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Scratch Build: Exo-Skeleton
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Mystikal0412
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Videocard: MSI HD6870DC
Processor: Intel® Core™2 Q9550
Mainboard: MSI G41M-P21
Memory: 4GB RAM
Soundcard: Razer Megalodon
PSU: Coolermaster 600 pro
Default Scratch Build: Exo-Skeleton - 07-19-2011, 11:01 | posts: 49 | Location: Etten-Leur, Netherlands

Working Title ExoSkeleton
Me and my buddy starting thinking about our own casemod. My Buddy SqUed is great with with iron and has always good input and solutions. Together we decided to build a new case for me, from scratch.
Transport of the case will be easy. We bought ourselves an American Audio ABS DDR-4 flightcase 4 HE[/b]. That was our first limitation. It had to fit in this flightcase for transport to lan-parties.


Hardware
Hardware which will be used (it’s currently in my own game-pc:
-MSI G41M-P21
-Intel® Core™2 Quad Processor Q9550
-4GB RAM
-MSI HD6870DC
-Corsair 120GB SSD
-Corsair H50 waterkoeling
-Coolermaster 600Watt PSU Silent Pro M

As you can see, minimal in it’s hardware as well. So no dvd player, 3,5inch harddisk etc.


Global Idea at start of project

-Should fit in our flightcase and should be easy to put in and out.
-SSD will not be visible and will come together with the PSU in the bottom of the case.
-Cablemanagement
-Led lighting with led controller to adjust colour of light.
-Case will black non shining.

First drawings for the impression:



Idea is to work with iron bars, that will go through halfway the case at both sides. In the double bottom the PSU and SSD will be located. On top of the PSU/SSD cover will be the motherboard.



A detail what we want to do with the PSU cover. We want to use metal shields to cover the PSU-box.


Update 1

First we created the bottom, using 20mm metal studs. They have been cut open and soldered together with silver.

Soldering the bottom frame.






Bottom getting into shape. This is the bottom view.



Fits like a glove, after polishing and sanding.



Polishing, probably this will be matte black with some power coating.



Putting the PSU on the bottom. You see that we have narrowed down the bottom frame in order to get the PSU to fit.



In the bottom a hole will be drilled for the PSU. If we unscrew the bottom plate, only the bottomplate will be come loose. All other elements will be fitted to the top part of the frame.

Some additional pictures.



   
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Mystikal0412
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Videocard: MSI HD6870DC
Processor: Intel® Core™2 Q9550
Mainboard: MSI G41M-P21
Memory: 4GB RAM
Soundcard: Razer Megalodon
PSU: Coolermaster 600 pro
Default 07-19-2011, 11:02 | posts: 49 | Location: Etten-Leur, Netherlands

Update 2

The PSU Cover
Continued with the PSU cover. We had a look to the angle, but this seems to be a nice angle to start with.





The idea of the bars is clear in below picture. Between the bars we will get 3mm space for the led lightning. Basic shape has been arrived, no we should further work on the detail.





Possible also bars on the top, depending on how it looks.



We have created ‘spacers’ for the bottom plate using m5 bolts.





Backside of the PSU. We needed a bracket to fit the PSU.




Getting in a comfortable angle…

[/img]
   
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Mystikal0412
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Videocard: MSI HD6870DC
Processor: Intel® Core™2 Q9550
Mainboard: MSI G41M-P21
Memory: 4GB RAM
Soundcard: Razer Megalodon
PSU: Coolermaster 600 pro
Default 07-19-2011, 11:02 | posts: 49 | Location: Etten-Leur, Netherlands

Update 3
Created a hole in the bottom in the plate for the PSU fan. Looking for the right drill


This size was a little bit to big...


This seems to be just right.



Starting drilling with some oil of course. The iron is really though.



Some additional pics.



Bottomside.



This was the original idea with the bars..



But we came with a new and better plan… For that we needed to adjust the PSU cover.
It looks worse, but it is not so bad…




The new idea is shown below. In the oblique angle the SSD will be placed on raisers. This SSD will be visible for 80%, 20% will be covered by the PSU cover. Ideal for the cablemanagement!



In the oblique angle the 2 usb ports will be located.



   
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Mystikal0412
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Videocard: MSI HD6870DC
Processor: Intel® Core™2 Q9550
Mainboard: MSI G41M-P21
Memory: 4GB RAM
Soundcard: Razer Megalodon
PSU: Coolermaster 600 pro
Default 07-19-2011, 11:03 | posts: 49 | Location: Etten-Leur, Netherlands

Update 4

Started working on the motherboard tray, which consists of these metal studs. Backside of motherboard will be visible through the holes. The backplate will be made in such a way that is can also be used for ATX boards and not only my current mATX board.





We started drawing the shields on the PSU cover, and it took us over 50 drawings and 100 of lines to get to this design which is not symetric.
Our inspiration was found by Lamborghini Aventador.



The lines you see below will be the space between the shields. Space between the shields will be around 2mm.

Side



Front/top



The round button will be for the power en reset button. In the part above the SSD-bay will be 2 usb ports located.

Side/top




In global the idea will look like this.



Update 5

Some more work done.





These buttons for power and reset will be bought.




Unfortunately the idea with the leds did not work good. The leds are laying down in a ‘ring’ which makes it impossible to shine their light to the side. It can only shine to the top. Therefor we switched to CCFL.







Did some shopping...

4 CCFL blue 10cm
1 Converter
1 Sleeved PSU 24 pin extensioncable
2 Sleeved GPU 6pin extensioncable
1 Internal USB hub
2 Power switch
2 Power switch cable

Global ideal, final lights will be blue, but this gives a good impression of our ideas. Also the SSD bay will have its own lightning.

   
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Mystikal0412
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Videocard: MSI HD6870DC
Processor: Intel® Core™2 Q9550
Mainboard: MSI G41M-P21
Memory: 4GB RAM
Soundcard: Razer Megalodon
PSU: Coolermaster 600 pro
Default 07-19-2011, 11:04 | posts: 49 | Location: Etten-Leur, Netherlands

Dremel the cover.





Impression.













With some proud I can announce our first sponsor.


Thanks Andrea for your fantastic mail, we are getting a mouse sponsored which fits the case!


And our second sponsor will be NDF Special Light Products in Roosendaal. They will produce custom CCFL's of 2.4mm to our specific design wishes! Thank you so much Coen, for your support and all the tips you gave us in relation to lightning!


And we also have our third sponsor right now.



Rotako is a company located in Zevenbergen, The Netherlands which is a divers company in the metal-world can be divided in four lines of business:

Engineering: From idea to solution, through innovative assembly
Assembly: Created solutions, installed at site.
Production: Watercutting technique and construction work
Maintenance: Professional maintenance.

We want to thank Hans Rongen and Rotako for the help, with the watercutting machine for our Exo-S logo!
   
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Mystikal0412
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PSU: Coolermaster 600 pro
Default 07-19-2011, 11:04 | posts: 49 | Location: Etten-Leur, Netherlands

Update: Only some sanding and finishing touch in general. But it gives a good idea and we are very happy with the result so far...

Furthermore the idea we have with regards to the cooling and how to implement it in the case.









And with the watercooling unit in it...


Case will be end up matte black.
   
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Mystikal0412
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Videocard: MSI HD6870DC
Processor: Intel® Core™2 Q9550
Mainboard: MSI G41M-P21
Memory: 4GB RAM
Soundcard: Razer Megalodon
PSU: Coolermaster 600 pro
Default 07-19-2011, 11:05 | posts: 49 | Location: Etten-Leur, Netherlands

And the next update. The frame was 1cm to short to fit the motherboard nicely. It was getting to close to the radiator on top of the case. So we extended the frame with one cm (we don't have more space, due to the fact that it would not fit into the ABS Flightcase.

Furthermore we created the top framework above the radiator of the Corsair cooling unit.
And we created the topbar (part of the framework for the radiator) in which the CFFL will be placed which will shine its light on the motherboard.

Pictures say more than words....

Adding the 1cm to the length of the frame...


Topbar in place of the frame.


Radiator frame almost finished.


Sloppy overview picture of the work done today..
   
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Mystikal0412
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Videocard: MSI HD6870DC
Processor: Intel® Core™2 Q9550
Mainboard: MSI G41M-P21
Memory: 4GB RAM
Soundcard: Razer Megalodon
PSU: Coolermaster 600 pro
Default 07-19-2011, 11:06 | posts: 49 | Location: Etten-Leur, Netherlands

Update:

Created the raisers for the motherboard, finished the topbar in which we also included a CCFL.

And starting experimenting with the lights. As seen below this is a first test, but just putting the lights below the PSU cover. We will get better 'shine-through' results when we fix the properly.

Furthermore we have an idea, but we are not quite sure if we need to do it. We are doubting to create also a shielded cover for the graphics card and create the same effect with the CCFL.

Below a picture of the first impression with the lights. It is starting to become something, but we are not yet there...


And another long night of modding...

Today we 'finished' the back of the Exo-Skeleton. We created an IO-bracket and the bracket for the PCI-cards.

And we started on the design of the graphics card shielded cover.


Some welding on the IO-bracket. Made out of REAL IKEA cupboard steal! No, we are not going to announce our 3rd sponsor... .


A little bit out of focus.. I missed, sorry guys!


Positioning the graphics card. No this is not the actual graphics card and motherboard, but we use these to measure. It is an 8800GTX :cooldude:.


Starting to work on the PCI bracket.


Almost frying the motherboard!


Solding the m4 nut into the pci bracket, so we can fix the graphics card with the tumb screws.




It was a bit to deep, so removed the top and soldered it with a new 'top-cap'


Some end results of today's work. Again took a lot of effort creating those brackets out of nothing.. But we are satisfied with the result.







Furthermore a first look on the possible grahics card cover. Still not 100% sure if it is the way to go, but we are going to create it anyway, to see how it looks.

   
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Mystikal0412
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Videocard: MSI HD6870DC
Processor: Intel® Core™2 Q9550
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Memory: 4GB RAM
Soundcard: Razer Megalodon
PSU: Coolermaster 600 pro
Default 07-19-2011, 11:07 | posts: 49 | Location: Etten-Leur, Netherlands

Some updates on the case. To start with, this should have been the first photo on this build log. This is where it all started, a piece of old metal used to construct the PSU cover and possible the graphics cards.



Furthermore we created the front usb bracket in the psu cover.


Also we drilled the holes for the bulgin switches and put them in place. They look pretty nice here, especially when the case will be powdercoated matt black.


A topview of the ExoSkeleton. Please remind that the hardware we show here is old stuff for measurements and global ideas only.


And a bottom-up view of the ExoSkeleton.


We coming slowly to the end of this build, but still a lot to do. Especially the sanding will be a big job.

After a night full of pci-bracket dissapointment (and it is still not okay..) , we also found the time to start on the shielded cooling case for the Corsair watercooler.

Idea is also to put some blue light into this mini shielded case. The idea of the shielded graphics card will no longer be executed. We made a start, but the iron in the case became to massive, therefor we stopped with that idea. It was not beautiful anymore.

We started with an drill, which we cut off a piece.
[/url]



After that we made it open, in order to get the tubes in.


Creating the shields.




And the end product (still needs to get some more detail). Space between the shields is not equal yet, but we just run out of time..

   
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Mystikal0412
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Videocard: MSI HD6870DC
Processor: Intel® Core™2 Q9550
Mainboard: MSI G41M-P21
Memory: 4GB RAM
Soundcard: Razer Megalodon
PSU: Coolermaster 600 pro
Default 07-19-2011, 11:08 | posts: 49 | Location: Etten-Leur, Netherlands

Just wanted to share you the update of this night. We drilled the hole for the cables in the psu-cover and we finished the Corsair shielded cover.















   
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Mystikal0412
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Videocard: MSI HD6870DC
Processor: Intel® Core™2 Q9550
Mainboard: MSI G41M-P21
Memory: 4GB RAM
Soundcard: Razer Megalodon
PSU: Coolermaster 600 pro
Default 07-19-2011, 11:08 | posts: 49 | Location: Etten-Leur, Netherlands

We started to finalizing and preparing the case for the stainless steel sandingmachine. But before we can do that, we still have to add the logo to the case.

We found Rotako to help us out with their watercutting machine in order to create the logo which will be soldered on the front of the case.



So we want to give Hans Rongen a big thank you for doing an excellent job on the logo of the Exo-S! Thank you for your help and sponsorship!

The logo will be mounted just below the radiator of the watercoolingunit in the front. The idea is to create a backlight in red, so the logo will be illuminated.

Logo


We still need to mount the logo to the case and we need to create the raisers for the SSD. After that, we are all good to go for the next phase!
   
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CronoGraal
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PSU: Corsair 750W TX
Default 07-19-2011, 11:26 | posts: 3,855 | Location: Sweden

omg i wanna see how it all ends up looking like, can't wait
   
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anticupidon
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Default 07-19-2011, 11:44 | posts: 2,211 | Location: far,far from home

amazing job
magma hot mod !
really man those are iron strong skillz
i realize how mahy hours of work are behind each picture...
you, sir have earned my respect .
mod on!
   
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MikeMK
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Default 07-19-2011, 11:56 | posts: 10,760 | Location: Woking

Looking REALLY great. Will keep an eye out for the finished build!
   
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scoter man1
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Default 07-19-2011, 17:05 | posts: 4,304 | Location: MI, USA

Wow, excellent work. Really cant wait to see where this one is going.
   
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davetheshrew
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Default 07-19-2011, 17:21 | posts: 4,091 | Location: where shrews live

amazing work man

Think we found next months Rig of the month!
   
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Steppis
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Default 07-19-2011, 20:06 | posts: 842 | Location: Norway

that psu cover looked like something in a transformers movie

Great work.. looking forward for the finished mod.
   
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vbetts
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Default 07-19-2011, 20:17 | posts: 10,592 | Location: Toledo Ohio

That's pretty amazing!
   
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Khalam
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Default 07-20-2011, 01:29 | posts: 883 | Location: Dublin/Ireland

So jealous right now dude I have to say I envy you the skills needed to do mods like this cant wait to see more of it
   
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Mystikal0412
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Default 07-21-2011, 10:24 | posts: 49 | Location: Etten-Leur, Netherlands

We have created the raisers for the SSD. Those will be powder coated matte black as well.




Furthermore we started working on the bar in which the Exo-S logo should be mounted on.

We took a bar and created and we divided into 2 'chambers' in order for us to get the Exo-S logo illuminated red and in the other chamber we will mount a CCFL which will shine over the motherboard from the front to the back.






Fitted between the frame.




The Exo-S logo, perfectly created if I may say so! We used hex nuts in order for us to replace the light when necessary.







And the first try with some leds. No you see the separate leds reflecting on the iron. Once powder coated matte black, it will give a more overall flow instead of the bright leds.
But it comes out exactly as planned. The reason why we don't use CCFL for this, is because with CCFL it is not possible to create that bright red color. It turns a little bit to yellow/pink.



We were not yet completely satisfied with the top part of the frame so we added another bar, which really finalizes the top. On the right side we will create the same bar of course.
But this gives a more 'in balance' look of the top part of the frame.

   
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kanej2007
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PSU: Fractal Design R2 1000W
Default 07-21-2011, 11:23 | posts: 7,057 | Location: Dubai, UAE / London, UK

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khalam View Post
So jealous right now dude I have to say I envy you the skills needed to do mods like this cant wait to see more of it
Same here, I cannot WAIT to see the fnished product.

I just know i's gonna rock...
   
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johnny87au
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Default 07-21-2011, 12:52 | posts: 1,819 | Location: Only the best AU

hehe nice work, should paint the case though metal doesnt look the best
   
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kanej2007
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Default 07-21-2011, 13:30 | posts: 7,057 | Location: Dubai, UAE / London, UK

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny87au View Post
hehe nice work, should paint the case though metal doesnt look the best
Yeah, like a gunmetal colour, would look wicked...
   
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Mystikal0412
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Default 07-21-2011, 14:13 | posts: 49 | Location: Etten-Leur, Netherlands

Color will be matt-black powdercoating.
   
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Mystikal0412
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Videocard: MSI HD6870DC
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Default 07-27-2011, 16:27 | posts: 49 | Location: Etten-Leur, Netherlands

And in the meantime we have brought the Exo-S to the stainless steel grinder...
Result: A 'complete' new look for the Exo-S, than the Exo-S we have worked on the last months.
Tomorrow we will bring the Exo-S to the powdercoater and hopefully we will get it back, somewhere middle of next week.

See below for the pics.









   
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