Need CAD help for personal SFF design

Blorgon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
363
I'm looking for a talented CADer to turn my proof-of-concept assemblage of 3D boxes :D into an actual machining plan.

And I'm also wondering if anybody here has access to machining equipment, and would be able to produce some cases. I'm thinking something along the lines of what CMadki4 did here: http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1769885

I'm not looking to do a mass production run like Necere, or Lone, or Aiboh, mostly because I don't want to step on their toes (not necessarily that I think my design is better). All I really want is to get a plan drawn, and have one or two machined.

Again, I've already got a crude CAD plan done, but I'm no where near having the skill to draw something a CNC could use.

Anybody interested?
 

Aibohphobia

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
1,340
Wish I could help but I could never get the hang of proper CAD software so it's SketchUp for me :p

You don't have to go overboard with the details but I think it will be helpful to do a rough mockup trying to take into account material thickness, how everything will attach together, clearances, etc. to make sure that your idea is feasible. What may seem like a brilliant layout when it's just a bunch of boxes can fall apart once you get into the details.

Maybe someone here is willing to take your design from rough layout to final CAD files but that's alot of work so you'll probably have more luck if you do some of the detail work upfront.

Just my $0.02

Anyway, good luck with your project and if you have any screenshots you're willing to share I'd love to see them :)
 

Blorgon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
363
Wish I could help but I could never get the hang of proper CAD software so it's SketchUp for me :p

You don't have to go overboard with the details but I think it will be helpful to do a rough mockup trying to take into account material thickness, how everything will attach together, clearances, etc. to make sure that your idea is feasible. What may seem like a brilliant layout when it's just a bunch of boxes can fall apart once you get into the details.

Maybe someone here is willing to take your design from rough layout to final CAD files but that's alot of work so you'll probably have more luck if you do some of the detail work upfront.

Just my $0.02

Anyway, good luck with your project and if you have any screenshots you're willing to share I'd love to see them :)

Thanks, it's cool to hear from you. Your case is pretty awesome!

Yeah, I'm slowly putting in details here and there and adjusting clearances and everything, but I only have accurate models of the GPU and the SSDs, and my CAD program only takes small .stl file types, so I can't find any other useful models. It's difficult to visualize the other connections. The layout would require custom sleeved PSU cables to cut down on every millimeter of excess cable, and I've thought about the ideal ITX motherboard connection placements and everything, but I need to actually go inside the case and work out the internal frame for the motherboard mounting and stuff.

Slowly chipping away at it :D

As soon as I've got something more than some colored 3D boxes, I'll let you guys know :D
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2014
Messages
27
Hey man, sometimes these projects are the fuel for learning. Proper contract CAD drafters charge $60+ an hour so really I don't see one volunteering their time. Beyond that manufacturing is a numbers game, if you don't move quantity, costs are to high. A single prototype can cost half of a 250 quantity production run. Also CNC sounds cool, but too costly for a full case is extremely wasteful (solid block milled out leaves tons of scrap with little material). May want to look and start thinking in sheet metal. Just some food for thought. Hope this helps and good luck.
 

Blorgon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
363
Hey man, sometimes these projects are the fuel for learning. Proper contract CAD drafters charge $60+ an hour so really I don't see one volunteering their time. Beyond that manufacturing is a numbers game, if you don't move quantity, costs are to high. A single prototype can cost half of a 250 quantity production run. Also CNC sounds cool, but too costly for a full case is extremely wasteful (solid block milled out leaves tons of scrap with little material). May want to look and start thinking in sheet metal. Just some food for thought. Hope this helps and good luck.

Thanks, you've hit the nail on the heads of my biggest concerns. I really don't know much about manufacturing processes.

I figured I'd try my luck here since there seems to be a pretty strong community of people into this kind of stuff, and collaborations have had some pretty decent success here. :D

I'll definitely try to get as detailed as possible by myself, and I guess at that point I'll put it up here to gauge interest for a production run. I'm a little reluctant to intrude on these other guys' market though.
 

Aibohphobia

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
1,340
Thanks, you've hit the nail on the heads of my biggest concerns. I really don't know much about manufacturing processes.

I found it helpful to watch YouTube videos of CNC mills, press brakes, laser cutters, etc. in action. Once you get a basic understanding of how they work, you can better appreciate the benefits and limitations of each process.

I'm a little reluctant to intrude on these other guys' market though.

I wouldn't worry about that, if your design brings something new to the market and is good at what it does than it deserves to succeed. Competition breeds innovation.
 

CMadki4

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
4,438
I'm a SW junkie myself (thanks to work), but you can also try Autodesk 123D. It's free and fairly capable considering. Go through the tutorials and pick up the basics little by little. You're really going to want to make small design tweaks and changes and won't want to wait on a 3rd party to respond.

3D modeling/designing is very time consuming. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration, especially if you expect to take it from CAD to CAM without much reinterpretation in between.

Plus, there is design for manufacturability. You need to have a pretty solid understanding of each of the manufacturing processes available to you and which will be best for your particular design/material selection.

It's a fun and interesting process. You'll learn quite a bit and have a whole new level of appreciation for what goes into quality manufactured goods.
 

Necere

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Messages
2,772
Don't worry too much about stepping on toes. It's tough enough to get a project off the ground - no room for timidity if you want to be successful at it. Besides, a little competition isn't a bad thing ;)
 

medeyer

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 16, 2013
Messages
355
I'm a fitter and turner, operated CNC machining centres for 10 years, learned a few CAD programs (no CAM programs, prefer raw ISO programming). People here have other skills and trades to boot, and others have a lot of PC case modding experience. If you want, post your design and get some constructive feedback from it. Doesn't matter if it's just boxes and lines right now, it just gives an idea of what you have in mind. If you're feeling up to it, you can download Sketchup and play around with that. Takes a little over an hour to go through the tutorials, another to get a good feel for it. I learned how to use it and did my first project in one afternoon just for fun. It wasn't particularly well received, but you can take a look at it here. Otherwise, if someone feels up to it, they might do a render for you.
 

rhansen5_99

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 12, 2001
Messages
2,153
Hey guys I work for a company called Alibre (rebranded to Geomagic) which does CAD and CAM software through Mechsoft. I would be happy to set you guys up with a free working version of the software and maybe help out with some designs, just let me know if you are interested. Check out alibre.com. There is also a sheetmetal package if you have access to that equipment.

The package is pretty seamless in integrating between the two. The main thing with the milling and Mechsoft Visual CAM is getting the processor for the machine setup properly so that the machine can interpret what is going on without breaking tools. The second as i have observed through case studies is getting tolerances for machining down to the proper levels. More precise = more cost but there is a break even point in there somewhere that is except-able.

Only catch that i ask for is that you give us a "shout out" ;)
 

Blorgon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
363
Excellent responses, thanks guys!

Necere and Aiboh, I appreciate the encouragement; you never know how established forum guys will respond to a newcomer.

Great idea to check out youtube videos!
 
Top