NCASE M1: a crowdfunded Mini-ITX case (updates in first post)

lvyelion

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Yes they do...

post from earlier in the thread:

how about if one make a normal case where the MB sits horizontal (like the SG05, just for example :D), but the end user can always put the case in whatever ways they like :D
 

wahaha360

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how about if one make a normal case where the MB sits horizontal (like the SG05, just for example :D), but the end user can always put the case in whatever ways they like :D

lol...I understand, but we might not need to do that.
 

wahaha360

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Production - going to reach out to more manufactures to bring more options to the table in addition to SilverStone and Lian Li.

Patent - there is NO NEED to be manufactured in Taiwan and cause concerns with the patent.

what? how the hell do they get a patent for that? the idea was around long before they did it! iirc there were concept designs around prior to the BTX case spec, and some may have come out of those old Intel sponsored computer design competitions in the 1990s. Aside from that there are server designs using vertical cooling, and at least one user on the SPCR forum posted his work log for a vertical case (made of wood) long before Silverstone did anything. How much prior art and ideas in the public domain do the patent office need to reject patents?

Can you send me the info you have? Prior art that could challenge the originality and validity of this patent has gotten the attention of quite a few manufactures. I'm not initiating a patent re-examination, however, MAYBE this information is useful getting a better price = cheaper cases for all buyers.
 

ekuest

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i really doubt silverstone would have a problem with you doing a limited run of these and selling them basically at cost after shipping and logistics. if a rival case manufacturer copied their design and profited from it, then yeah, they have every right to jump on that. but in a case where youre not profiting from it and youre only making a couple hundred, i seriously doubt silverstone would mind. just ask tony ou or the reps youre talking to.
 

D4rkn3ss

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this is all very interesting but this thing is turning into just some sort of SST-FT03 alternative, uglier btw but thats in my opinion.

for me a real "evolution" (improvement) for the SG05 would be the same design but a little longer and taller, just enough to fit normal size PSUs, AND made of aluminium. yes we have the SG08 but i find the SG05 unbeatable (so far) on the "cute" aspect :D
 

IanM

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Can you send me the info you have?
A whole lot of what I remember is from old magazine articles from when I was at school and uni, but even a very quick search on google yields one of the home made projects that I remember seeing on SPCR when it was originally posted: a hand built, vertical airflow, wooden case. Construction is not the best but the layout is there and the thread was posted 27th March 2007, approx. 18 months before Taiwan patent #M336464 application date which was on 14th Sept 2008.

I'm a bit busy at the moment, but if you search for info on the "stack effect" and "stack effect cooling" you'll find some articles. Use similar keywords on google's patent search and you'll find Intel's and others' patents on server cooling and PC cooling. N.B. I think it might only be USA patents for now, but it may be useful.
 

wahaha360

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i really doubt silverstone would have a problem with you doing a limited run of these and selling them basically at cost after shipping and logistics. if a rival case manufacturer copied their design and profited from it, then yeah, they have every right to jump on that. but in a case where youre not profiting from it and youre only making a couple hundred, i seriously doubt silverstone would mind. just ask tony ou or the reps youre talking to.

I got a price from SilverStone, their process require tooling for production. The cost per unit will be around $200 or more.

It's not economical.
 

ekuest

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I got a price from SilverStone, their process require tooling for production. The cost per unit will be around $200 or more.

It's not economical.

i didnt mean having them make the case. i mean that if you had lian li or someone do a limited run of this case, i doubt silverstone would bring charges against you or make you pay a royalty fee. since its such a limited quantity and youre making no profit there wouldnt really be anything for them to sue for. it would just be a waste of money and time for silverstone.
 

wahaha360

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this is all very interesting but this thing is turning into just some sort of SST-FT03 alternative, uglier btw but thats in my opinion.

for me a real "evolution" (improvement) for the SG05 would be the same design but a little longer and taller, just enough to fit normal size PSUs, AND made of aluminium. yes we have the SG08 but i find the SG05 unbeatable (so far) on the "cute" aspect :D

I hope SilverStone can make a aluminum SG05 and offer it with a modular PSU. I would buy one. Maybe this thread will give them more reasons to.

I started this thread with similar ideas on improving the SG05. However, the current design iteration allows for a smaller footprint on the desk, which is preferred. Plus, Necere has spent a lot of time designing this case, we shouldn't let it go to waste :)
 

wahaha360

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i didnt mean having them make the case. i mean that if you had lian li or someone do a limited run of this case, i doubt silverstone would bring charges against you or make you pay a royalty fee. since its such a limited quantity and youre making no profit there wouldnt really be anything for them to sue for. it would just be a waste of money and time for silverstone.

:cool:

I honestly don't care where it comes from, as long as the quality and price makes sense. All OEMs representatives feel free to PM me.
 

CMadki4

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I'm not surprised by Silverstone's quoted price of $200/unit, especially at such small quantities. It's not far off from what I figured.

But I'm getting a little lost as to what your objective is, wahaha360.

  • If you want this case for yourself, then just get any decent fabricator to make one or two for you.
  • If you don't want to profit from, but just want to get the idea out there, then I'd say you've been successful so far on a small scale.
  • If you do want to profit if (which you've seem to have made clear that you don't) you'll have to either
    • A: act as mfg. and distributor
    • B: act as mfg. and hire a distributor
    • C: hire the whole operation out
    • D: sell your idea to a major brand name mfg.
Honestly, none of the above is cheap or easy. But I'd be happy to act as your mfg. for one-off, prototype or production.



Necere, great designs!
 

wahaha360

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cmadki4, fair question, the answer - it's a learning experience.

Few days after starting this thread, I would have taken the offer for 1 unit custom order and ended it there.

Then Necere showed us this design and we all got excited. I also had a chance to see Necere's other designs as well and imho, it's like a breath of fresh air compare to what's on the market.

I don't know what's going to happen in the future, I don't even know if we will get funded on Kickstarter. I just know the process is fun, and we'll keep moving forward :)
 

Jacob666

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What would it cost to get a professional to produce 1 unit?

It's risky business to order hundreds of cases. A lot of money is at stake. Are you sure you guys are ready for this?
 

adjas

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You might as well just start up a specialized SFF case company and go for it.

Though to be honest (personal preference), not a fan of the current case, I prefer Horizontal than Vertical ITX cases (ala Fractal Node 304, or SG05 / SG07)

Fractal Node 304 looks like the perfect ITX case to me. Except for the USB being on the right rather than centered.
 

wahaha360

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It's risky business to order hundreds of cases. A lot of money is at stake. Are you sure you guys are ready for this?

Yes, we are in the process of finalizing the design for the first prototype.

You might as well just start up a specialized SFF case company and go for it.

Not on the radar.

A hobby vs. building a company requires planning on a different scale. The need to be profitable will only create constraints on design and build quality.

Without financial gains or incentives to distract us, we are free to pursue our true interests.
 

CMadki4

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What would it cost to get a professional to produce 1 unit?
Just cut/bend/finish, you're over $300 easy. That's a lot of small cutouts which makes for long cycle times and more scrap potential. The cost-down version would use an aluminum mesh rather than cutting the mesh into the panels.

You might as well just start up a specialized SFF case company and go for it.
You make it sound so easy! ;) But seriously, no matter how you approach it you're talking a major capital investment; either on inventory or on machinery.
 

ekuest

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You might as well just start up a specialized SFF case company and go for it.

Though to be honest (personal preference), not a fan of the current case, I prefer Horizontal than Vertical ITX cases (ala Fractal Node 304, or SG05 / SG07)

Fractal Node 304 looks like the perfect ITX case to me. Except for the USB being on the right rather than centered.

why do you prefer horizontal to vertical? just asthetics i presume? i really like vertical as it can suck air in the bottom and blow it out the top, working with the natural tendency for heat to rise. it also gives you the smallest footprint possible at the cost of height, which for most people is much preferred when trying to save desk space.
 

Skott

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Just cut/bend/finish, you're over $300 easy. That's a lot of small cutouts which makes for long cycle times and more scrap potential. The cost-down version would use an aluminum mesh rather than cutting the mesh into the panels.


You make it sound so easy! ;) But seriously, no matter how you approach it you're talking a major capital investment; either on inventory or on machinery.

If you want to get some info contact Dave at PC Design Lab (Qmicra). I bet he could give you some useful ideas on how to go about making a case from design to finished product. He went through it here in the USA.
 

CMadki4

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If you want to get some info contact Dave at PC Design Lab (Qmicra). I bet he could give you some useful ideas on how to go about making a case from design to finished product. He went through it here in the USA.
Not me, but if the OP is interested in knowing the process I'm sure he could.
 

wahaha360

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Does anyone know what kind of finish Apple use on their aluminum products?

Necere and I believe it's sandblasted and anodized, but I want to see if anyone knows for sure.
It's a finish we are considering for this case.
 

miahallen

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Did this idea die?
FYI - I'm still hoping for success :)
The SG05/06 is such a brilliant design....I'd love to see it improved on ;)
I'd love to build MAX11Lv4 based on the result of this collaboration.
 

DG25

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Why not put the USB ports on top? Maybe under a small door, like some Lian Li cases have. And i think the top part is a bit too big, back cables don't take that much space, usually... Otherwise it looks great, i wish it will go into production.
 

IanM

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the top part is a bit too big, back cables don't take that much space, usually...
You've almost answered your own question, you need to have enough space for the cable to flex without excessive strain on the wires, plugs and sockets.

The cables themselves probably aren't at much risk as they would typically be multi-stranded wires, but if you use a cable with a stiff jacket and try to cram it into the space it might, if you're unlucky, break the socket it's plugged into. Very bad luck indeed if you happen to break the DVI socket on your expensive new mobo or gfx card!
 

wahaha360

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In communication with 2 manufactures right now and working out the manufacturing details.

The engineering process from the manufactures' side is taking longer as a result of the need to maintain a clean external appearance, and to that end we're hoping to avoid any externally visible screws, rivets, or other purely structural details. Ultimately, this leads to brazing / NCT (friction welding) of aluminum for more parts, which makes the process a little different.
 

wahaha360

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cmadki4, I sent you a PM.

anyone else with prototyping capabilities beside cmadki4?

Kickstarter requires a prototype as of Sep this year, can't use renderings anymore.
 
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ekuest

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cmadki4, I sent you a PM.

anyone else with prototyping capabilities beside cmadki4?

Kickstarter requires a prototype as of Sep this year, can't use renderings anymore.

talk to dwood on OCN. he's awesome and has very fair prices. i can't recommend him highly enough.

EDIT: heres a project he manufactured and helped design for another OCN user if you want to see his work.
 
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Daemos

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Personally I would like to see an SG05 without an ODD, a relocated PSU to the front so you can have a bigger HSF...while still keeping the ability to do 1x 2.5 and 1x3.5 HDD
 

Necere

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So due to the somewhat stringent requirements of our design it turns out that it's a bit of a challenge to get everything worked out the way we want. That in mind, I went back to the drawing board and came up with something completely different (and more traditional), but comparatively simple to manufacture. I'm presenting the rough version here to see what you guys think and get some feedback. We'll call this Concept 2.

Concept 2

This is a larger case compared to the first concept, but for good reason: it's considerably more capable. Closely resembling the PC-Q25 in appearance, it is both more compact and yet able to house some of the largest coolers on the market. A unique feature of the case is its three expansion slots - a first for a mini-ITX case, as far as I know. To save space and allow for full size CPU coolers, the power supply is located at the front. Alternately, a radiator can be installed on the rear 120mm fan mount.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 330 x 190 x 260mm (270mm w/feet), 16.3L
  • Expansion: 3 slots, up to 300mm long cards supported
  • Drives: 1 x 3.5", 2 x 2.5", up to two additional 3.5" drives at the bottom possible if the third expansion slot is empty; no optical drive or 5.25" bays
  • Max cooler height: 160mm
  • Power supply: ATX, max 140mm long
  • Fans: 120mm rear, 140mm top, additional 120/140mm at the bottom possible if the third expansion slot is empty

Pics:












What do you think? Is this a case you'd be interested in?
 
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jamaicanpi

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Why three expansion slots?

You're thinking of the space wrong. It's a flexible design. That space below the 2nd expansion slot offers flexibility.

For those who need more drive space, it offers that.
For those who want an aftermarket GPU cooler, or a stock 2.5-3 expansion slot cooler, it offers that.

It makes the case larger, but 17L is still compact
 

jamaicanpi

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Power supply: ATX, max 140mm long


OLD quote:
Can you explain how the power supply is oriented? What is the orientation of the fan? It looks like either the drives or the case would be in the way.

Nevermind. I didn't think about the side vents in the front. I see how it works.

I think it's a very clever design and I like this more than Lian Li's PC-Q08,25,etc.
 
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Kaos_Drem

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Ahh man...

I was really hoping for the vertical case design. I mean what is the difference between this case you have here now and the one that was vertical. Don't get me wrong this still looks nicer than a lot of cases you see at least in the renders. I was just really hoping for the vertical case design.

Also...140MM max length on PSU means NONE of the ATX psus will work as most are 5.9in long at the minimum giving 150MM in length. Just a thought.
 
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Nightrainsrt4

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At that point I would have just made it 1.5cm taller. Then four slots would fit and it would support mATX.
 
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