Melty1 - 3d printed custom 8.1 L case

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Melty1 - 3d printed custom 8.1 L case

I hope putting "self made" as the type of case suffices - the price is the cost of material used.

When I got sucked into the awesome world of SFF after being an avid PC building fan, I was quickly enraptured by all the custom and one-off cases floating around. I quickly decided that I wanted a piece of that - I love designing and bringing said designs to life. When a used Ender 3 Pro showed up on a local marketplace for a crazy price, I decided it was time to get cracking.

This build started with a 3200g I had laying around, but now has a 3700x. The NH-L9a is another spare I had from other builds, this classic style case would probably benefit more from a larger downdraft cooler, but oh well.

When designing this case, I knew I wanted to hit three main goals. One, the case had to be small. By small, at least under 10 liters. This resulted in a lot of stupidly tight tolerances that made assembly a real pain. Two, it needed to fit my existing RX 580 @ ~235mm long. Lucky for me, this is just about the length of an ITX motherboard plus an SFX PSU turned sideways (170mm + 65mm). Lastly, it needed to survive being printed out of PLA, as the Ender would need some upgrades before being able to print with a better material like PETG. I would be lying if I denied that part of point three was also attempting to prove that PLA can be a valid case material - just don't be a numby and make sure there is adequate cooling.

The critical design element of this case is the 4 threaded rods in each corner. These rods provide clamping force on the end caps and allow for the case to be exceptionally rigid despite the center section only having 2.5mm solid printed walls, full of holes. Each rod runs the length of the case and distributes load out to the 20mm thick corners of each end cap. Even if the case were to start to melt or deform, the threaded rods are secured by the farthest corners from the typical heat sources, so the overall shape should remain unaffected. The motherboard standoffs are embedded in a raised trapezoid on the back solid wall of the case. This also greatly increases rigidity. The center piece was designed to print without support, but still took around 40 hours to print.

All in all, this case performed admirably for what it is. It's been jokingly named Melty1, both a tribute to PLA's low glass temps and the fact that this is basically a smaller 3d printed NCase M1. Finally, there was some slight deformation over the hottest part of the GPU heatsink, but not enough to really be able to tell at a glance. Mission success!

I'm currently working on a successor that utilizes much nicer materials. 3d printing is cool, but the novelty wears off when you have to wait days for an average quality looking product to finish printing Emoji
Color(s): Black
RGB Lighting? No
Theme: Case Mod
Cooling: Air Cooling
Size: Mini-ITX
Type: General Build


This build participated in 1 contest.


$ 199.02
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Socket: AM4
Cores: 8
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Gigabyte - AORUS I Pro (WiFi)
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CPU Socket: AM4
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G.Skill - Trident Z (3200MHz) (Black/RGB)
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Gigabyte - Gigabyte AORUS 8GB Graphic Cards GV-RX580AORUS-8GD
Chip Manufacturer: AMD
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Corsair - SF450
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Form Factor: SFX
Efficiency: 80+ Platinum
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Custom - Custom (custom)
Case Fan
Corsair - AF140L (discontinued)
Size: 140 mm
$ 54.95
Noctua - NH-L9a (Chromax.Black)
Type: Air Cooler
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