3D designed custom Rick & Morty UV reactive PC case3D designed custom Rick & Morty UV reactive PC case
Apr 20 2018
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For about 18 years I have wanted to build a wall mounted PC but was missing either cash, materials or tools. I've built several PC cases over the years in various designs but never a wall mounted one .. until now. These days there are various designs out there but none I ever really liked. So I got to work designing the case I really wanted fully in 3D and spent weeks tweaking my design to be exactly how I wanted from how wires will be channelled (giving the volume of wires its stupid important) right down to the bolt sizes to use when mounting platforms.

Thanks to my job I have learnt a fair bit about laser cutting and etching and so was able to take my own designs from 3D, export them as DXF files and take them to the laser machine to cut and etch everything myself. This was a true start to finish home-brew build and the final result is nothing short of kick ass!

.. unless you don't like Rick and Morty, then what you doing here?! :D

A REALLY BIG THANKS to Phil at Acrylic Craft for his guidance and providing the materials to make this project possible (also the use of the machines in my own spare time - not like I have my own laser cutter lying around LOL) thus this project would of been near impossible without them.
/theme/computer case/1-case-laser-cut-light-ply
I designed my case in Rhino and exported a closed curve DFX to be laser cut out of 6mm light plywood.
/theme/computer case/2-case-assembled-wood-glue
The back (or bottom in this photo) is made up of 2 layers of 6mm. The exposed back layer contains all the key cuts for the sides and top to slot into, while the layer above allowed them too pass through. Every layer and join is wood glued. Not a single screw or bolt in sight.
/theme/computer case/3-wood-staining-two-tone
The frame of the case had two coats of wood stain applied while the two platforms received only one.
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The back of the case where you can see all the key slots that everything joins into.
/theme/computer case/5-mounting-boards-in-place
The platforms are suspended on bolts and capped with rounded nut caps. You can now clearly see the two tone look.
/theme/computer case/6-usb-network-usb3-extensions
The motherboard is mounted on the right side so I needed to extend every port out of the motherboard to a side panel on the side. This consisted of 6 USB-2 ports, 2 USB-3 ports and RJ-45 network plug. These wires as you can see in the photo are hidden under the horizontal panel section of the left platform.
/theme/computer case/7-power-button-headphone-mic-extensions
The bottom left is open for the PSU back in additional to the power button. Below that are 2 headphone jack plugs split from motherboard and a microphone jack port above. On the right side I accounted for the graphics card cables to come in through the bottom hence the 80mm diameter hole for them to pass through.
/theme/computer case/8-internal-uv-led-installed
Now for lights! I'm using UV 5050 SMD LEDs on a strip. They are placed to shine inwards not out so the insides glow.
/theme/computer case/9-internal-uv-led-test
With the platforms in place you can see how the light becomes diffused.
/theme/computer case/10-support-pole-chains-installed
The case will be suspended from a 4mm wall thickness chrome tube mounted right against the ceiling out of the way. I wanted to stick with chrome so went with chains to hang on. I use S chain hooks to latch the tops and bottom.
/theme/computer case/11-case-mounted-operational
In the top left I have 2 x 1TB SATA drives, below my 240GB SSD and then the EVEA 650W Gold PSU. On the right is my motherboard with all cables leading under the platform. My Nvidia 1050ti is mounted upright to see the whole thing not just the side, this runs on a PCI-E 16x 30cm extension cable (gold plated).
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The PSU is only bolted in with the top 2 bolts using washers to ensure they don't sink in. It's not holding the PSU up only pinning it in place.
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Another night time shot with all the components installed.
/theme/computer case/13-cover-side-mold frame
My case front panel calls for rounded corners. Because I am using 3mm acrylic I have to heat the acrylic and make the bend. I decided to fabricate a really solid mould using 6mm thick scrap I designed in 3D and laser cut out.
/theme/computer case/14-mold-front
The mould frame is plated with 2mm thick plywood after being soaked for 12h and then pinned in place whilst it dried. It could then be glued in place and is ready for use.
/theme/computer case/15-front-case-cover-laser-cut
After lots and lots of careful designing and planning I finally laser cut myself out the case front from 3mm UV reactive blue acrylic. The design is laser etched prior to the final cut pass. I love how pickle Ricks arm surpasses the CPU fan hole and is etched with the defining hand and arm sections.
/theme/computer case/16-case-cover-rounded
I clamped the sheet to the mould and slowly worked up the digital heat gun in temperature. It was only around 320c that the acrylic started to take shape (although 320c is applied heat from 30cm away). At this point I could only hope that the side bolt slots and CPU / GPU fan holes all lined up!
/theme/computer case/17-case-cover-port-hole-line-up
Of course they lined up! ... (phew ha). At this point I was pretty pleased with myself lol. Before putting the cover back on I installed a 80mm case fan as an extractor in the top right of the case which was last electronic component.
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On the bottom of the case you can see an aluminium section which houses a strip of the same UV blue LEDs pointing directly at the bottom edge of the case front. However on the top I didn't fancy staring at LEDs while at my computer, so I designed and laser cut a bracket to hold a 15*500mm piece of mirror finish acrylic sheet at exactly 45 degrees. Another strip of UV blue LEDs are mounted at 90 degrees facing the mirror which in turn is aligned with the top edge of the case front. The result is both top and bottom edges passing LED light but I can not visibly see any actual LEDs, the exact result I wanted - all light diffused.
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Because of the panel cut out area in the case front panel side it did bow a little but its nothing serious and although an accident I really don't dislike it.
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Now finally!!! Lights off time to see the case in all its glory :D

Look Morty ... Pickle Rick is punching the CPU!
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How I see everything while sitting at my desk. Of course I can turn off the LEDs from the toggle switch I installed on the underside of the case... but why would I turn them off?!
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