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Calen Saddler

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Calen Saddler last won the day on July 16 2016

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  1. Painting New Panels: Painting panels is pretty straightforward for the most part. Everybody seems to have their own way of doing things that works best for them. For these pieces I first started by lightly sanding or roughing them up so that the primer will stick to it better. With the acrylic primer is very important. The reason it is so important is the LED lighting inside the case will show through the clear panels even after they're painted, without the use of primer. So it's important to get a good thick base of primer before your color coat goes on. Doing so will help ensure that you get no bleed through from the LED lighting. For right now I will just leave them in primer which will allow me to wait until I'm done with the rough work. Mocking Up & Testing Hardware: I recently got a Be Quiet 240mm AIO so that I can test all the hardware and configure everything at the start of the build vs when it's finished. This had dome big advantages. It allows me to make sure there's no issues with the hardware and design the build with the configurable leds in mind. I had to also install an OS so that I can configure the fans as well. I will be using a combination of ring plus and Silent Wings 3 fans. The Ring Fans will give me some of the aesthetic look I'm going for while the Silent Wings 3s will do the intake and exhaust work. The Aorus motherboard, graphics cards and SLI Bridge are all configurable and offer multi-zone lighting. This allows me to controller everything through the motherboard and set different leds up in different ways. The ring fans have their own app and can be controlled by my cell phone.
  2. Mocking up Skids (bottom): Now that I have the top all mocked up I can do the bottom set. I used the measurements from the top to locate where I should mount the bottom set which assures they will match up. I had to remove both of the stock feet from the MasterCase 5t. They come out really easily after removing a couple bolts and unlock by sliding them. I've been debating on modifying the stock feet so that they can be remounted with the new skids. I will probably wait until I have the skids exactly how I want them before playing around with them. As you can see the bottom skids fit perfectly. There's a decent amount of work into getting them in but it's already paying off. Top Aorus Logo: I knew pretty early on that one wanted to put the Aorus logo in a couple spots on the outside of the case. The one I knew for sure was on the flap towards the back of the case. A buddy of mine was already laser cutting some stuff and offered to cut me a couple Aorus logos if I did the design for it. They turned out perfect. I will more than likely paint it white before mounting it so that it matches the concept art design. Here's what the Aorus Eagle looked like after being cut and mocked up. I also got a chance to paint them white. Below I show the progress of making the acrylic mount for it as well Turning Templates Into Parts: The next task on the agenda is taking all of the templates made and turning them into actual parts for the build. Getting to this stage takes a little bit of work but once you're there goes along pretty easily. I use the templates to trace out cut paths in either acrylics or different metals depending on the use. For this side pieces I will use a combination of both for different reasons. These panels will all be at different angles and mounted in different positions. Typically I'm out most the stuff in one plain we're on this build they will be mounted in all different planes and positions. This will give it a lot more depth as it will be three dimensional versus flat surfaces.
  3. Cutting & Mocking Up Skids (top): It took a lot of measurements and head scratching to figure out how I would mount the top and bottom ones. I decided to take the most challenging one 1st which was the top set. Luckily the two pieces where the skids would mount are at the same angle which made the task a but easier. Now that I have them mocked up, I can fine tune the angle that they come out of the case at. I haven't decided if I want them perfectly flat facing upwards or at a slight angle. I will more than likely wait until the bottom set is on so that I can see it both ways.
  4. Making Templates: The concept art shows the basic path I will be taking with this build. I've since added a few features that will really take this build to the next level. I started out by taking some of the designs done in the concept art CAD design and made a full scale mock up templates. This helps assure everything will fit as intended. Usually I use hard stock paper as many of you may know. This time I wanted something a little more rigid so I bought some trifold boards from the dollar store. It's a type of cardboard but different then the type of cardboard you may be used to. It works great for mocking up shrouds. I decided to make the full shroud in 3 separate pieces. Breaking the shroud up helps with installation and future maintenance. The top horizontal piece will be mounted a lot closer to the side of the case which will give it a lot more depth.
  5. The Concept: Addition To The Design: How It Came To be I came up with this idea a while back but didn't know how or when I would implement it. As time passed the idea went into my book along with all my other crazy ideas. After looking at some Be Quiet products on their site I came across the Silent Base 800. The bottom “skids” or feet were perfect! Exactly what I had been looking for. After exploring the idea further and taking some more looks at the Cooler Master MasterCase 5t; I realized it was the perfect candidate. My idea was to make it look like the MasterCase 5t and the Cosmos had a love child and named it, “SyNAPSE.” it couldn't have come together any better. Combining those designs cues with the ones found on the hardware and I have a complete build that is something I would want to own but doesn't exist. It will be an uphill challenge as mounting brackets will have to be custom made and more than likely 3D printed. Less than a week ago I saw the Cosmos 700 prototype and they ventured from the round skids or feet for ones that were more like the ones I will be using. This made the SyNAPSE build even better. Behind SyNAPSE: I've named this build SyNAPSE as it will bridge the gap between organic and mechanical. Sharing a lot of design styling from Gundam and other off shoots. The SyNAPSE case mod will be heavily inspired by Gundam. All of the popular movies and games we see on a daily basis were born from the original, "Mobile Suit Gundam." This dates back to the early 70s and has been a mainstay in Asia ever since. Gundam consists of the futuristic mech robots that have been adapted into a lot of different platforms. It has evolved into an extremely popular line of games, tv shows and movies. I want to go back to the roots of Gundam and adapt it to current day perspectives while focusing on the designs found throughout the hardware being used in the build. The combination will make this build one of the most cohesive builds I've ever done. Every detail from the hardware will be carried over into the rest of the build. CPU: Intel Kaby Lake i7 7700k Motherboard: Aorus Z270X-Gaming 9 GPUs: SLI Aorus GTX 1070 X 2 SLI Bridge: Aorus RGB Memory: HyperX Savage DDR4 16gb Storage: HyperX Predator M.2 - HyperX Savage SSD PSU: Be Quiet Dark Power Pro 11 (1,000 watt) Cables: Modular custom sleeved CableMod cables (red, black & silver) Fans: Be Quiet Silent Wings 3 (high speed) 3 X 120mm CPU Block: Alphacool Eisblock XPX (clear) GPU Blocks: (TBD) Pump: (TBD) Radiators: (TBD) Reservoir: (TBD) SLI connector: (TBD) Tubing: (TBD) Coolant: Mayhems Fittings: Alphacool Flow Meter: (TBD) PWM Cables: (TBD) LEDs: (TBD) Top & Bottom Feet: Be Quiet Silent Base 800 Other Cables: CableMod sleeved PSU cable, ethernet cable, SATA cables and others Thumbscrews: CableMod anodized (red) LED Strips: CableMod RGB/W dual wide angle LEDs that work with Gigabytes RGB Fusion controllers.
  6. Some More Updated Pics: The amount of response I've gotten for this build is amazing. I really appreciate all of those who have shared this build and been inspired to do your own builds. I'm always available to help up and coming modders or just someone who wants to customize their PC. Happy modding!! Dark Matter:
  7. Special Thanks To My Sponsors: I want to take a moment to thank all the sponsors that believed in this build. I have build some wonderful relationships with great reps from these companies which means the world to me. I look forward to working with you all on the next project. Thanks to Gigabyte, OCZ, EKWB, Supermicro, GSkill, Ensourced, EMI Designs, RantoPad USA and Printrbot. Final Specs: • CPU: 6th Gen Skylake 6700k i7 • Motherboard: Supermicro Enthusiast grade C7–Z170–OCE • GPUs: 2 X Gigabyte GTX 960 Xtremj&@@$& • Ram: 4 X G.Skill Trident Z DDR4 16gig total • Storage: 3 X OCZ Vector 180 SSDs • PSU Extensions: Ensourced custom length and hand sleeved full cable set • Power Supply: Bequiet Dark Power Pro 11 (1,200) watt platinum rated • Fans: 7 X BeQuiet PureWings 2 PWM 120mm fans Cooler Master Part: • Rear Fan: Cooler Master SickleFlow 120mm (blue LEDs) Water-Cooling: • CPU Block: EKWB Supremacy Evo 115x • Radiator: EKWB Coolstream XE 480mm • Pump: EKWB Revo D5 with acrylic top • Reservoir: EKWB X3 250 multiport • Coolant: EKWB Ekoolant EVO (Lime GREEN) concentrate • Tubing: EKWB 12mm Hardline Final Pics Continued: There will be several sets of final pictures that will be posted. There is so much detail and modded parts that a few pics don't do the build any justice.
  8. And so it comes to an end............ Entry For Cooler Master's Case Modding World Series: Dark Matter: I decided to do this scratch build, “Dark Matter†for several reasons. I was tired of limiting my mods to the confines of a typical case. There are a ton of great cases out there but, I wanted to do something my style from the ground up. If you like seeing original creations and have a love for the truest form of modding; you're in the right place. The Journey: This has been quite the journey and so much more, than a scratch build has cone out of it. Inspiring creativity in others is a big part of why I dedicate so much into these projects. I receive email after email from people taking this journey with me through my extensive build logs. For my required Cooler Master part I used one of their SickleFlow 120mm fans and mounted on the back of the case. I system paint matched it as well as replaced the holographic label with Cooler Masters new, “ Make it yours†custom vinyl. This build ended up being one of the most detailed builds I've ever done. Over 750 hours of building, fabricating and modding assured that this would be a one to remember. Making sure I went the extra mile; buildibv as much as I could from scratch including things like brackets, hinges, switches and all sorts of other items that most builders would buy. The vast majority of this build was done using basic tools but, I didn't hesitate to use things like laser cutters and CNC machines to make parts that couldn't be built any other way. I had a lot of fun doing this project and I'm very grateful to all the people and wonderful sponsors who git involved in the Dark Matter Scratch Build. I also appreciate all of you that vote for this build during the, “Peoples Choice†voting. Final 5 Photos: (More Coming Soon)
  9. Final Assembly: It Has Begun The time has arrived! I am finally ready for reassembly and wiring of all the parts, hardware and case. When I designed the case I took the fact that I would be taking it apart and putting it back together a bunch of times into consideration. This made it a lot easier to put back together for final adsembly. As mentioned earlier in the build log the entire top portion of the case slides off on a track system. This gives you full range of motion throughout the top of the case to the inside. Mounting Passthrough & Plates: Thanks all my carful measurements the mounting of the pass-through went together rather well. In between the two plates it's about a 30 to 50 mm. Bending Hardline & Custom Loop Install: Now that I have the pass-through all finished and remounted; I can finish bending the hard line for the rest of the system. Going from the acrylic water path to the pass-through was relatively painless due to the use of 90° fittings. After the tubing gets to the motherboard side it starts to get a little bit trickier. I had to do several bends and I ended up free styling the bends instead of using a mandrel set that I 3–D printed / designed myself '. Adding Vinyl: EKWB Coolstream 480mm Radiator I designed and custom cut some vinyl pieces for the radiator. The first piece has the Dark Matter logo in green and the second piece is the EKWB logo. I mounted them on the side of the radiator so that they could be seen when you look in the case. Some carefully placed LEDs really make them pop.
  10. Building Passthrough Plates: Currently I'm working on building the pass-through plates that go on the front and backside of the motherboard tray. I started by cutting foam board in order to make a very accurate template. If any of the holes for the past through fittings or even slightly off it will be very very noticeable. Once I have the first play cut out of acrylic I will make an exact duplicate for the other side. That will sure that everything lines up perfectly. Due to my lack of sleep lately it is taken me a bit longer than usual to make this but, its all part of the game. In the picture below I show the foam board and acrylic water path plate so you can get an idea of what I'm doing. Last Cables & GPU Cable Combs Arrive From Ensourced: When the sleep cable were made for dark matter I didn't know exactly which GPUs I would be using. At that time I just had them make a single 8 pin for each GPU. Once the gigabyte GTX 960 Xtreme edition GPUs arrived I realized that I needed another 6 pin to go with the 8 pin. I also requested that Ensourced send their new GPU cable combs due to all the requests to see them. The best part about these GPU cable comes from Ensourced is that you don't need to unpin your cables to install them. They came up with an awesome solution that is a breeze to install. Finishing The Front Panel: Im starting to get very close to being finished with the front of the case. I just need to do a little vinyl work, permanently mount everything and finish up a few small details. I figured I'd give you a sneak peek at what it looks like since it's primarily together. Using a filter on the image lets you still enjoy the surprise during the final pics I am extremely happy with the changes made to the front. Originally I was just going to use a expanded aluminum grille insert to cover the fans. Once I saw mocked up that way I decided it needed more depth so I changed it up and it looks sick. Once the LEDs for the front are on it'll look even better.
  11. Gigabyte GTX 960 Xtreme Ed GPU Backplate Changes: The first idea I had for the backplates didn't give me the look I really wanted. Im the type of person that will redo something as many times as it takes to get it perfect. The new idea I have really focuses on the shape and design of the GPU and backplate while carrying on a combination of design elements. I decided to try this concept using acrylic for the backplate sides. I am extremely happy with the way this backplate addition turned out. It leaves enough of the stock Xtreme edition backplate while taking it to another level. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. Cooler Master Front Badge: In honor of the Cooler Master Case Mod World Series that I am participating in. I felt that it was only right to put a cooler master badge on the front of the case. I used the new special vinyl that I ordered. I love this vinyl but, it takes 10 times longer to make anything with.
  12. Update: Finishing Up The Rigid SLI Bridge Now that I have the side pieces tacked onto the top I can prep it for its first coat of paint. I went with a black backing to match 2 SLI Gigabyte GPUs. I designed some vinyl pieces that are mounted to the top and front of the SLI bridge. Arrival: EKWB's Water-cooling Fittings, Tubing, Coolant & Bend Kit The fittings I got for me EKWB include pass-through, 90 degree, HDC 12 mm hardline fittings and a fill-port. I decided to go with primarily black nickel which looks beyond awesome and I haven't seen any builds that use them. The pass-through fittings are for the connections that pass-through the motherboard tray. EK also included a bend kit which comes with: hobby saw, sandpaper and two sizes of tubing that goes inside of hardline during bends. G.Skill Trident Z Ram Mods: I've started doing a few mods to the G.Skill Trident Z ram modules. Originally I wasn't going to do any mods to these because they are the new black and white edition. Since then I came up with the idea of changing the G.Skill and Trident Z logos to match the build. It amounts to being the best of both worlds.
  13. LED Cables & Controllers Routed: The LED system on the build is extremely complicated and requires the use of several controllers to run many of the functions. My LEDs are usually an expression of my mood so I like a wide variety of options. EKWB Revo Pump Mount: Earlier in the build log I showed the stand and mount of the EK Revo pump. Since then I have sleeved the PWM cables and cut a hole to mount a rubber grommet. The hole is so that the wiring can come out of the back of the pump, through the stand and into the floor. I didn't sleeve the two power cables as Im going to put a wrap on them. Update: Honeycomb Floor Pattern I showed the custom cut 12mm thick lexan floor but, I've recently been able to paint the honeycomb inserts. I used 4 different colors to paint the inserts. I will arrange them in patterns. I was inspired by a desktop wallpaper I came across during the Dark Matter build. I added the photo that inspired me to build this below. I'm not 100% finished with the floor but, there's enough done to show you all. Inspiration For The Floor: Scratch Built Rigid SLI Bridge: Due to the crazy mounting locations of my Gigabyte GTX 960 Extreme Ed GPUs I need an SLI bridge that has a 90 degree curve. I can buy a flexible one but, they are insanely ugly. To me the true art of scratch building is building every part possible, thats involved in the build from scratch. I know this isn't possible with everything but, during this build I've attempted to build as much as I can including things like hinges and switches. Once I mocked up the mounting locations for the GPUs I could use my calipers to take measurements for the SLI bridge. I then used hard stock to make a rough template that could be used to get the general shape down. Once I had the general shape it was easy to cut and bend some metal. I went back to the hard stock so that I could make the side pieces. Once I have it painted and re-assembled I will update with pics.
  14. Crazy Days Ahead: Over the next three days I will be finishing up almost all of the case and mods. The last bit of parts from EKWB should arrive then. They are sending the coolant, hard line tubing, bending kit and all the fittings required. Once those arrive I will immediately start work on doing the custom loop and prepping it for final photos. I'm also waiting on some custom vinyl I ordered that should arrive in the next few days. I've prepped all of the cutting patterns for when the vinyl arrives. Arrival: Intel i7 Skylake 6700K CPU I was finally able to get the CPU for the Dark Matter scratch build. I could have easily gone with an i5 but, all the hardware is top notch so I felt it deserved an equally awesome CPU. BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 11–1,200 PSU Mods: I have added the last piece that will be part of the dual voltmeter gauge mount. I bent a couple pieces of aluminum in order to taper the front of the panel. I also cut a piece of thick lexan that it edge lit using green LEDs. This will give the completed mount an industrial and futuristic look. The piece of lexan is used to mount some of the pieces so I didn't have to drill holes through the side of the PSU. Painting: Gas Struts I made quick work of the gas struts and mounts. The majority of them are painted black as they were in the design. The end pieces that are next to the green hinges are painted green in order to carry the then. I also have designed some custom vinyl pieces that will be added when my special order vinyl arrives. Cable Management & Water-path Surround: I made a panel that goes around two sides of the water-path. The hardline tubing that comes out of the water-path will pass through this panel; through the motherboard tray and out the other side. This surround will also allow me to keep all the cabling from the PSU organized on its way to the motherboard and other components. Now that it's cut and prepped I will paint it to match the build. Front Grill Insert: Originally I had designed the front fan cutout to just have a grill over the fan cutout. After mocking the front panel up I decided I wanted to try a few different ideas that would give it a bit more dimension. My solution is cutting a combination of acrylic and metal mesh that will go together to make inserts over the fan cutout. I started by drawing out different shapes using angles found throughout the build. I found if I make a bend in the middle of each insert it will give it the dimension I've been looking for. Luckily I just purchased a heat gun which came in handy for bending the acrylic. Now that I have all the pieces cut, filed and prepped I can move forward with bending the pieces for the front.
  15. Cooler Master Sickleflow 120mm Fan Mods: I will be using a Cooler Master 120mm fan on the back of the case. It has blue LEDs that match the build. I am going to do a few mods to it so that it fits in with the build. I have started by designing and cutting out vinyl decals that employ the newer, “Make it Yours†campaign that Cooler Master has been using. Below you can see how the fan comes stock. The hard part is the size of the lettering on this part. They are insanely small in order to fit properly on the middle of the fan. I am very happy with the way it looks as its much better than the stock holographic decal used. The decal that comes on this fan is neat but, it makes the brand name illegible. I also paint matched the fan before doing the vinyl work so that it fit in with the color scheme. Notched Out The Frame & Mounted 2X120mm BeQuiet PureWings 2 Fans: I managed to drag my air-compressor into my assembly room in order to notch out the frame because I didn't want to move the case and all its parts to the shop. I used a combination of cardboard and drop cloths to protect the other sections of the case. Aluminum & 3D Printed Cable Management: I had originally went with an entirely 3D printed cable management setup for the back side of the motherboard tray but, I decided to go with an aluminum piece. The risers on each side are 3D printed and modular. This allows me to change the height by adding or subtracting the plastic printed standoffs (risers.)