[Build Log] Metroid -A 3D printed computer case

thorkon

n00b
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
40
Hi guys, I'm 8-Bit Builder. I've been doing this for about 10 years now and just starting up my newest build. I build cases in the an old pixelated style as you will see shortly :D.

I've been wanting to build a Metroid computer case for about 7 years now but plastic was always too expensive ($1 a cube) compared to .08 cents a cube of wood which is what all my previous PC mods are made out of. Once I found out how accessible 3D printers were, I jumped head first and picked up a Maker Select. After a few months of non-stop printing it dawned on me that I could make the Metroid computer case I've been thinking about for such a long time. Normally I spend about 200-250$ in wood/paint but 3D printing plastic is really cheap in comparison, about $80 in plastic. I'm also planning on having a really cool light sequence on the inside of the case to get the red effect of the in game Metroid. Being my first foray into a 3D printed computer I'm sure I'll run into issues but look forward to overcoming them. This will also be my first time with programmable LED's so it will be a learning experience on that front also! I'm going with an ASUS STRIX for the Aura Sync capabilities since this case is going to have a big focus on lighting. The more advanced lighting will be done with the Tinkerboard.

Expectations:
A strong gaming pc
100s' of LEDs programmed inside for a light show
95% 3D printed


Components:
ASUS has sponsered/supplied me with components for this mod (Really appreciate it) and also in the past on my Airship PC Case seen here:


ASUS ROG STRIX X370-I GAMING AM4 AMD X370 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 Mini ITX AMD Motherboard

ksHMYD2.jpg

3PQN9qd.jpg

ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 TURBO-GTX1080-8G 8GB 256-Bit GDDR5X PCI Express 3.0

6cMYDs1.png


16 GB of ram
1TB SSD
Asus Tinkerboard with a few hundred LEDs programmed in a cool light show

And heres some photos of my past work:

Airship from Final Fantasy
pzeLIfu.jpg


Link from Zelda
Z3LXSbm.jpg


And a 3D model I've printed, Calcifer from Howl's Moving Castle
IxsuIiQ.jpg



Ok on to the build! This is what I'm building (modeled in 123Design/Tinkercad):
Metroid from ...Metroid!
8eo94DO.png


The modeled case
FNwNYcN.png


My first idea of how the components will fit
82JOmHT.png


I started printing and doing test pieces to make sure I had it down pretty good and to test strength of the frame. Needless to say, it holds a LOT of weight (I weigh 185lbs)
8cr1OqQ.jpg


I've got the printer going in earnest on the final design now. The printer will be going non-stop for about 2-3 weeks to get all the pieces done. I'll be back soon though with photos of attaching sections together with glue and 3D pen welding!

If you have any questions or ideas, feel free to ask :D
 
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thorkon

n00b
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
40
Back with a few updates. I'm printing in earnest, and got a few progress shots and issues even, but nothing unsurpassable.

This is a gif of a lighting test for the build. I wanted to verify Red Leds would go through green plastic without to much color distortion. Alls well on that front
YmiSuH7.gif


Heres the printer starting on a 48 hour print job.
0ovpAjZ.jpg


This is the base of the metroid which will support the weight of all the components. Just prepping gluing it and clamping.
h72h0bh.jpg


kJNwjnc.jpg


And this is my work area. Off to the right is my second printer with the Airship pc case nearby.
v3oqXoo.jpg
 

thorkon

n00b
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
40
Thanks, appreciate it :D


ON to some special super glue made for 3D PLA and a 3D pen to weld the pieces together. The glue is probably fine but I'm gonna play it safe and double up on strong connection points.

The glue
tA3LnZQ.jpg


3D pen action
JbHTu2a.jpg


After 3D pen
YyqXUr6.jpg


Give em the clamps!
WyMTJry.jpg


BM5iqmc.jpg


Finished base
r7nWvKT.jpg


r7nWvKT.jpg


Baby for scale :D
Lsyl2Yx.jpg
 

thorkon

n00b
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
40
This post is about printer problems :(

This is how it looks starting. This is about 3 hours into a print of 1 of the 14 sections left
qOhj57j.jpg


A little futther in the print, about 9 hours
U8yRxXF.jpg


Aaaaand heres the issue at about 12 hours in. The tube that guides the plastic let loose while I was away from home and just shot the plastic everywhere. Usually on 3D printing you can resume from where an error happened but due to the nature of this design, the pieces have to be complete in 1 shot. So this is about 12ish hours of progress loss and plastic loss :(
evEYaqV.jpg


Round 2 at trying the same print after I fixed the issue. Using my Fire light to keep it lit up at night for the timelapse I'm making.
JZbbsBI.jpg


ANNNND heres issue #2. This is hard to see, but at 46 hours in on this print WITH ONLY 2 HOURS LEFT!, I got a layer shift. A layer shift is usually because a belt slips or a cable got caught on something. In this case, the cable got caught on the section of the plastic as it was printing. It prevented the head of the printer to move to its correct position so it started printing to the left by about 4mm. i caught it after it happened in about 10 min. but it was too late. 46 hours loss and about 11$ of plastic loss ;_;. Since this happened, I don't print the sections more than 4 columns of cubes high (88.8mm), that way I don't take such a large hit of loss of time. Its not noticeable in this photo of the layer shift but i had to discard this piece.
WpVlB6X.jpg


These issues combined with my 2nd printer also running into problems (was down for 5 days while replacement parts came in), was a hit in my sails of progress, but I've been back on track in the last day or so and got them both running. About 7 days of non-stop printing should get the the top of the case complete. I'll be back in a day or two to update progress with the components being layed out inside the base, and will probably ask for opinions on what looks best. See you guys then!
 

spugm1r3

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 28, 2012
Messages
1,153
This post is about printer problems :(
These issues combined with my 2nd printer also running into problems (was down for 5 days while replacement parts came in), was a hit in my sails of progress, but I've been back on track in the last day or so and got them both running. About 7 days of non-stop printing should get the the top of the case complete. I'll be back in a day or two to update progress with the components being layed out inside the base, and will probably ask for opinions on what looks best. See you guys then!

This is a refreshingly clear example of why 3D printing hasn't simply replaced manufacturing. I've listened to too many overly optimistic college kids pretend they will never have to buy anything again because they could just make it themselves.

Making stuff is hard. 3D printing is a skill, not just a machine with a "What I Mean" button. Kudos to you trooping your way through it!

By the way, your discards would make excellent starting points for action figure bases :)
 

thorkon

n00b
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
40
Yea, I've been printing for a year now with a i3 clone, and I learned a lot with it. I just got the CR10 and it has a new feed system so i'm still learning what can happen with it. 3D printing is more for customizing things in my opinion. I have a huge board game collection so its also used a lot for board game things. I guess these pieces can be used as Hero Clix terrain :D. I'm saving up all the parts of this project in a bin for a final waste bin photo and its getting a little full at the moment...
 

thorkon

n00b
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
40
Thanks Kinsaras, I'll be really excited to get it finished up also!

Heres a component placement update:

The ASUS Turbo 1080 just by its lonesome
h8YRcFx.jpg


The ASUS STRIX-370I alone also
ZwHF8Wj.jpg


But not for long! These are testing "legs" to hold up the motherboard. I'll make some beefier/sturdier ones soon, but I really do like the 45 degree angle of the STRIX 370-I toward where the window will be. Not often I get to do a motherboard at an angle like this

wQAGdeb.jpg


AXKT1dT.jpg


The bottom is for a 200mm fan, just using one of my placeholder fans atm to test with

Bottom with no fan frame base
zkgvFsZ.jpg


With base
ZCi7STN.jpg


With fan
JeFXxGM.jpg
 

thorkon

n00b
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
40
Back with some more things:

Working on the "teeth" which are what hold up the case from the floor

Printed in tranparent red and white, with a hollowed out point for leds to light up
9QPYYUP.jpg



The teeth going through quality control (not sure how to embed gifs/youtube links on here so just a regular link for now:


Teeth in place
VlJgBP0.jpg


This is neat, this is heat changing plastic. Its brown at room temperature but turns green as it warms up. In this photo, I drilled the holes a little bigger and the friction from the drill heated the end up to green as you can see
eRGghT7.jpg


Lastly, a new issue. This is a partial clog in the nozzle where not enough plastic comes out. I cleaned the plug and had to toss this piece.
hMpCqQm.jpg
 
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thorkon

n00b
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
40
Working on the top frame now.

Heres the base in pieces
yDcsSpY.jpg


GFa3z40.jpg


Clamping it together
QltImon.jpg


All said and done with the lower section
qwFnV2t.jpg


I'm still waiting on the printer to finish the rest of the sections so will have whole frame done in a few days

Experimenting with different wire covers I printed
qD2hGsw.jpg


3HVcJw5.jpg
 

thorkon

n00b
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
40
Getting near the home stretch!

Heres a test lighting of one of the feet. No cable management yet...ha

YsWgd2L.jpg


Side being built up:
SX2ygyp.jpg

K9tJ38q.jpg

5sebGNQ.jpg

2zy5xTM.jpg



Not fully complete but just an idea how the window will be
wjM1ohf.jpg


I'll be back when I have the whole top finished with fans and whatnot. I'm gonna start working on getting the leds wired in

Heres a test run with them shoddily taped on the inside
Iv1QWAq.gif
 

thorkon

n00b
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
40
Finished up the frame of the top!
7UAWWH5.jpg


Couldn't use any vertical clamps due to the say its smooth on the inside, so had to use some weights to help glue it down.
JRT2fm3.jpg


Baby for scale
4Yl3DUx.jpg

3tExsMW.jpg


Adult for scale
YxPPPHh.jpg


This is my wife staying "awake" past her bedtime trying to help by routing the pc wiring on the inside
uwbvdSy.jpg


Now I'm moving on to the LED wiring on the inside. Its going to be awhile of wiring and soldering... Heres what a pattern/schematic of the led paths
VCRGE6u.jpg
 
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Chapeau

Gawd
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
753
Ditto.... loving the build and the insight into the printing issues. Awesome work!!
 

thorkon

n00b
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
40
Ditto.... loving the build and the insight into the printing issues. Awesome work!!

Luckily I'm done with the major printing sections and shouldn't have anymore issues ha. They were new experiences and I'm glad I experienced/fixed the issues so it was a good learning situation.


Back now that I'm done with the wiring. Oh boy, was this an adventure. I've rarely done soldering/wiring and this has definitely increased my skill with it ha. There will be gifs of the lighting, I'll provide a link if the message board isn't showing it natively.

So my first test was my lazy test, which to say was I was hoping i could just fold the led strip to make 90 degree turns but I didn't like the way the lights would repeat flash whenever it came to a bend...
AvLLFvf.jpg

GIF of Light issue
IeL0tHB.mp4

https://imgur.com/IeL0tHB

I decided to cut the led strip and solder whenever there was a 90 degree turn. Heres the same layout, but with wiring instead of folding
ME0qMFu.jpg

GIF of Light fixed
https://imgur.com/Am1TJAy
Am1TJAy.gif


Next is some wiring shots
Splitting off the led strip
uAMxDMH.jpg

51KRmeK.jpg


The monotonous monotony of stripping wires and tinning wires
gP6hbKy.jpg

JhZEVfn.jpg


The finalized wiring on the inisde with everything hotglued in place. I'll need to print some covers to hide the wiring and clean it up.
6p6zxKB.jpg


and finally one section lighting up in the dark
Gif of section lighting up
KNzvVWC.gif

https://imgur.com/KNzvVWC

Next is programming the ASUS Tinkerboard so that the led strips will run on seperate timings. I'm just delving into this so should be interesting
 
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thorkon

n00b
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
40
I wonder what caused that to happen. They were working fine before. hmmm
 

pendragon1

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 7, 2000
Messages
34,149
might be an imgur thing. I copy/pasted an imgur image yesterday and it worked fine but today its showing as an img tag.
 

thorkon

n00b
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
40
Just a small update of all the lights running
heres a link if gif embed doesnt work: https://imgur.com/VMuIZOR
aLJI3Ci.gif



Still working on trying to program the coding so they run separately atm

Edit: Still see the img tags arn't working. I really don't feel like going through all the post and changing the images :(. going to give it another day or so to see if clears up...
 

thorkon

n00b
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
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I have absolutely no idea on how to embed images on here anymore. It keeps getting wonkier and wonkier as I try different links/uploading etc...



Turns out programming isn't as easy as I had hoped. I have a friend or two giving me a hand. In the meanwhile, I picked up 2 more sponsors! This is greatly appreciated and welcomed.

First off is GEIL with supplied 2x8gb SUPER LUCE 2400 DDR4 RGB Ram
https://imgur.com/STbYsXC

CPFeWCw.jpg

Ie9Sqko.jpg


Next is ThermalTake who graciously supplied RGB fans, PSU, and a sweet CPU cooler
0o78Bow.png


Engine 27 CPU cooler (first time for me seeing an all metal fan, looks awesome!)
Qnw0Cj8.jpg

EM261uq.jpg


Thermaltake Toughpower Series PSU SFW 600W
vaD1oml.jpg


Thermaltake Riing Plus 12 RGB Fans + TT Sync Controller
KpWH9iX.jpg

T131L9S.jpg

hQPbqzV.jpg
 

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pendragon1

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34,149
cool you got some more sponsored bits but I would recommend against using the e27 cooler. its says up to 70w but it cant cool a 65w properly. been watching it since it first started getting developed years ago. you can find a few "reviews" on youtube.
 

thorkon

n00b
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
40
I'll look into it, They gave me an option and I needed a low profile one and that one fit the bill. I'm not looking at overclocking but if I do and I run into issues I'll swap out for something else with them.
 

thorkon

n00b
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
40
1600x which has a higher tdp. I'm going to benchmark and try it out. I like the style/look of it.
 

pendragon1

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yeah dont think that's gonna work very well or at all under a load. id recommend something better or even just the stock cooler, which is better.
 

thorkon

n00b
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Feb 16, 2012
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You're right, because it doesn't fit! Lol, I wasnt paying attention when I was looking at the coolers and making sure it fit the Strix. I'm going to try out 2 other coolers (1 normal size, 1 low profile) and see which looks better. Also, interestingly enough, the 1600x doesn't come with a stock cooler.
 

pendragon1

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You're right, because it doesn't fit! Lol, I wasnt paying attention when I was looking at the coolers and making sure it fit the Strix. I'm going to try out 2 other coolers (1 normal size, 1 low profile) and see which looks better. Also, interestingly enough, the 1600x doesn't come with a stock cooler.
shit youre right, I did a 1600 that did have one. youll want a min 125w cooler whichever way you go to keep it nice and cool.
 

thorkon

n00b
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
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Back again! I've been doing small things that didnt warrant many photos (trying to learn to program, ended up having my 2 buddies help me), and rearranging computer components.
I'm nearing completion though! I will probably have 1 more update after this then it will be final photos and a time lapse video of the build/3D print process. My buddy is working on the music for that video atm. Anyway, on to the smaller update here:

This is the rear of the case. Its fitting the Thermaltake Riing RGB fan. I wanted to keep the fan removable because I need to get my hand in the computer case to plug the fans in once I put the top on. I ended up using magnets to hold the fan in place (located at each corner).

xm3xrA1.jpg

0ltdNfB.jpg


This is the top of the case with another Thermaltake Fan. This is permenantly installed in the case no need for removal here.
XvQdk7I.jpg


This is experimental. I'm using translucent red plastic to use as pseudo cable sleeves for psu/power button/Asus 1080 card. I think it looks good, but what do you think?
SlSjkjb.jpg


Also you can see I went with Thermaltakes Riing Cpu cooler. I was afraid it would be too tall but it is about an inch short of hitting the top of the case so no worries.
 

thorkon

n00b
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
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Probably last update until the final photos and video! I'll have it at PAX East 2018 if anyone is going to be there by chance.
Got the lighting done! I have it wired into the PSU so it doesn't need additional outlets to be plugged in.
x4wILWh.gif

Edit: if embed doesn't work, gif link here: https://imgur.com/x4wILWh


This is the window side. Just printed some flat sides to cover up gaps the acrylic window leaves.
JPfBsR9.jpg


These are little "feet" that help guide the top frame onto the body. They are angled so the top section slides on them.
AZP57aH.jpg


Next is I decided to self-promote on the SSD since it was looking bland anyway :D
DeB3ljF.jpg


NcXpDbu.jpg


My finalized wiring job
oSyWipP.jpg


Be back in a week or two with the final photos! (probably post video a little after that).
 

Mr. Bluntman

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
6,626
As someone who played far more hours of the NES original than I care to admit as a kid, I have to go with hazexban on this. Might have to call the DEA on this one! :D
 

Mr_Armageddon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Messages
252
Ha ha, you have incorporated some of my favorite things in this build... Metroid, and 3D Printing. Love it!
 
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