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[Scratch build] C916 - Supercomputer replica (downsized)

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Cray supercomputers are probably not a new name for anyone.

As on my other builds i make something strange or odd, so will this be

I´m not sure yet if i´m going with a ITX motherboard for it or taking a NAS and remove the case from it. The future will tell

I have eight 2TB S-ata drives waiting for a housing, dont know if all will fit but atleast 6 of them.

It all started with a email to CRAY asking for measurements for their old computers and casings

Then i told the story, im a fan of older big computers with some soul in the case and wanted to make a working scale version of it.

I get alot of questions why and how i can manage to keep all this projects alive, and why i dont make one done before starting another.

So here it is, before i get the same question again :)

I do not have a job after a heart attack and a back injury, im at home with my 4 y.o. kids and the hours when they are on kindergarten and late night i need to fill with something to do (except for my company i spend some hours on), and there it is. I have probably 10 times more time for this than other modders.

Enough of the text, here my first sketch of the C916 based on information i got.

I still need to put into some more changes and details for it.

Rough rendering


Cray systems picture of it.



Did some planning, i will probably go with a ITX mobo and six 2TB drives. I have a 3-ware raid card somewhere in low profile that fits pretty good. Now i have the basic footprint size done, time to cut it in 4mm acrylic

2x120mm fans in front of the harddrives pushing air in, over pressure when the case its not air tight it will work perfect.


Did some templates for cutting the acrylic and noticed one crucial part... The PSU.

So, instead of cutting panels its time to check up a PSU that fits into this creation.

I know i know, planning first, making later

I have 140x90mm "floor" space and about 20cm high, i probably go with a SFX or TFX from Be Quiet!

The SFX measures 125 x 100 x 63,5mm and the TFX 70 x 85 x 177mm, probably need to run the power into the case as its impossible to fit the PSU to a panel for connecting the power cable.

5 minutes rendering, dont know why i rendered it in the first place, but here it is

The white box is the SFX PSU size.


It begins...

​Started out with making a template for the shape.​

Its only half, i flip it to get 100% accurate bend on the part im cutting.


​And the tops parts done, time fore some gluing!​

The smaller ones are internal to hold the front pieces. (need 20 of them)



Some more parts cut in acrylic.The case will NOT be transparent, i use it to get stiff plastic to hold it up.

Time to start gluing the puzzle :)


So it begins...



And, one of three almost done.

This is just the external shape, internal they will look different depending on where it goes.

nevermind the pipe


The real deal...



Really advanced gluing, got to make some jigs and parts to get spacing correct and at the same time angle in two dimension at the same time holding it so the glue could bite :)

Not sure if im satisfied with this, will see later after the internals of this parts is there and some paint.

Some parts missing, its 1.25 AM here so my neighbours probably dont like me starting the table saw :)

More work laters!

The one part where the drives go. Only one fan here.

Primed to see where i need to make some changes...

Its still missing the front panel that goes outside of the fan.

Its coming along pretty nice now :)



My camera light didnt start so i got to pitch the contrast in the pic. Sorry about that.

Just a smaller "right-now" status, top part drying.

Sanding the rounded top now and going to fiberglass it tonight to get that one done.

Here its more easy to see where the parts from the fiberglassed pipe is going.

Took me a great deal of time to get all angles right.



Colortesting, looks nice.

Waiting fore some more plastic to be delivered before i can make the bottom and all parts holding the motherboard/drives.

(front pieces on each of the three modules are missing, it will be covered)

Hard to get correct tone into the camera. And its no matte clear on either, will make the walls first :)



Next step...

Got delivery of some more plastics, my acrylic bending for the front pieces didnt work so i use 1mm styrene and glue them in layers to keep the bend, along with some heat while gluing. Probably do 3-4mm thick totally.

The front pieces, this is the outer one.




Not so advanced bending rig :P


And, three front panels done!



Current status, its messy due to wet sanding... But i´m gettin´ there

Hope to have all walls there tomorrow so i can start on the drive cages and stuff to hold all components :)



Working on the round roof and some side panels.

Current status!



Going for less power in this machine,

Found some more memory, so now i got 8GB ram on this board. Would be more than enough for what i´m gonna use it for :)


AMD APU C-60 1.0GHz Dual-Core

AMD FCH A50M (Hudson M1)

Integrated ATI Radeonâ„¢ HD 6290 GPU

6 x SATA 6Gb/s port

And... 4-6 2tb drives, depending on space and heat issues. Not gonna raid it, since i have another server as backup for important stuff + cloud backups.


Some size comparing to a 3,5" HDD

Its not that big :)



Its putty-time, adding some bondo and sanding it.

All walls done, and the floor is on.


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