The Slim Machine: 4.5 Liter console-style custom build

CC Ricers

Aug 28, 2014
This is a do-over from a previous scratch build attempt from a year and a half ago (had a thread at Overclock). I was going to make a custom PC case with dimensions similar to the PS4 (and new Xbox One) console. However, budget problems arose, lost my job so I couldn't finish up as planned. Now I'm going back to the idea and doing some changes to the design.

The goal here isn't really to have a ultra-powerful build in a very small case. Instead it will focus on a power-efficient mid-tier gaming PC. 150-200w being the target for power consumption. A major change from the original design will be that it won't have a full PSU inside anymore, but at the same time I'd want to avoid using overly large, bulky power bricks if possible.

NFC Systems' S3 Mini and S4 Mini are a big inspiration for this case. But I'll be taking a different approach to construction. No outsourcing of design or manufacture will be done here, just with my access to regular home power tools.

Just for reference here is the ORIGINAL design concept below. It has since developed into something more different.


The updated design will not have the front panel wraparound to the back. It will just be one solid piece in the front.

Components for the build:
  • Intel Core i3 4130T
  • Asus Z97I-Plus motherboard
  • EVGA GTX 750 Ti
  • SanDisk X110 m.2 128GB SSD
  • 2TB 2.5" hard drive (not yet bought)
  • 8 (2x4) GB low profile Samsung DDR3 "green" RAM
  • HD-PLEX 160w DC power supply
  • Scythe Kozuti cooler
  • Sintech 5cm flexible PCI-E riser
  • Dell Alienware M14x 150w 19.5v AC adapter

Now on to the building of the case!


Started working on the case over a month ago, first by re-using a previously cut and bent piece. It turns out I don't have a single 36" long sheet, so the frame would have to be made from two individually cut sheets. The sheets are 11 gauge (.090") so they're fairly thick!

Two flaps had to be removed (part of the old design) which took longer than expected so there wasn't much time left over to do measuring and cutting on the new design. But I have done all the measurements for the bottom/rear part of the frame. This sheet is 11"x13" in size. The cross-hatched areas will be cut out.


Then I used a table saw to score two grooves across the other side, for bending the top flap and back side of the case.


I have another longer piece that will be used to make the bottom and top sides of the case, which will wrap around and connect with this piece on the front of the motherboard tray, and in the back right.
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CC Ricers

Aug 28, 2014
Looks an awful lot like this case: Logic Supply Compact Mini-ITX Case with Expansion | Logic Supply

It's 4.2L. It might be easier to mod something like this instead of creating a case from scratch.

I thought about using that case once. It looks nice and has a no-frills interior, but the price was more than I expected. I'm working on a tight budget and was hoping that case was more in the area of $50.

The aluminum pieces I already have were leftovers from an abandoned project and I figured it would be nice to use those to make this case instead (as well as work on my DIY building chops).