Wooden/3D Printed Overwatch ITX Case

 

Overwatch Themed, Noctua Cooled, Mini ITX Case

I'm a huge Overwatch fan even though I can't seem to get out of high silver/low gold. I just subscribed to /r/OverwatchUniversity, so maybe that will help.

For the 4th prototype of the wooden case project I wanted to build something really cool because the machine would be my main gaming PC. Below you'll find an overview about how this case was made.

 

The easy part - Getting the Overwatch logo into CAD

I was able to easily load the Overwatch logo into my CAD application (Onshape). I aligned it with the acrylic window and made 5 mounting holes. Another 10 minutes to generate the CNC paths and I was ready to start milling.

 

 

5 restarts, 4 ruined aluminum sheets, and 1 broken bit

I thought cutting out the Overwatch logo was going to be quick and easy. So easy that I didn't take the time to really setup my CNC for cutting aluminum. I blew through 4 small sheets of aluminum and broke an 1/8" bit before I was able to cut out a nice example.

One thing I've learned with my limited time running a CNC is that it never pays to take shortcuts. The first failures were a result of trying to cut the piece too fast. The other failures were due to improperly securing the aluminum to the machine.

 

 

 

 

Post Processing & Painting

Raw aluminum that has not been anodized is extremely susceptible to oxidation from water and the oils from your fingers. I soaked both pieces of the logo in mineral spirits and then scrubbed them with non-abrasive (blue) Scotch Bright pads.

When painting a smooth metal like aluminum it's important to use some type of primer. For the small orange part of the logo I put on 3 coats of "self-etching" primer. This helps the paint adhere to the metal. To match the "Overwatch Orange" I purchased 1 can of orange and 1 can of yellow spray paint. I applied very very thin coats by just making 1 pass from about 20 inches away. Eventually I was able to match the color fairly well. If I were to do this again I would have painted the mounting screws at the same time so that the color matched.

 

 

 

The Final Build

After taking about 5 times longer than I had anticipated, I am pretty happy with the results. I used a very thick piece of acrylic (6mm) and positioned the logo so that you can still see the CPU cooler. Overall the combination of the Noctua fans/cooler along with the red-oak give it a fairly high end look.

Case Specifications:

  • 3/4" red-oak construction
  • Height: 14.25"
  • Width: 8.5"
  • Length(depth): 9.25"
  • Total Volume: 18.36L

Hardware Specifications:

  • CPU - Intel i7-7700k @ 4.9Ghz
  • GPU - Gigabyte GTX 1070 Mini
  • MEM - 16GB DDR4 @ 3000Mhz
  • DISK - 2x 500gb Samsung 850 Evo SSDs
  • COOL - Noctua NH-L12, 2x Noctua NF-F12, 1x Noctua NF-A9 (14mm)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handles! - What every ITX case needs

I really wanted to add handles to this build because the case is so small and portable. I found these online and think they go well with the case. They don't distract form the clean lines of the entire build.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What comes next?

This is the 4th official prototype of the wooden case project. Some of the prototypes I have built multiple examples to do further testing and to play with the types of wood. The next step is clean up the design and build a final version of each case (ITX through EATX). If you want to follow this project just click the button below.

 

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Status - On Kickstarter!

Project Home:Project Page
Current Release:None
Contributors: Ian Reardon
Discussion: reddit
Github: Repo
Files & Documentation
Materials:
Documentation:
Downloads:
License: Creative Commons License   (upon release)

 

Why Follow a Project?
Project follows provide invaluable feedback to developers and helps the community shape the product. If you want to see a project developed or improved please consider a following it.

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