods made from CF, let alone molded as in what I'm trying, but that's where the fun part comes in! I've got to give full credit to MKmods for his advice and input regarding working with carbon fiber. With any luck I'll not end up with a very expensive mess on my hands...

I mentioned having to make the molds, and that's where the following pictures pick up. Thanks to the help of my Romaxx CNC machine, I was able to accurately cut out a few pieces of the OSIDIAS core. These pieces will sit in the center, while an aluminum 'clam-shell' sits around it. After the carbon fiber and vacuum bagging, the idea is to push the center core out, and then remove the shell from the inside. This will leave a solid CF case, from which I make the needed cuts.

Here are the blank pieces of MDF ready for the Romaxx CNC.


After the CNC cut...



And finally, I've got a stack of them.


Next up, we've got the core assembly!

07-28-2010, 02:21 AM
June 2

My last post left off with the cut MDF pieces for the core of the case. What I needed now was some simple way to fasten those pieces together, while still providing strength. I went round and round with possibilities until I decided on the following method. It all started with a trio of 22mm holes courtesy of the Romaxx.


Thanks to the CNC's accuracy and repeatability, I ended up with 6 pieces just like this.


With the first piece laying down, I tapped 3 sections of PVC pipe into the holes. The fit was just tight enough that there was no movement once in place, but taps with a hammer could still allow any needed adjustment.


Now finally, here is the assembled core. It's lightweight, yet very strong. The PVC pipe not only serves to hold the structure together, it also has a secondary purpose. Since the carbon fiber will be vacuum bagged, the pipe will allow for pressure equalization between the front and rear of the mold.


With the core done, I'll be moving on to the 2 part aluminum shell that fits around it. Thanks for reading!

07-28-2010, 02:21 AM
June 2

With the core of the mold done, it's time to get some aluminum wrapped around it. It's a pretty simple concept, but I need perfect execution. The aluminum needs to fit the MDF perfectly, as it ultimately will determine the shape of the carbon fiber on top of it.

I'm starting by using some AC Ryan 1mm sheets that I had lying around. I've had these for quite some time courtesy of the Rogue project's bit-tech Mod of the Month win almost 2 years ago already. I figured it was time to put them to use.


One of the newer pieces of equipment in my shop is this metal brake. I've retired the little 18" unit I had, and moved up in the world. To say that it's a huge improvement, is understating the obvious. So, I marked out the aluminum, and slid it in place for the first bend.


A second bend later, and things are looking good!


An additional 4 bends brought me to this.


A quick test fit, and it was looking pretty good. Well, good enough to move on to the other side at least. At least for the moment...


I made the second panel, and after evaluating it's fit, I decided to remake the first one. Ultimately I just wasn't happy enough with the way it fit the contours of the MDF core. It couldn't have been more than a single millimeter off in the way that it fit one of the edges, but it was still too much for me. I sometimes tend to set standards for myself that seem unreasonable, but when something is bugging me, I just can't let it go. So, the red panel is gone, and it's been replaced with blue and green...


Since I was pretty happy with the fit of the new panels, I now needed to get them marked and cut to fit. I need perfectly flush mating on the top and bottom joints, and I'll cover that in the next update.


07-28-2010, 02:22 AM
June 3

Haha, there's nothing like the smell of a warm Dremel on a beautiful Thursday night... With my last update, I was ready to trim the top of the aluminum shell down to size. A few minutes of cutting and filing left me with a prefect fit. It's absolutely straight with no gaps.


Now it was time to do the same thing on the bottom. I always mark first with either a pencil or fine point Sharpie, and then follow up with tape. When I cut, I get as close to the tape as possible, then finish up with a file. I find that it's easier to follow the edge of the tape, than it is any regular line.



Once again, after cutting...


Okay, so what's next? With the aluminum shell done, I've got to prep for layering on the carbon fiber. Since I'll have multiple layers basically rolled on the mold, I needed an easy way to apply the CF. The following method is what I came up with. I've got a pair of sawhorses and a piece of aluminum channel through the center pipe on the mold. This will allow me to roll the mold in to any position, yet the square planes of the channel means that it won't roll away when I don't want it to.


Now let's take a look at my box of goodies from Aerospace Composites. I've got a vacuum generator, check valve, associated vacuum bags, and peel ply. I'll be using all this to ensure as flawless a finish as possible.


At this point I decided to do a small resin test. I've seen far to many instances where resin doesn't set, and I want to make sure I've got a workable ratio. The last thing I need is a mess on my hands. Up next, the fun part!


07-28-2010, 02:23 AM
June 5

Ready guys?

Well, working with the carbon fiber was an interesting experience. I got completely prepped and ready to go last night, so that I could start wrapping first thing this morning. I'll admit to being a bit nervous. I didn't have any room for error, and with my OCD about having things perfect, the pressure was on.

I woke up this morning, headed to the shop, and cranked up the music. A little Zune Pass with Breaking Benjamin as the starting point, and things were underway! What you'll see here is the mold ready to go, with the carbon fiber strips sitting on a tube right behind it. This would allow me unroll the CF onto the mold with minimal handling.


It was now time to mix up the resin. I was using a marine grade clear epoxy with a 109 medium hardener. This stuff has a pot life of about 30 minutes, so there was no time to do anything but get underway. With the resin mixed I was on the clock. I slipped on my rubber gloves and hit the mold with a layer of resin from a 4" lint-free roller. The first layer of CF was on soon after.

I continued wrapping and rolling, taking extra care not to deform or stretch the CF in any way. I also had to be sure that all the corners had the fiber nestled in them without issues. I thought I was making good time until I went to apply a little more resin, and the roller started to pull up on the CF. Crap! That meant my resin was hardening. Had it really been 30 minutes already? Well, it didn't matter. I couldn't do anymore at this point. I needed to wrap peel ply around it and get it bagged. I still had one layer to go, but there was no way I could get it on without causing serious issues. So, bag it, I did...


I smoothed the bag out a little and left it under vacuum for about 2 hours.


Now, aren't you all excited to see what's next? Yeah, I am too, but I had to head out of town for the rest of the weekend. The next update will likely be on Monday.

So, overall, the experience wasn't as bad as I thought it might be, but I was cutting it close with the resin cure time. I also know I'll have a few ridges in the resin from the bagging process, but that's really not an issue right now. I can sand and add more resin. In addition, I'll likely go ahead and add the last layer of missing fiber. I'll update early next week guys!

07-28-2010, 02:24 AM
June 8

What you are looking at is the final layer of fiber needed on the case. I'll have to lightly sand a few small air bubbles, but otherwise it's cosmetically pretty darn good. I'm also going to apply one more layer of resin before I remove the mold. I want to be sure the CF is well protected from damage. It's a whole lot easier to sand and fix resin than have a blemish in the fiber itself...





07-28-2010, 02:24 AM
June 14

With the weekend come and gone, it's time I update all of you on my progress. It's not much, but as always, it's still a step forward. So, how about we get the case out of the mold? I designed the mold so that not only would it be reusable, it would be easy to remove. The first thing I did was to set the case on the workbench, and start tapping the core from one side to the other.



A few more taps...


The core removed.


Now it was a matter of removing the aluminum shell.


It's finally free! The case is completely removed from the mold. You can see a few small voids on the interior, but those are a non-issue at this point. Anything that remains after the exterior holes are cut, will be filled in with resin and leave a smooth surface behind.



Now, I'll add a few comments about the case itself. It's strong! In fact, it's shockingly strong. Sure, everyone knows carbon fiber has excellent strength properties, but until you experience it for yourself, it's a little hard to quantify. This case has almost no flex or deflection. I can press on the center of both sides with about all the strength I can muster, and it just barely moves. It's just that solid. On top of it's strength, it's also incredibly light. Also, I'm saving the rest of the surface work until after all the holes are cut. This thing will be as smooth as glass once completed. All in all, this was the perfect building material for this case, and I can't wait to start making my first cuts in it. Stick around for the fun coming up next!

07-28-2010, 02:25 AM
June 14

With the weekend come and gone, it's time I update all of you on my progress. It's not much, but as always, it's still a step forward. So, how about we get the case out of the mold? I designed the mold so that not only would it be reusable, it would be easy to remove. The first thing I did was to set the case on the workbench, and start tapping the core from one side to the other.



A few more taps...


The core removed.


Now it was a matter of removing the aluminum shell.


It's finally free! The case is completely removed from the mold. You can see a few small voids on the interior, but those are a non-issue at this point. Anything that remains after the exterior holes are cut, will be filled in with resin and leave a smooth surface behind.



Now, I'll add a few comments about the case itself. It's strong! In fact, it's shockingly strong. Sure, everyone knows carbon fiber has excellent strength properties, but until you experience it for yourself, it's a little hard to quantify. This case has almost no flex or deflection. I can press on the center of both sides with about all the strength I can muster, and it just barely moves. It's just that solid. On top of it's strength, it's also incredibly light. Also, I'm saving the rest of the surface work until after all the holes are cut. This thing will be as smooth as glass once completed. All in all, this was the perfect building material for this case, and I can't wait to start making my first cuts in it. Stick around for the fun coming up next!

07-28-2010, 02:25 AM
June 14

Thanks guys! Time for another update!

Now that the case is out of the mold, I need to get it cut down to size. I use my trusted tape marking method, and prep the Dremel. That's really the only practical way to cut the case with it's uneven contours.


The first cut done. Would you believe that the CF cuts like butter with a reinforced disc? You can't drop the disc in and do a continuous cut without binding, but it you drop in every centimeter or so, it works very well.



Not only does the fiber cut extremely well, it takes to filing beautifully too. This pic was taken after filing and a quick bout with a fine grit sand paper. After cutting, I could finally get a measurement on the actual cross section of the case. It measures just under 2mm. That's even better than I thought.



With the first side done, it was time to mark the other side.


All done! The case now measures the perfect 40.6cm I needed. Up next, I'll be marking out and cutting all the holes needed in the case. Until then!


07-28-2010, 02:26 AM
June 20

Although it's not quite as large an update as you all were expecting, I did manage to get a few things done over the weekend. A lot of people have questioned why I wanted to bother sanding down the case and adding another layer of fiber. Well, I've got a few pics that can hopefully show you in more detail why I wasn't happy. At this point, the case is sanded and ready for it's last layer of CF. It's nowhere as pretty as it was before the sanding, but that will be remedied soon. Trust me... :D


Now, here is the best way I can show you the before and after examples of the 'rounded' edges I was speaking of. This should make things pretty clear. This is a before pic, taken of the excess I cut off of one of the ends...


Now take a look at the after. You can see there is no more rounded edge, and I'm much happier.


Okay, now with that out of the way, it's time to move on to the side panels. I'll be working on them until I have more regular CF arrive to finish the case itself. As you are about to see, making the molds for these panels is a whole lot easier than before. Two bends and I was golden. This nice piece of aluminum will be the basis of what is to come.


A few bends later...


Now I've just got to get the CF/Kevlar blend cut to size, and I can get the fiber laid down. Hopefully tomorrow!


07-28-2010, 02:26 AM
June 22

Well, I've got a little more work done on the side panels. I'm using the same molding process as the case, but it's nowhere near as complex this time around. Here is the Kevlar/carbon fiber blend laid out and ready for marking... Isn't it pretty?


I've marked out the fiber, and am making my cuts here. This stuff truly sucks to cut. Even with a specialty shears, it has a tendency fray and not cut cleanly. I wouldn't ever attempt this with regular scissors. I would imagine you would slit your wrists in frustration.


Now finally, here are 5 layers of fabric freshly removed from the vacuum bag. I've still got plastic peel ply on it, but that will come off tomorrow. I'm going to sand a little, and add one more layer of Kevlar. The same procedure I used on the rest of the case, should get me pretty good results. The trick will be in finding the perfect piece of fiber for the top layer. The weave on this blend is very sensitive, much more so than with regular carbon fiber. Every little flaw or misalignment seems magnified 10 fold. I'll manage though... or go insane trying!


Tomorrow I'll get the other panel started, and sand this first one. Then I've got to get an end mill or two ordered for the Romaxx CNC. I'll be using it to cut out the side panels. I'll do a few test runs first, since I don't want to screw one of these up. Mistakes would be costly...

07-28-2010, 02:28 AM
June 26

If it weren't for pictures like the following, I'd take the Kevlar/CF blend, and make it disappear... Yes, it's a royal pain to work with. I knew it would be, but until you are actually working with it and trying to make it do what you want, you have no idea...




It doesn't like to cut cleanly, no matter the process. The Kevlar fibers really have a mind of their own. I've found that I get the best results if I start cutting with a metal carbide cutting wheel. That cuts quickly, but not cleanly. I then followup with a reinforced cutting disk. This cuts much more cleanly, but it's slow. I can't take much material off with each pass. After that, I use a file to straighten the cuts. Then finally, I finish up with a 320 grit wet/dry sand paper. This does a decent job of cleaning the edge up, but it takes a light touch. So, that's one heck of a process for a single cut!

Time to cut! I used a yardstick as a straight edge, and followed up with my line taping method.


An hour later I had two sides done... This is gonna take a while. Lol.


07-28-2010, 02:29 AM
July 8

I needs some feedback guys. I'm not sure I want to continue working with the Kevlar... It seems to be more work than it may be worth. I've got a few quotes for waterjetting the side panels, and it's more than I really feel like paying. It's not out of the realm of possibility, but I'm looking at other options. That's not even considering all the ribs that I have to cut out yet. Bah, I'm not sure what to do, so that's where I'm asking you guys for your opinion.

Okay, I need more fabric regardless of how I proceed, so it's not like I'm starting from scratch. My options are as follows.

1.) Get more orange Kevlar/CF and outsource all the cutting at a hefty price.

2.) Switch to a different composite material (of the alternatives, I'm only considering orange or red.) This would make for a panel I could easily cut myself, but possibly change the ending look some. The options are...

A.) An orange carbon fiber/ fiberglass blend. Which ironically, is the closest to my original vision.

B.) A red carbon fiber/fiberglass blend.

C.) Finally, we've got a red hexcel texalium.

07-28-2010, 02:30 AM
July 9

Well, I posted the same question over at bit-tech, and the response was unanimous. All orange! Lol, I'm not ever sure why I questioned it at this point. In fact, you guys haven't seen this, but this is my working design. This is what I see every time I open ViaCAD... The orange carbon fiber/fiberglass is pretty dang close, wouldn't you say?


07-28-2010, 02:30 AM
July 9

For anyone that has been following the project details closely, you'll have noticed I've got quite a few holes that need to be cut in the exterior of the case. Since I tend to try for perfect execution, I needed a very reliable and accurate method of marking those holes out on the case. I used the following method on the Rogue with great success, and will continue it here.

This is a transparent adhesive sheet used for printing labels. It's simply a matter of printing out the guidelines, which is made even easier since the entire project was designed in CAD. If you look closely, you can see an additional guideline extending to the left and right on the lower part of the design. This will help in placement.


Next was the matter of proper alignment on the case. While it's pretty easy to place the sheet, I triple checked the measurements since they had to be perfect.


Stick around for more! I'll have an update this weekend!

07-28-2010, 02:31 AM
July 10

Okay guys, I had to make a little time for something unrelated to carbon fiber. It also has nothing to do with actual modding. What follows is just an example of why I've said that the planning for the case is only about 95% finished. Little things like this are always changing and being added. I live for the little details that some take for granted.

So, what we have here is an integrated heatsink for the water pump. It also doubles as a vibration proof mount for the pump via grommets. Once in place, air from the radiator fans will help with the cooling.







This heatsink will make it's way to my CNC machine in the future. You can also see that I've changed the interior parts over to carbon fiber. Creative mold making will be coming!

07-28-2010, 02:31 AM
July 12

I'm back at it guys! With the adhesive label in place, it was time to add my masking tape guide lines.


Time to break out the Dremel! I had to take it slow and steady here. You can't exactly fix any miscuts or slips... Even so, I managed to make quick work of the carbon fiber, and was soon left with a rough cut.


After some filing, and sanding, I was left with the finished hole! My patience paid off, and I was left with a hole that was visually perfect to me. Now I've only got about 6 more to go.


07-28-2010, 02:32 AM
July 15

I did stream live tonight guys. How's that for brave? If I screwed up, I couldn't hide it. :D The 3 newest video's were recorded July 14th and 15th. You can see me cutting the holes out in the carbon fiber. There were only a couple times I had any real binding with the Dremel disk, but a firm grip helps keep things under control.


I've only got a few pics here, as the process for each hole doesn't change. Mark, cut, sand. It's progress though!

In this pic I had already cut the second hole in the case. You can see video of that on the livestream link above. I've also got the hole marked out for the Aquaero.


After cutting, I was left with another pair of holes. Now only 4 more to go!



07-28-2010, 02:32 AM
July 16

Well guys, I made a few more holes tonight. I was also streaming live again, so be sure to check out the Livestream (http://www.livestream.com/losiastechnologies) for the newest videos. (Be sure your volume is turned down a little, as the mic seems to be working a little too well...)

So, let's get this started! Here you can see the freshly cut hole for trio of 60mm fans that will sit over the video cards. This makes for 4 holes done, only 3 to go!



At this point I decided to clear up a question or two regarding this case's strength. I was trying to think of a good way to convey how strong the carbon fiber really is. You can see with the holes cut out, there really isn't a large amount of supporting material left in the lower part of the case. Well, I'm telling you that it doesn't matter in the least. Here you can see my daughters full 103 pounds being supported by the case. There's nary a flex! I can guarantee that aluminum would not have fared so well...


With the case still in one piece, it was time to get back to cutting. For those that were following the planning thread, you'll remember that the windows on the side panels will actually be transparent LCD's. In order to get them to fit correctly, I've got to get a hole put in each side of the case for the circuit board. Here I've got the hole all marked out.


The rough cut done!


I'll have more in the coming days, so until then!

07-28-2010, 02:33 AM
July 22

Someone at XS asked me for an overview of how the wireless networking and control was set up in this machine. Since I took the time to answer him there, I thought I'd post it here as well for those that might be interested.

Okay, here's a brief overview of the wireless networking and monitoring setup. It's sometimes a little hard to wrap your head around, but I'll try and give a clear explanation.

I've basically got 3 complete computer systems in this case. I've got the main system consisting of the Asus matx board and associated components. Then I've got a Via pico-itx system acting as an always-on file server, and information monitor. Finally, I've got the Viliv UMPC that sits on the front of the case. These 3 systems are connected by both an internal ethernet hub, and an Asus wireless access point. The wireless network is used for information sharing and control by the Viliv. The Viliv is obviously a wireless only connection, but the other systems can connect either wired or wireless, and be independent of any other system.

Since the pico is always on, it serves to relay most of the system information. It will be attached to an Aquaero and Multiswitch, which in turn is responsible for all watercooling, temp sensors, and lighting. It will also allow me to turn the main system on and off through the Viliv. All the information I need on the Viliv will be relayed using a Samurize front end. Samurize's own network monitoring functionality, as well as the Aquaero software will allow for real time monitoring of the pico and main system functions. Now, of course since the Viliv is wireless, and always connected to the OSIDIAS network, I can just detach it from the case and use it as a remote.

Does that help explain things a little? Feel free to ask if it doesn't.

07-28-2010, 02:39 AM
Awesome rendering & nice new machine

Thanks man! I appreciate it!

07-28-2010, 04:14 AM
WOW!!! i thought of trying carbon fiber but now i am thinking not after all the work that is involved.....i cant wait to see it all done. it looks great!! keep up the great work!!!

07-28-2010, 05:09 AM
WOW!!! i thought of trying carbon fiber but now i am thinking not after all the work that is involved.....i cant wait to see it all done. it looks great!! keep up the great work!!!

Thanks! It's really not that bad! Lol, well, as long as you are patient.

Thanks to inspiration from Javi, dbradford, and w33dy at the Mod Brothers forums, I've done a little something to help with my dust collection. I really needed a third hand when cutting on the workbench, and with none in sight, I came up with a great alternative. I modded an old architect lamp!

I couple of velcro straps, and the vac hose was attached to end of the arm. After using it for a few cuts, I've got to say that it's quite effective for a low tech solution. I'm guessing it's catching at least 75% of the dust caused by cutting.



So, with a decent dust collection solution in place, it was time to put it to use. I was streaming live (http://livestre.am/gPQm) during a portion of this, so I'm missing a few pics. With most of the side holes done, it was time to move to the top. Here is what it looked like after cutting.



Now it's time to move back the side. The last hole I need to cut is where the PSU will sit. Here is the hole all marked out. (Live Stream) (http://livestre.am/h8Jb)


All cut! (Live Stream) (http://livestre.am/h8Ti)


And finally a test fit with a PSU in place.


07-28-2010, 04:24 PM
Definitely jealous of the machine. I took a look at their site and I could build several computers for that price. Oh well, maybe someday.

07-28-2010, 04:32 PM
Definitely jealous of the machine. I took a look at their site and I could build several computers for that price. Oh well, maybe someday.

I find that a nice budget opens up material options, but it's not needed. What really matters is creativity, and making the most of your abilities and time. Actually, sometimes those are the best builds. :D

07-28-2010, 04:52 PM
[QUOTE=craigbru;1348]Thanks! It's really not that bad! Lol, well, as long as you are patient.

Well we will see I planned on doing c/fiber on my thermaltake lanbox...it's just so damn heavy.... And I figured I could lighten the weight by going c/fiber and add some nice mods to it along the way..... So we'll see..... Plus my budget is looking kinda empty right now with me modding my MM case...lol

07-28-2010, 05:29 PM
Thanks! It's really not that bad! Lol, well, as long as you are patient.

Well we will see I planned on doing c/fiber on my thermaltake lanbox...it's just so damn heavy.... And I figured I could lighten the weight by going c/fiber and add some nice mods to it along the way..... So we'll see..... Plus my budget is looking kinda empty right now with me modding my MM case...lol

Carbon fiber is definitely light. I didn't have a scale to weight my case, but before I cut the holes, it weighed as much as the average banana. Lol, it's all I had to compare it to! So, that should put things in perspective for you. The cost of CF cloth isn't that bad compared to what it used to be. Most comes in a 50" width, and is priced around $31 per linear yard. It takes about 3 layers per mm. So, while it costs more than comparable aluminum, it's infinitely stronger and lighter. Also, once formed, it's fairly easy to work with. A rotary disc on a Dremel can cut it with ease. All the holes I've cut so far have been on the same disk. No wear... Just be sure you wear a proper respirator as the dust is nasty!

07-28-2010, 05:35 PM
Thanks for the precautions I'll keep that in mind after I finish my MM.

07-28-2010, 05:38 PM
Not a problem man. I'm glad to help.

07-28-2010, 07:23 PM
Also I was going to ask you what program do you use for your digital mock up????

07-28-2010, 07:30 PM
I use ViaCAD Pro. It's kind of a blend between Sketchup, and traditional CAD. It's really the perfect program for me. Not only is it great for drawing, but it's import and export options are outstanding. The biggest plus for me, is that it can import parts from the Sketchup Components Library (http://scc.jezmckean.com/home).

07-28-2010, 08:09 PM
Sweet!! Good to know.

07-29-2010, 01:51 AM
wow now this is a worklog..


PCJUNKIE, if you still want to do carbon, they have stickers that look like carbon.. not sure if you think its cheesy or not but some people in the auto industry sell it in a roll to do carbon roofs or fake carbon hoods. it could work for computers as well but still wont be the real deal.

another way is doing a carbon overlay. which is an easier method and you can basically cover whatever you currently own. there are a few shops that do this and i have already been in contact with a few to offer their service on this board. by the way, craigbru, you should definetly compete in the blizzcon tournament! its overclocking and case modding hybrid!

07-29-2010, 02:06 AM
Sweet!! Good to know.

Not a problem man.

wow now this is a worklog..


PCJUNKIE, if you still want to do carbon, they have stickers that look like carbon.. not sure if you think its cheesy or not but some people in the auto industry sell it in a roll to do carbon roofs or fake carbon hoods. it could work for computers as well but still wont be the real deal.

another way is doing a carbon overlay. which is an easier method and you can basically cover whatever you currently own. there are a few shops that do this and i have already been in contact with a few to offer their service on this board. by the way, craigbru, you should definetly compete in the blizzcon tournament! its overclocking and case modding hybrid!

Thanks Brian! I do tend to go all out. No shortcuts here. If I can't go pro, I don't go. Maybe that's why I spent so much time planning this thing before I actually started. The vacuum bagging did work out pretty well for me. I can't say I've seen anyone else do anything like this when it comes to computer modding. Sure, I've seen lots of flat sheet mods, but nothing in using molds. The response has been amazing.

I've used the carbon fiber vinyl, and it's effect is... well... kind of meh. It has its uses, but if you're going to go the 'sticker' route, you're much better off going with something like this. The effect is pretty damn nice.


I'd love to be at Blizzcon, but it's just not in the cards this year. Next year is pretty wide open though, plus I should have the case finished by then. :D

08-06-2010, 02:45 PM
Update time! Today we pick up with the start of the interior assembly. Since I'm a glutton for punishment, I've decided to make the entire thing out of a single piece of molded carbon fiber. Since the dimensions have to be perfect, I am going to be using a two part mold. An inner and outer layer, with the CF sandwiched in between. In order to pull this off, I've got to do some very careful measurements, and even better cutting.

I'll be using 1.5mm aluminum for the molds. Here you can see a 4' piece marked down the center. I should be able to get both an inner and outer mold out of this 2'x4' sheet.


Next up I've got to mark out all my cut and bend lines. There is no room for error here. Everything is down to the millimeter.


After the rough cuts were made...


After spending a maddening long time with the aluminum in my metal brake, I was left with the following. Mind you this was a little tricky, since it didn't exactly fit in there very well after the first few bends...



Now it was time to stick it inside the case for a test fit. I had no doubt everything would line up, but it's always a good idea to double check.



Next up is the outer mold. Once that is completed, I'll rub down the aluminum with release wax, and play with a little more carbon fiber. Woohoo!

Also, as of this morning, I've learned that OSIDIAS was nominated for bit-tech mod of the month! I'm honored!


08-13-2010, 02:09 AM
Since I'm obviously an Asus fan, I've decided to add a little something to the case... This will be the only branding on the case, but that's fine be me... ;)


08-18-2010, 05:44 AM
Although Project Hutch has been getting most of my time lately, I was able to get a little work done on OSIDIAS while waiting for some JB Weld to dry... I picked up on the continuation of the molds for the interior assembly. When I last updated, I had the inner mold completed. Now it was a matter of laying out and cutting the exterior. What you see here is another 1'x4' piece of aluminum sheet.


After cutting...


Time to get this thing bent!






Now, to get one of the inside bends done, I had to switch to my 18" brake.


With all of the bends done, it was time to see how they fit together. I slipped the outer mold over the inner, and all was well! I've got about 2mm between them. That should allow for about 6 layers of carbon fiber.


Since I knew the molds were going to work, it was time to reinforce the inner mold against flexing. All I needed was a piece of 2x4 cut down to 8cm in width. The board was aligned and epoxied in place. Final measurements indicate that I got the perfect alignment I was hoping for. The back is perfectly parallel top and bottom, and I won't need to make adjustments of any kind.


Up next I've got to add a few pieces of angled aluminum for mounting tabs, and I'm ready to wax and lay down the fiber!

08-18-2010, 06:39 AM
amazing work. love the CF. killer metal bending as well

08-18-2010, 03:41 PM
Thanks man. I'm really looking forward to getting the fiber laid down on the interior mold. There's so much of the case that depends on it's completion. There are still a ton of molds to be made yet. Since the case will be 100% carbon fiber, virtually everything will get molded. :D

08-18-2010, 04:05 PM
I love the precision in these molds. I'm not sure if I could achieve the same.

08-19-2010, 04:43 AM
Thanks! I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist... Had they not been just right, I would have remade them. I'd rather spend extra money on materials than make something I'm not happy with. Especially on this case... :D

08-19-2010, 05:26 AM
That's true. The value of the final molded parts are far above what you are paying for the materials. Given that you have these nice metal molds I guess you could make more than one set of these parts. Perhaps if people like the design you could sell a few basic cases. Just a thought :D

08-23-2010, 11:50 AM
aw no posts from this weekend? :( Can't wait for more progress

08-27-2010, 05:47 PM
That's true. The value of the final molded parts are far above what you are paying for the materials. Given that you have these nice metal molds I guess you could make more than one set of these parts. Perhaps if people like the design you could sell a few basic cases. Just a thought :D

Yes they are. It's worth it to get the results I want. Although I could make more cases, I really doubt anyone would want to pay my labor to do so. The cutting portion is pretty time intensive, and there really aren't any shortcuts I can take. Even my CNC machine couldn't have helped with the work I've already done. Sometimes you have to do it the old fashioned way.

aw no posts from this weekend? :( Can't wait for more progress

Not yet. I've been pretty busy this past week. On the bright side, I should be ready to lay down fiber tomorrow. Wish me luck!

08-27-2010, 07:47 PM
Wish me luck!

Bah, who needs luck when you're this persistent? ;)

08-28-2010, 03:58 AM
Lol, persistent is good, but I'm still concerned. I've got less than 30 minutes to wrap 6 layers around and get the outer mold in place. Realistically I'd like to get it done in 20. That would leave me with time to spare in case adjustments are needed. If the outer layer weren't cosmetic, it would be so bad, but it has to be perfect. Lol, I'm stressing a little. I do have the molds all waxed and ready to go. I've also waxed and layered a small patch of fiber down on a test piece of aluminum. I want to be sure it releases correctly. If not, that would be messy...

08-28-2010, 06:31 AM
I want to be sure it releases correctly. If not, that would be messy...
i have faith in you!!!!

08-29-2010, 02:54 AM
i have faith in you!!!!

Thanks for the faith! Here are the results...

Update time! I actually livestreamed the fiber going down, although it was a huge pain. For some reason I thought it was a good idea to skip taping the edges of the fiber. Needless to say those stray fibers soon became a problem as the layers went down. I managed to keep them out of the way, and got 5 layers on before I ran out of resin. That means I'm a layer short of what I wanted to be. Although looking at the finished assembly, it's likely thick enough, but I'm going to give it one more anyway. I had a little trouble sliding the outer mold in place. The resin kept sticking to the mold and pulling it down with it. Doh, why didn't I wrap plastic around it before the mold?! That would have taken care of the problem, and I'd be done. As it is, now I've got to sand and add the last layer anyway. Mostly for cosmetic reasons mind you. The outer mold caused some wavy weaves because of the sticky resin... and I just can't have that. I'm out of resin though, and will have to order more before continuing.

Well, enough of that. On to the pics! Here I'm using a template to cut out the layers of CF.


Obviously I couldn't take pics while wrapping, but here is the mold all clamped up.


Now it was time to see if that mold wax release was going to do it's job. I had a total of 3 layers on, so I was pretty confident. Success! The outer mold released without an issue. Here you can see the interior assembly in it's freshly released state. There are a few spots that didn't get completely 'covered' with resin, but it's hardly an issue. There was complete saturation and it's damn solid!


Finally, I took the dremel and cut off most of the excess fiber. You can see the interior mold is still in place. There's a good reason for that. It is cut to the exact dimensions that the assembly needs to be. During the final cut down, I'll use the interior mold as a guide to make sure everything is cut correctly. Without it, I don't think measuring out where I needed to cut would have been so fun...



At this point I've got to get some more resin ordered. In the meantime I'll sand down and prep the interior for the last layer of CF. Then I can start making holes in it for all the components and wiring. Woohoo!

08-30-2010, 04:32 AM
Good thing you ran out of resin I guess. Luck indeed :)

08-31-2010, 02:46 AM
Lol, yeah, I actually did luck out. I've got more resin on the way, and should be back on it by weeks end!

01-01-2013, 07:29 PM
hahaha i like it!!