Jump to content


Recommended Posts

Hey guys, it's time for another case mod project! This will be for my daughter this time (if you recall I did a Minecraft R2-D2 mod last year for my son).

I'll be using the Suppressor F51 for this build, as it lends itself well to the sleak and elegant design my daughter and I came up with.  She wanted a pink rose themed build, so I will have a beautiful rose-shaped reservoir in the front, and all the hardware will be openly displayed on a custom one-piece angular chassis insert. All plumbing will be hidden behind the insert, except for an elegant curved water channel that spans over the motherboard to the GPU...


Here's a breakdown of hardware I'll be using in this build:


EVGA X99 microATX motherboard


EVGA GTX 970 with EK block


EVGA 550w Supernova GS PSU and X10 Carbon mouse


Crucial 250Gb SSD, and 16Gb DDR4 Ballistix memory kit


EK Supremacy Evo CPU block


EK D5 Pump top and chrome cover


EK 280mm Coolstream Radiator


EK 45º and 90º elbow fittings


Primochill Revolver fittings & fluid


Huge thanks to Primochill, EVGA, Crucial, EK, and of course Thermaltake for their continued support!


So let's get to some actual modding shall we? Seems lately I can't help but to hack into a case first thing. So after stripping it down to the frame, I taped off the area that will be cut away to make room for the new one-piece insert...




I made a cardboard template to see how the pieces will fit together.  Only three pieces make up the entire insert:  Back piece, angled center piece, and front piece.


After some initial attempts at bending the center piece myself, I realized I wasn't going to be able to produce the results I was looking for, so I sucked up my pride and brought the cardboard template down to the local metal fab shop and had them weld it up for me.


They did a nice job bending and tack-welding the pieces together.  I can now go in with the bondo and smooth out the panels and fill in the corners.


I'm hoping to have this case done for PDXLAN 28 in July, my daughter's first lan.  :)  Stay tuned!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks awesome! 


Love the metal work done, that is going to look clean once finished!


Thanks Mike!


Snuck into the garage last night and got a little bit more work done on the acrylic post for the back corner...


The tube is 1 1/4" diameter, and I just so happened to have a hole saw in that size. So I marked the top of the panel and cut it out.



For the bottom hole, since it is on an extreme angle, I cut the tube to match using my miter box.



This will not be the actual tube end, I'm just using it to trace the bottom hole. I'll square it off again so it sits flat at the bottom of the case.



Here's the tube in position..





Now that I have the hole traced, I can cut it out and the tube will slip right down through it without any gaps.

That's all I had time for last night, more on the tube's purpose next time.  :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

More progress on the tube...


As some of you may have guessed, the tube is going to be a bubbler feature.  I acquired a 12v mini air pump from amazon.  The kit came with a porous stone and some tubing.


To start, I threw together a quick mounting base for the tube, and to hold the pump.


The stone aerator was a bit to wide, so I sanded it down to fit into the tube.


After setting the correct depth, I hot-glued it in place.


Once that was done, I could glue the entire tube to the base.


After that was dry, I filled the tube with water to check for leaks.  Then I fired it up to see if it worked and added some lighting.




With the pump at 12v, it was producing way too much bubbles, so I down-volted it to 7v to slow it down a bit.


Still a bit fast, but better.  Then I remembered that the Suppressor F51 case has a built-in fan controller on the front IO panel, with a hi and low speed setting.  So I hooked it up to that and put it on low.  Even better than the 7v!  I'm guessing the low setting is 5v, and hi is 12.   So I think i will utilize that fan controller for the bubbler.  :)

Tonight I will work on mounting the bubbler assembly into the case.  'Til then!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now that the bubble tube assembly is done, I just have to install it into the case.  And the only feasible way to do that is to come up from the bottom.  So I started by cutting out a piece of the bottom panel.


The hole is just big enough for the bubble base to fit through.


Then a cover plate was made, and mounting brackets to hold the base.


Now the base is secured to the cover plate.


And the whole thing can slide right in from the bottom, and secured in place with a few screws.


All I need to do now is connect the lights and the pump and its good to go!


Filled and bubbling..


And of course the token night shot..


Thanks for reading, 'til next time!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Worked on the integrated fan grill over the last week.  I wanted a rose grill, but wanted to maintain a clean look so instead of doing a separate acrylic screw-on grill, I decided to incorporate the design into the one-piece panel. So I printed out a few rose patterns and placed them accordingly onto the panel, gluing them on with a gluestick.


Then I proceeded to cut out each petal one by one.  Since the panel was all one piece, I couldn't simply use my scroll saw to cut all these pieces out.  So I was forced to use just my dremel and drill, and the jigsaw where ever I could.


After the rough cuts, I went back over the holes with files and grinding bits to clean them up.


A shot from below..




Moving onto the third rose. I used the dremel to start the longer cuts, and then used the jigsaw to finish them up.  It's faster, and it prolongs the life of the cutting wheel.


A close up of the rough cuts all finished.


And finally the third rose is done!


The last rose is a bit smaller and at the edge so I won't be able to use the jigsaw at all.  It will take a bit longer, so I will leave that for later.  Once its all done, I'll go over all cutouts with sandpaper to smooth everything out.

Work continues!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Finally got the last rose cut out for the top fan grill.  Couldn't wait to see how it looked with the lit fans behind it.  I was able to dial these Thermaltake RGB Riing fans in to match the pink lighting from the bubble tube perfectly! 


I also added a flexible mesh screen behind the cutouts to give it more contrast..






I posted a quick video test on FB that shows the bubble feature in action, as well as the fan grill, if you want to
check it out

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Working on the motherboard tray this week.  I'm going for a glass shelf-like appearance, raised up off the panel with back lighting.  So starting with a sketchup model, I converted it into a vector drawing and sent it to Brian at Primochill to be cut out of 3/8" clear acrylic.



Once I received the tray, I tapped the holes for the motherboard stand-offs..


and mounted the board.  Placing it onto the panel, I noticed that it would interfere with my bubble tube, so I had to trim a bit off that bottom corner.


Searching the web, I found a source for aluminum glass shelf standoffs..


I had incorporated 7/16" holes into the design of the tray to save me the trouble of drilling them.


The last thing I had to do was chamfer the bottom edge so it follows the vertical plane.  This was accomplished by using a large diameter dremel cutting bit, belt sander, and orbital sander to smooth it out.


Next up is to come up with a mounting solution for the EVGA GTX970 graphics card.  Stay tuned!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got the graphics card placement figured out over the weekend..

As much as I hated to cut into the angled panel, I needed to set the video card down into it.  So I cut a wide H pattern and bent the top down so it was vertical..


Then I bent the bottom half so it was flat, creating a nice ledge for the card to sit on.


Next was to cut away some material for PCI riser card and IO clearance..


Here's the card in place.


Wide shot with mobo tray..


Close up of DVI ports.  Wish I could just remove them from the card altogether, since I will just be using the HDMI and/or displayports.


And finally, a little reinforcing was done, using a spot welder.  Of course all the welds will be smoothed over with bondo before paint.  :)


I just have one more rose grill to cut out (for the PSU exhaust), and then a few wire pass-through holes and it's ready for final prep/paint.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Finally finished the last rose cutout!  This time I could use my scroll saw, as the cutout was located in a more accessible area on the panel.

Made up a slightly different rose template to match the more vertical shape of the PSU.


Glued it down, and started cutting out the holes.  A bit cumbersome maneuvering the whole thing around on the saw, even with using a spiral omni-directional blade.


So far so good..


.. and done!  After the scroll saw, I went back over every hole with a dremel grinding bit to smooth out all the cuts.  Still need to do some sanding yet.


Final shot with the PSU placed behind.  Notice the bottom hole lines up with the power switch.  :)


Next step is to cut one more square hole at the bottom for the power cable plug, then I can mount the PSU.

Thanks for reading!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got the PSU power plug hole roughed out last night. 


A closer up shot.. I had to widen the bottom of the rose a bit more, so it matches the width of the power plug opening.  Still gotta clean up the edges a bit.


Here's a shot with a green power cord. This is just a photoshop mockup, to see how it will look with the stem.  :)


I'll be mounting the PSU so it will sit flush with the panel.  But I'll be securing it to the floor so there won't be any visible screws on the back side.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Got a bunch of little things knocked out last week and over the weekend.  First up was to mount the SSD's.

I originally thought a nice geometric shape would be cool, so I broke out the circle template and worked something up..


But then I realized that it didn't quite fit the theme, so I scrapped that idea (but will keep it for future use) in favor of a more organic design..


Satisfied with the new shape, I went back to the scroll saw to cut it out.


Cutting complete!  After a quick de-burring with the files, it's looking better.


SSD placed in the center for marking the bend lines.


..and bent!


SSD's in for fitting..


.. and taped in place on the back of the angled panel.. plenty of clearance between it and the PSU.


Next up was to trim the main panel so the side panel will fit around the back edge and close fully.  I cut about 1/2" off to make room for the side panel's rear lip, but left the area in the center where the grab handle is.


Side panel on and closed..


Close up shots of the tight fit..  the corners were just a tad tapered.


Here's the handle inset..


I also made the PSU cover to clean up the back area.  I welded mounting bracket onto the back panel just above the PSU grill to give the cover something to fasten to, and folded a lip at the bottom and screwed it down.  I also made some notches along the back edge for the 24pin, 12v 8pin, and SATA cabling..


Lastly, I got the D5 pump mounted at the front of the case.  Pretty basic stuff, just using the stock mounting bracket.




Work continues.. thanks for reading!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

Wow it's been a month since my last update!  Gonna have to step it up, or else my daughter won't have a rig to game on come July.. and we just can't have that now can we!

Did some modification to the front bezel, in preparation for a large viewing area for the rose res.  Had to cut away some material, and remove all evidence of door hinges.


After the extraneous material was surgically removed, I added a piece back in at the bottom to hide the pump area.  It might also be a good location for a back-lit graphic or text of some kind. ;-)


Speaking of lighting, there will be pink leds behind the slots on both sides of the bezel, diffused by these acrylic bars I added.


The bottom piece was glued in, then copious amounts of bondo was applied to smooth out the seams as well as the top grill pattern.  For the hinge openings, I cut pieces of ABS to fill them in, then sanded them flush before adding the bondo.


Once the bondo cured, I sanded it down, starting with 80 grit, then going to 120.


It was finally time for the first coat of filler primer...


Test shot on the case.  I'll sand and prime once more to make sure the front is nice and flat.


While the bondo is out, I might as well start on filling all the spot welds and corners on the main panel.  So that will be next on the list.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Working on the front rigid tubing..  I had originally conceptualized a curved manifold of sorts, but couldn't figure out a good clean way to secure it to the gpu block without gluing it.  So I opted to do rigid tubing for now.

I first made a paper template of the curve between the top bulkhead fittings and the GPU block.  I wanted a smooth constant bend with no straight areas.


Some extra thought had to go into the pieces that feed the CPU block, as I wanted to maintain the overall curve with the two tubes.


Using the smallest bend radius, I managed to achieve the correct angles to fit the block's inlet & outlet.


The other line was pretty basic, just one long bend. I cut a piece of wood from the paper template, and taped the tubing down as I went along with the heat gun.


After a little end trimming I got the piece to fit nicely.






I love how the two pieces flow out of the back of the panel!


Now to move on to the back to finish the rest of the tubing.  Stay tubed!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the top of the case, I wanted to replace the magnetic mesh with something a little more substantial (and paintable), so I rummaged through my pile of left-over parts from my previous Thermaltake builds and found an extra case panel from which I could harvest a slotted section.


Using the old mesh as a template, I centered and marked around it.


Jigsaw cut-o-rama..


File and sand-orific..


Din done diddly!


I also removed the magnetic strip from the old mesh and applied it to the new metal grill so it stays in place.

Next up is the back panel windows, and more tubing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And now for something completely different..


For the back panel, I wanted to showcase only specific features, and hide the uninteresting and boring parts.  So Instead of one huge window, I'm doing two smaller openings to focus on just the cool stuff.


After a ton of measuring, I settled on the shapes and locations of the two windows, and masked them out on the backside of the panel.


Cutting out the SSD window first, I started with the rounded corners and finished off the straight cuts with the almighty jigsaw.


For the more complex shape, I opted for the scroll saw.


Windows cut!  You can probably guess what the zigzag window will be featuring..


Here are the SSD's mounted within the window..




Now comes the fun part!  Matching the rigid tubing bends to the curvy lines of the window.  In order to do that, I needed to make a jig that follows the curves..


Using that wood jig, I'm able to make the slight bends, one by one..  Here's the top line that goes to the radiator:




The lower line took a lot longer to do, since it was much longer and with multiple compound bends. Not only does it turn down 90º, it also bends inward following the slant of the main panel.




I think it matches the window's curve quite nicely..


..of course the pump area will be dressed up, and both windows will be lit accordingly.


Will be prepping for paint the rest of the week, and hopefully will be shooting some candy violet on Saturday!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One more update before painting begins this weekend.. Had to make one more bracket, the main IO that will cover the ports on the motherboard, and extend down to the video card as well to provide support.

Here is the cardboard template I made, copying the holes from the actual IO panel that came with the motherboard.  Then it was just a matter of extending it down to cover the DVI, HDMI, and displayport on the EVGA video card.


Here is the aluminum version along side the template.  Unfortunately, I didn't pause to get pics during the drilling, cutting, filing, and sanding.  Pretty standard stuff anyways.  ;-)


With the 90º bend along the bottom edge of the piece, I'm able to screw it into the motherboard tray so the fasteners are hidden under the mobo.


Couple close up shots of the top and bottom part of the bracket.


I like utilizing the DVI screw heads to secure the card to the bracket.  Here I was able to use 3 out of the 4 screws.


I'm thinking I should add another small bracket at the back end of the video card for added support, but I'll have to drill into the water block to do it.  It being a smaller GTX970 card tho, I'm not sure I'll need it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I didn't get much painting done over the holiday weekend, due to our well pump crapping out on Saturday, leaving us with no water for three days, and nobody available to come up to replace the faulty part!


So instead of painting, I decided to work on something that didn't require water.  I found the perfect 3D print model to use for the rose reservoir, and did a test print in black abs.  Came out pretty nice!


I think all I need to do is scale it up just a bit so that this Primochill tube res will fit into the center of the rose.  Then I can utilized the G1/4 inlets on the top for the return line.


Also testing the effects of this brush-on coating from Smooth-On.  Thanks Darth Beavis for making me aware of this stuff!


For the final print, I'll be using a transparent PLA. Actually I bought a spool of T-Glase clear PETT filament. I know it won't be completely transparent, but with the help of the clearcoat, the fluid color will come through well enough.  I'll also prep the rose a bit more by sanding down the layer marks and deburring the edges, so it ends up nice and smooth. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Paint is done!  Not the best finish, but it will have to suffice for now.  My daughter absolutely loves the color, and that's all that really matters.  :)

Firstly, I painted the inside of the main panel a light pink, making sure to tape off all the holes so I dont get overspray onto the other side.


Then once the pink was dry, I assembled the case and taped off all the holes again so I didn't get any purple overspray onto the pink.


There were just a few extra parts to paint along with the case, so they were hung up on the ladder.


When you don't have a nicely lit and air controlled paint booth, you improvise...


Base purple going on..


After two coats of purple, I sprayed another two coats of clear.


While everything was drying, I started work on the full size rose reservoir. That will be in the next update, coming up in a bit...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So my earlier attempt at printing a transparent res with the T-Glase filament didn't go very well...


It wasn't playing nicely with my initial settings (which were recommended by the company's website), so I'll have to play with it.  But I don't have time for experimentation right now, so I'm falling back to plan B... printing with pink PLA..


Success!  After 16 hours of printing, we have a full size rose reservoir..


It's now large enough to place the Primochill tube res inside of it.


And what's a rose without a stem?  And what kind of rose stem would it be if it didn't have needle sharp thorns to protect it?  ...ok so these thorns aren't needle sharp, you get the idea. :)


The stem will come up through the rose print and go directly into the bottom of the tube res. I made an acrylic disc that will fit snugly into the bottom of the res, and glued the stem to it.


Then glued the disc into the res.


To help support the whole reservoir, I made this little shelf that will mount to the back of the display case.


The rose res will sit in it like this..


And here's the display case I made, using some red anodized aluminum sheet.


The rose by itself sitting in the case for size comparison.


I'll make a hole in the bottom of the case so the stem can go through and down to the pump.  Once the paint is fully cured and I can re-install the pump, I'll know where to drill the hole.


The next 4 days will be a frenzy of installing, mounting, cabling, and lighting.  So I apologize in advance if I don't post anything until after the LAN.  I may throw up a quick shot on FB, but other than that, you'll have to wait til the weekend to see the finished case.  :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Well I made it!  (barely)  I had to do a few emergency hacks to get it up and running literally just before packing it into the car Friday morning.  Here are a few pics of the Rose case set up at the lan.




A wider shot of the kids both playing Lego Star Wars. 


I was dealing with a bad PCIe riser cable on the Rose all weekend, as it would randomly drop the signal to the monitor.  So Helena would bounce between her rig and mine.  Special thanks go out to Shannon Robb for helping me (numerous times) to get it working again. :)


The Rose case came in 3rd in the CPU mod competition (woot!). Here's a shot of the top five mods.  From left to right:  Gigantea (2nd), Kit's etched moonlight Mods case (5th), Jon's Yoda case (4th), the Rose (3rd), and Kurt's Diablo case, Sanctuary, which ended up winning 1st place (congrats again Kurt!)


Once I get the bugs worked out and tidy up a bit more, I'll post some final pics.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Hey guys, after finishing up a very cool mod project for Nvidia Geforce Garage, I can finally get back on the Rose case and tie up all the loose ends.  I have a long list of items I need to fix/add/cleanup before I can finally call it done.

One of the main issues we were having at the LAN was the intermittent video signal going to the monitor.  Shannon and I were fiddling with the PCIe riser cable all weekend, and managed to get it working about half the time.  So that was on the top of my list:

1.  Swap out PCIe riser cable
2.  Add acrylic window to back panel
3.  Add led lighting to back SSD and tubing area
4.  Fix led lighting under mobo tray
5.  Fix leaky res
6.  Paint rose stem solid green (transparent green tubing with pink fluid not very appealing lol)
7.  Add glass insert in front bezel
8.  Connect all three SSDs
9.  Cable management

So with all these accomplished, I snapped a few shots with my phone..








Everything is looking much better and cleaner than before (love the glass front).  Unfortunately, I'm still having that pesky intermittent video issue, even with the new PCIe riser cable installed.  Which leads me to believe it may be motherboard related.  I'm going to try installing the video card directly into the PCI slot and see if the problem persists. 

...and because of that, I'll leave you with a pic of my lovely daughter giving me the 'loser' sign under the soft pink glow of her computer.  :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...