Calen Saddler

"Dark Matter" featuring one off 3D printed parts

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PSU Floating Mount: Floor Installed

The bottom or floor of the floating PSU mount is finished. This slightly raises the base for the PSUs to the same level as the frames cross-bar. Eventually I will cut slots in the floor of the PSUs mount for added air circulation. A floating mount adds space for wiring as well.

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Cable Management/Water-cooling Passthrough:

I have started to mockup the metal shroud for the mobo's main wiring. It comes out of the side of the passthrough and behind the metal shroud. This metal shroud will have sections in it which keep all the wiring in order with the help of 3D printed cable combs. The outer portion of the metal shroud has an indentation that I am cutting a piece of thin acrylic for. I will release more information on this as it starts to come together. I will update with pics ASAP.

Update On The Overall Progress:

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62a66dd4d33a9e9669e627e33f2ef6a6.jpg

PSU Floating Mount: Floor Installed

The bottom or floor of the floating PSU mount is finished. This slightly raises the base for the PSUs to the same level as the frames cross-bar. Eventually I will cut slots in the floor of the PSUs mount for added air circulation. A floating mount adds space for wiring as well.

728efbc9411b92b875ebc778a9ebd9ab.jpg

618de2eaef86daeb75864a8e487fe76b.jpg

Cable Management/Water-cooling Passthrough:

I have started to mockup the metal shroud for the mobo's main wiring. It comes out of the side of the passthrough and behind the metal shroud. This metal shroud will have sections in it which keep all the wiring in order with the help of 3D printed cable combs. The outer portion of the metal shroud has an indentation that I am cutting a piece of thin acrylic for. I will release more information on this as it starts to come together. I will update with pics ASAP.

Update On The Overall Progress:

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A Donor Case Arrives:

I was fortunate enough to find an old case that I could use as a donor. It took a while because as soon as I started looking; the price of junk cases went though the roof. Someone must of sent out a memo saying that I'm searching for an old case. After lots of searching I found a smokin deal on an old case that fit within my requirements.

I made it clear to the previous owner that I planned on hacking it to bits. To reassure my intentions I put my air cut off saw in my trunk. That way it was in plain sight when he helped me load it into the trunk. He muttered, “wow you weren't kidding†and then smiled when I paid him.

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The parts needed out of the donor case consist of the motherboard tray and the rear pci/io plate. After tearing into this old dinosaur I found a lot of neat little features. I always find case construction interesting. The best feature is standoffs with little nubs at the ends. They help to quickly align the motherboard as well as hold it in place so you can screw it in place. These standoffs are genius and I will use them on the scratch build.

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Mounting The Motherboard Tray:

The new motherboard tray went on with little to no issues. I was lucky enough to find the the mobo tray was the exact size of the sub-mount which saved a lot of time. Theres a small lip around the edges of the mobo tray so I used small spacers when mounting it to the sub-mount. The next piece that will need to be cut is the back panel on the case itself. I will need to double check all the measurements due to the back panel being stainless steel.

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Announcements: I will be announcing a couple of new additions to the Dark Matter build very soon so look out for those updates.

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Quad Vertical PCI-E Mount:

I had originally planned on doing a single or dual vertical PCI mount but, when looking at the donor parts I decided it would be neat to do 4. I have just enough width to add 4 of them next to the stock atx setup. This will give me a lot of options down the road. As of right now I have mounted 4 slots to see how I like it. The main advantage of having 4 slots is the ability to do SLI vertically which I've never seen done quite this way. It also has enough space to water-cool the vertical SLI setup.

I used the PCI slots from another old, smaller case in order to make the four vertical PCI setup.

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2nd Floating Mount:

I finished up the insert plate for the 2nd floating mount. This plate is primarily for the full size hard drive and the pumps for the water cooling system. I haven't completely decided on what ill do for the section in between the two floating mounts. Some of it will be used for the cable management coming from the dual PSUs.

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Paint & Primer: SSD Rack

We've had a couple days of sun which is almost unheard of this time of year. I took the opportunity to start priming and painting what I could. Starting with the triple SSD rack I was able to prime and remount to see what it will look like and I'm very happy with the outcome so far. Hopefully I'll have time to at least prime the top panel and a few 3D printed parts.

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Paint & Primer: Gskill Custom Backlit Badge

Currently I have the Gskill printed parts being primed. With this build I decided to step up to automotive paints. They are a bit more expensive but, the durability is worth the added expense. Im also using a paint gun and my airbrush for smaller details which will give it a more even paint job. The front and back of the badge have been covered in primer to make sure that no light will travel where it isn't supposed to be.

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Priming Top Sub-Mounts:

During the few days of sun I was able to sand and then prime some of the top sub-mounts. These panels will be under all of the outer panels that haven't been cut yet. This helps add rigidity as well as giving the outside of the case a clean look.

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Vandal Switch Mount:

I finally had some time to mock up the switch panel. It will consist of a couple vandal switches and two indicator lights. As if right now I only have the single vandal switch mounted and it looks sweet. Its amazing how beautiful these switches are with the angel eye lit up.

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Case Mod World Series: Vinyl

I took the new 2016 Case Mod World Series design and put it into my cut software. This allowed me to cut some vinyl pieces in the new Ice silver vinyl I ordered specifically for this build. It took a long to “weed†(remove negative vinyl pieces) due to the sizes of the letters. I am currently working on a piece of acrylic that this vinyl will adhere to.

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The piece of thin acrylic works awesome for a backplate to display the vinyl design. During the few days of sun I sprayed the acrylic with primer after roughing it up with a fine grit sanding sponge. After the primer was completely cured I added a layer of matte black vinyl to one side. The matte black vinyl will help to make the ice silver pop.

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Cleaning Up Cuts: Metal

After doing a lot of rough cuts I decided it was time to start cleaning up the edges. Depending on how rough they are I will usually start with a metal file and then work my way though sandpaper. Starting off at about 150grit and working my way towards the 400+ range. Metal doesn't necessarily need the real fine grit to get a nice edge. I also took this opportunity to prep these pieces for primer. Now that they have been cleaned up they really look a lot better.

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Mini Touch Screen Arrival:

The mini TFT touch screen arrived today but, I wont have time to play around with it for a little while. I still need to download the Arduino software and files. Once I get to start with it I will update.

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Paint & Primer:

I managed to prep and prime the floating mount that supports the two power supplies. I also prepped the other floating mount but, I haven't had a chance to prime it yet. The first mount was a little tricky due to all the edges and bends. I hang the majority of the things I paint so it had to be rotated quite a few times for an even coverage. Once I have my walk in paint booth setup it wont be nearly as difficult.

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3D Printed Prototype: Mini TFT Touch Screen:

I needed to make a basic case that would help protect and cover the electronics for the animated case badge. I designed a setup that had a cutout for the TFT touch screen as well as spots where the usb could be plugged in to program or power. This will allow me to have easy access for updates or changes to the touch screen.

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I did the same methods to smooth the 3D print as I did with the previous prints. It will take a while to apply filler and sand in between coats. I find it to be something relaxing to do while watching TV. Its a time consuming process but, it makes 3D prints come out with a great quality look.

Below is about half way through the process of applying filler.

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