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 Post subject: TRON PC Case Build - Monitor Mod
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:09 am 
Little Foot
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This is my entry into Cooler Master's case mod competition, scratch build category.

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Been working in Sketchup, building a mockup of the lightcycle suitable for housing a full ATX system with watercooling. It ended up being 40" long, but relatively short. As for the design, I didn't want to make a spot-on replica of the bike, so I went with my layered acrylic method, with just a few skinned areas around the wheels and top. This allows me to hide more components inside as well. Anyway, on with the mockups:

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Upon removing some layers, you can see the initial motherboard placement and other components.
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To give you a better idea of size, I placed a Cooler Master Cosmos case next to it.
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PRELIMINARY PARTS LIST

EVGA X58 Motherboard
Intel i7 965 processor
EVGA GTX570 video cards in SLI
Crucial SSD
Crucial Ballistix memory
Pioneer Slimline slot load DVD drive
Cooler Master Silent Gold 850W Power Supply (qualifying product)
Dual bay reservoir by Primochill
Other watercooling parts TBD

I'm planning something special for the front radiator, more on that later. ;-)

So that's the basic plan, I'll be adding more detail as I go along.

There are quite a few entries already, including one from Bill Owen and Slipperyskip in the case mod category. So it's going to be a good show! :D


Last edited by Boddaker on Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: TRON PC Case Build
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:50 pm 
Monkey Federation (Top 10)*
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IMPRESSIVE


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 Post subject: Re: TRON PC Case Build
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:43 pm 
Clawhammer
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Spider Monkey wrote:
IMPRESSIVE


Yeap. I'll check back for sure.


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 Post subject: Re: TRON PC Case Build
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:57 pm 
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I love Tron so I will be watching this build for sure! Great idea!


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 Post subject: Re: TRON PC Case Build
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:00 am 
Little Foot
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Thanks for the replies guys. I'm already well into this project, and will post a daily update until we get caught up. So here's the next installment:

Ok, so in the interest of time, I decided not to make these fairings out of fiberglass, or use my vacuum forming table, seeing as how I still have to rebuild it. Instead, I'll be forming the pieces with a plastic paste, which is a much quicker process. So the first step is creating a plug on which to lay the paste down.

So, time to cut some foam! :) I laminated three layers of foam insulation sheets to get the thickness I needed. I also made up a template that minimized the amount of foam I had to use. In fact, all four fairing pieces will be molded from this one block of foam after I'm done with it.
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There's a front and back fairing, and they are split into left and right mirrored pieces. Here's half my template, with the back fairing on top and the front upside down on the bottom. The gray and black lines show the difference between the edges of the fairing. Gray is the wider part (over the center of the tire) and the black is the narrower edge.
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Using a hacksaw, I started doing the rough cuts around the gray lines.
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Then with an electric carving knife, I started shaving off the foam, following the black lines and curving out to the wider edge.
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One half roughed out, next to the other side.
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Here's a shot of them side by side in their eventual places. You can now see the shape of the bike emerging.
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Once I got the pieces roughed out, I used an exacto knife to get more accurate along the edges.
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The thickness difference between both edges is 3/4". I marked my square with tape and slid it along the edge to see where I still needed to remove material. I used a drywall sanding block to smooth out the curves.
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Both sides smoothed out. This is the back end...
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And turning it over we have the front end.
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Next I'll need to add some cardboard and sandwich it all together.


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 Post subject: Re: TRON PC Case Build
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:59 pm 
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Looks pretty cool!


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 Post subject: Re: TRON PC Case Build
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:16 am 
8086
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That is insanely cool, i can't wait to see the finished case! You definitely picked a (still) hot topic, TRON. Always been a fan of the original, the new one just added eye candy into the mix.
Best of luck with your build.

Edit - PS: Those wheels kinda look like the Bowers & Wilkins Subwoofer featured in MPC Dream Machine 2010. Would be even more insane to have them as wheels, but I'm not sure what the vibration from them would do to the system, or their magnets, for that matter. Just a thought.

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 Post subject: Re: TRON PC Case Build
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:49 am 
Little Foot
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Ok, now that we got the foam glued, the next step is to sandwich it all together, with cardboard in between. These will form the walls of the pour area. I traced the foam block first, then scribed another cut-line about 1/4" wider.
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Three pieces cut, two outside pieces, one center piece.
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Using spray adhesive, I glued them all together.
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While that was setting up, I used my flexible curve to transfer the overall curve shape to my custom screeding tool...
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...which is just a piece of clear acrylic I just cut to size.
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It will work like this. It fits over the foam block, and after I trowel the plastic paste into the mold, I'll slide the tool along the top of the cardboard to level it off. This will hopefully ensure a consistent thickness throughout the length of the fairings. It will also smooth out the top surface of the plastic and minimize the amount of touch-up and prep work I'll need to do before painting.
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One last thing I needed to do before I was ready to lay down the paste, was to incorporate some form of fastening tabs into the fairings. So I dug out some cavities about 1/4" in from the edge, to account for the thickness of the ribs to which these will be secured.
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Now I think it's ready for some plastic!
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 Post subject: Re: TRON PC Case Build
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:52 am 
Little Foot
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mario_ramalho wrote:
That is insanely cool, i can't wait to see the finished case! You definitely picked a (still) hot topic, TRON. Always been a fan of the original, the new one just added eye candy into the mix.
Best of luck with your build.

Edit - PS: Those wheels kinda look like the Bowers & Wilkins Subwoofer featured in MPC Dream Machine 2010. Would be even more insane to have them as wheels, but I'm not sure what the vibration from them would do to the system, or their magnets, for that matter. Just a thought.

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Thanks mario. That sub looks awesome, and definitely could pass as the wheels for the lightcycle. You'd have to shield them before putting computer components in between them tho lol. However, I could see making a TRON Lightcycle boom box.... :idea: :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: TRON PC Case Build
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:19 am 
Willamette
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Just a thought, but wouldn't a hot-wire foam cutter make things a little easier with the initial step of cutting it? Would be a lot cleaner than using the saw anyway. I've used em, still have one too, they're very nice, and super easy to make if you don't wanna buy one, or need one of a specific size, and it isn't already available.


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 Post subject: Re: TRON PC Case Build
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:00 pm 
Little Foot
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PM_DMNKLR wrote:
Just a thought, but wouldn't a hot-wire foam cutter make things a little easier with the initial step of cutting it? Would be a lot cleaner than using the saw anyway. I've used em, still have one too, they're very nice, and super easy to make if you don't wanna buy one, or need one of a specific size, and it isn't already available.


A hot-wire cutter would be a nice addition to my arsenal of tools, and would have made the job a bit easier (not to mention I wouldn't have had to borrow the wife's carving knife :lol:). It's definitely on my "want" list! :)


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 Post subject: Re: TRON PC Case Build
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:39 pm 
Willamette
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Perhaps this link might be of some use, for future reference. Like I said, it's pretty easy to make yourself, and small ones are available widespread nowadays. Mine is a Games Workshop model, designed to cut pieces to make scenery for Warhammer miniatures. I love it too, it's very very useful. I'll keep watching this thread too, the concept alone looks pretty sweet. I'm not a big TRON fan, but this mod appeals to me for the obvious reasons.

Also, for the glow fx, maybe you'll want to consider getting some of the actual paint they used in TL, from Alsa Corp. They're the ones who make it. Of course, it only lasts 8 to 12 hours bright, so idk, more likely you'll benefit from LED or ccfl lighting instead.


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 Post subject: Re: TRON PC Case Build
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:11 am 
Little Foot
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Location: Northern Cal
PM_DMNKLR wrote:
Perhaps this link might be of some use, for future reference. Like I said, it's pretty easy to make yourself, and small ones are available widespread nowadays. Mine is a Games Workshop model, designed to cut pieces to make scenery for Warhammer miniatures. I love it too, it's very very useful. I'll keep watching this thread too, the concept alone looks pretty sweet. I'm not a big TRON fan, but this mod appeals to me for the obvious reasons.

Also, for the glow fx, maybe you'll want to consider getting some of the actual paint they used in TL, from Alsa Corp. They're the ones who make it. Of course, it only lasts 8 to 12 hours bright, so idk, more likely you'll benefit from LED or ccfl lighting instead.


Thanks for the link PM, I'll be looking into some of those options for making my own wire cutter. And that paint from Alsa is pretty amazing. Too bad it only lasts a day, otherwise I'd use it! For TRON I'll be using leds, and maybe a few UV ccfl's to light up the internals.

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Ok on to the next update:

Here is the Plasti-Paste II from Smooth-On. It comes as part A and part B, and you mix it 1 parts to 2, respectively.
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Opening up part B, the paste.
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After doing some calculations, I figured out the volume of my mold, then converted to fluid ounces to get the total amount of mixture I needed. Here I'm measuring out 2 parts paste.
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Transferred that to a larger mixing container. This stuff is thick! No sag whatsoever, which makes it great for applying to vertical surfaces.
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Measuring out 1 part liquid hardener.
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Thoroughly mixing the two parts together. This stuff normally has a 10 minute pot life, but due to the cold weather, that was greatly extended. Took about four times as long to set up, which actually worked in my favor, allowing me to take my time getting it onto the mold and smoothed out.
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After applying a mold release agent (seen in the first pic), I troweled the paste onto the mold.
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After about 40 minutes, it had set up to a hard plastic.
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I repeated the process for the other side, and in a few hours I should be able to demold them.
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Having coated the foam with the mold release, it should be easy to pop it out of the mold. I don't want to destroy the foam if I don't have to, just in case I need to make another set of fairings later. Once out of the mold, I'll need to clean up the edges a bit, and start smoothing out the top surface. I should be getting the acrylic parts in this week, so once they arrive, I can see how these fit, and find out if my template measurements were accurate! :worried:


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 Post subject: Re: TRON PC Case Build
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:40 am 
Little Foot
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Location: Northern Cal
Demold time! So despite the use of a mold release spray, the fairings were still reluctant to come out of the mold. So I had to persuade them a bit.

First I cut part of the outer cardboard wall away to expose the mating surface of the foam.
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Then, using a hacksaw blade by itself, I worked it in underneath the parts to get them separated.
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Success!
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Not too shabby, but it still needs some work before they will be bike-worthy.
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The underside. My integrated tabs idea didn't go over too well with the Plasti-Paste lol.
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And all four parts demolded.
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The fairings are pretty flexible and prone to cracking (don't ask me how I know lol), so they will need to be reinforced. Smooth-On recommends a thickness of at least a 1/4" for optimum strength, but I fell short of that with these pieces. I have a solution for this though, and it will also solve the mounting problem too, since my tabs were pretty much non-existent. I will run a piece of 1/4" acrylic the whole length of the fairing underneath that will add strength, and serve as a mounting surface as well.


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 Post subject: Re: TRON PC Case Build
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:21 pm 
Little Foot
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Got the acrylic parts in! 3 boxes worth lol. I couldn't wait to get home and dig into them. Here they all are spread out on my desk. The pieces with blue coating is the gloss black acrylic, and the ones with the tan coating are the blue transparent pieces. Looks like everything is present and accounted for.
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Hmmm, should I put it all away now? Heck no! I gotta see how this all fits together! So I immediately start fitting the tubes into their wheel positions. You can also see the slots I made for the cross sections.
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Here is one of the cross sections in place. This piece will also hold two 120mm fans.
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I slide on another rib piece...
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...Oops! forgot the center rib that goes in between the other two.
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This shows the cutouts for the power supply.
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Why not put the psu in too!
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And the other cross section in place.
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Now you can see the interior enclosure taking shape.
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Might as well add the rest of the pieces on this side: window piece, wheel discs of varying sizes, and the IO plate at the bottom of the center enclosure.
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Here's a close up of all the layers on one side of the wheel. I got them roughly spaced where they're supposed to be, at 3/4".
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 Post subject: Re: TRON PC Case Build
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:27 pm 
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Thats looking real bad-ass. :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: TRON PC Case Build
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:53 pm 
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I love it! WOW once the acrylic came in you can really see it starting to take form. That is great! :twisted:

Is this a personal piece or is this on getting sold?


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 Post subject: Re: TRON PC Case Build
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 10:26 pm 
Willamette
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Wiked_smart wrote:
Is this a personal piece or is this on getting sold?


Boddaker wrote:
This is my entry into Cooler Master's case mod competition, scratch build category.


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 Post subject: Re: TRON PC Case Build
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 10:34 pm 
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PM_DMNKLR wrote:
Wiked_smart wrote:
Is this a personal piece or is this on getting sold?


Boddaker wrote:
This is my entry into Cooler Master's case mod competition, scratch build category.

Thanks the light cycle caught my eyes right from the get go! I'm still drooling! :shock: :D


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 Post subject: Re: TRON PC Case Build
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 10:45 pm 
Willamette
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I agree, this mod is turning out to be pretty sweet!


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