Prototype 3 is complete and includes several improvements over our Wooden Case Prototype 2. This prototype was build using the following hardware.
I am running the Ryzen 1700 at 3.8Ghz with a voltage of 1.275. During long term stress-tests, the CPU will max out at 72c.
I’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of the new AMD Ryzen for quite a while. It was released in March and is a very strong competitor to even some of Intel’s top end CPUs. The only problem is that the smallest motherboard available has been mATX, and most them are not the higher-end X370 chipset.
At the time of writing, Biostar has released their X370 ITX board but it sold-out on Newegg in a matter of minutes.
The Ryzen release and lack of any Small Form Factor motherboards was the driving force behind this case design and build. It is a full-size ATX motherboard in a mATX/ITX size case.
Case Size - The case is approximately 14" tall, 13" deep, and 8.5" wide. This gives the case a volume of ~25 liters. This puts the case right in the same size category as larger ITX cases and smaller mATX cases.
Machining - All the wood was machined using our Shapeoko XL CNC Machine. I used a 1/4" - 4 flute bit on the pine and a 1/8" 2 flute bit on the MDF. Total machine time on all the wood and MDF pieces was about an hour.
Assembly - I use Titebond II Premium wood glue to hold all the wooden/mdf parts in place. This glue is rated at 4,000 PSI before joint failure. This gives the glued joints a greater strength than the actual wood itself. The wood is more likely to break than a glued seal to separate.
Staining - I used a basic cherry stain on this case. I only applied one coat because it darkened up the wood so that a second coat wasn't needed.
Sealing - This is one of the most important aspects of building a wooden case! Wood and MDF are porous, organic materials. They warp and deform over time due to change in temperature and humidity.
Each piece of MDF is sealed with polyurethane and sanded with a 220-grit in-between. This process takes 72 hours while using the recommended drying time.
Once sealed MDF is an amazing material. Since it’s an engineered material, it will hold its shape better than almost any wood. It’s also extremely stiff and rigid. I would consider it to be on-par with 3mm aluminum sheet (3mm is a relatively thick piece of aluminum).
Motherboard Spacers – The motherboard does not use the traditional spacers found in a metal case. Each mounting point sits on a 12mm 3D printed spacer.
Mounting the Motherboard – This is one of the most difficult parts of building a custom case. If any of the mounting holes are off by even 1-2mm, the motherboard’s IO-shield and the PCIe expansion slots will not line up correctly. Once you have this problem solved, you don’t have to worry about it again. However, for prototype #1, I had to cut out about 4-5 motherboard mounts and IO panels to get the right fit.
The case feet are 3D printed and thread into the bottom panel. The nuts are counter-sunk on the other side so that they don't interfere with any of the other components.
I should have taken pictures of all the 3D printed parts. As the case development progresses, more and more 3D printed parts are being used.
The next several pictures are of the final and completed build. I have been using this PC as my main gaming machine for the past 2-3 weeks and it has been working great. Temperatures are not a problem at all and I can keep the CPU under 70 degrees while overclocked to 3.8Ghz
I think the case is turning out well and there are just a few minor issues to be worked out. If you're interested in seeing what Prototype 4 looks like just follow this project below.
Status - On Kickstarter!
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