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Does anyone have any creative computer case modding ideas?

Im planning to build a computer in the near future, and plan to use an intel mini-itx mobo, laptop hard drive, slimline disc drive, and a small power supply unit. The mobo is about 7" inches square, and the rest of the parts are standard sizing. Im still trying to come up with an idea for a case, since it would be much cooler to build a custom computer case mod. For example, i built one of these motherboards and parts into a broken VCR, and made the tape slot the disk drive. So.... What your ideas? By the way, i have already seen the instructables on this, im looking for new ideas.

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MTJimL5 years ago
A dormitory-size refer could host a PC by converting the evaporator coil into an air dryer and routing the cold, dry air over the PC components. Running the thermostat at 45 deg f. would keep the internal air dry and the door would be sealed to prevent entry of warm, dirty air. One issue would be finding a refrigerant that would keep the evaporator coil over 32 deg., so as not to frost the coil.
30jspecial7 years ago
well i thought of a super cheap idea, so you take any cheap case. then cut a hole on side ( make plexi glass window ) , then take the head of a flash light off and make a holder ( so it looks like the a minature lamp the thing they flash into the sky to get airplanes to land, you know) with a bat sticker or plastic bat either on the light itself, or the window. then run the wires out to the batteries or convert the fixture to whatever. in order for it to work i think your computer would have to be kinda dark on the inside so it would be a good, cheaper idea for your nephew or something maybe? or not. my computer has a bat signal but i have already put to much fancy lights in it. it still looks pretty cool. also use door trim for cars or wire for trim window


12Hippos8 years ago
gmxx (author)  12Hippos8 years ago
believe it or not... i have built a vcr computer. I actually completed the build about a week before the instructable, and was thinking about making an instructable...
12Hippos gmxx8 years ago
I would really like to see it.
dagenius8 years ago
Putting it in a chair could be cool, or maybe an air conditoner.
gmxx (author)  dagenius8 years ago
might be alittle big.... but a recliner with built in touchscreen would be awesome.
robotguy48 years ago
Make it out of blown glass.
gmxx (author)  robotguy48 years ago
sounds like a cool idea.... i jus don't have the equipment to blow the glass.... and then cut it.
MattGyver928 years ago
I am doing this for a portable Xbox 360, but it could easily work for a computer too. Wha I'm doing is getting the case made out of sheet metal and using a stencil, cutting a TRON-style design out of it. What I want to do after that, is get lucite/lexan/plexiglass/acrylic (clear or opaque is fine) and glue/secure it on the inside of the case for each face. Then I'm going to get RGB (Red/Green/Blue) LEDs and put them adjacent to the plexiglass. This makes my case into a moodlight that I can control the color using a potentiometer resistor and a controller (programmed). You could also use switches to get your colors that you want to either the whole thing, or different colors for different parts of the case. You could even have the colors cycle.
You could try WWII ammo cans for a more conventional style. They vary in size, but the most common ones are about the size and shape of desktop computer towers circa 2002. I found them at an army/navy surplus store.
gmxx (author)  RobotDangerKitty8 years ago
ive seen that idea before... it doesn't seem like something that is what im looking for... i know the perfect idea is out there.
Good luck! Just out of curiosity, have you ever built a liquid-cooled computer? I've been hearing more and more about them but I've never seen/used one.
gmxx (author)  RobotDangerKitty8 years ago
i actually haven't built a liquid cooled computer... it tends to be more of something done for gaming computers. and then you have to change the liquid and keep it clean.
Kryptonite8 years ago
I'm sorry, I don't have a picture of mine, but it's got two LED's (on & busy status) that's the eyes of a skull, and it glows in the dark & looks pretty funky.
gmxx (author)  Kryptonite8 years ago
sounds pretty cool, i am definitely thinking about putting leds and possibly cold cathode fluorescent lights.
Kryptonite gmxx8 years ago
Cold cathodes are annoying, I can't figure them out, so if you do, can you tell me how to hook it up?
gmxx (author)  Kryptonite8 years ago
from what i understand they should have an inverter board that is attached to a molex connector on your power supply. if you don't have the inverter, you wil probably need to order one.
Kryptonite gmxx8 years ago
I'm sorry, but I'm not very fluent in Gibberish. Sorry I didn't get most of that, google, here I come!
What are your interests? For example, if you love basket ball, slice up a real b-ball, build a spherical frame for it, and stuff the computer in it.
gmxx (author)  DELETED_GuardianFox8 years ago
computers actually :p im open to anything that would not be large in size
Get a nice squarish, silver toaster that your computer will fit inside. Gut the toaster. Fit your computer into it. Buy a couple of premade white angel wings from a craft store. Affix those to the side. There's my idea.
Bonus points if you can get the toaster's dial or lever to turn on the PC.
gmxx (author)  DELETED_GuardianFox8 years ago
I like the idea... until you mentioned the white angel wings. :P The lever/dial idea should be possible should i go that route
Flying toaster :P You could do the other version, with the jet airplane wings.
gmxx (author)  DELETED_GuardianFox8 years ago
maybe.... although doing the toaster, icould have the cd/dvd drive come out of a toaster slot.... :)
I'm for the toaster idea, wings or not. A slot-loading (?) disc drive that ejects out of a slot would be icing on the cake. Or, perhaps, the tray of a laptop-style disc drive that pops up with the lever? Plugging my own idea: use a section of PVC pipe (clear or not). Also adds the option of putting speakers in the ends for built-in stereo
gmxx (author)  LeftSquareBracket8 years ago
i have a laptop slimline dvd write drive. making the lever pop it would be cool, but probably extremely difficult, because it is mechanical. the pvc idea sounds cool, but is it relatively easy to get pve pipe that is clear and has about an 8" internal diameter?
True, true. And without reinforcing the stop mechanism on the drive or weakening the spring in the toaster, it might yank the tray completely out.

It's fairly easy to find. Online. Googling such things as "8" Pipe Sch 40 Clear PVC" are good for results.
There's online retailers for it (even up to 10" and 12" diameters). For example: http://www.indelco.com/pc-4051-296-pi03.aspx
The stuff isn't cheap, though, weighing in at $63.98 (USD) per foot at 8".

4" and 6" diameters may be good for lighting/mad scientist laboratory containers, but I digress.
gmxx (author)  LeftSquareBracket8 years ago
a little more than i wanted to spend. at that point, the case would cost more than the motherboard (which has a built in cpu and video card). it would be majorly awesome though. :P i doubt there is a tupperware that is perfectly round with an 8" Internal Diameter :P
I figured. Bending acrylic to get a tube that size wouldn't be an easy task, either... (about 25" in one dimension to get an 8" rolled diameter) Perhaps a glass baking dish? (to continue repurposing containers) OR, maybe a bunch of DVD cases adhered together, with all of the front and back covers removed to allow for components, similar to hollowing out a book to store something. (similar to NobodyInParticular's suggestion below) They're also about 7.5 inches in their largest dimension.
gmxx (author)  LeftSquareBracket8 years ago
yea... the acrylic rolling would be difficult for me to do, the dvd cases are a good idea, but the mobo is like 7.67 inches square... just alittl big
ooh. The few other things i can come up with would be a repurposed flatbed scanner (or even printer?) and a cooler. I could see height possibly being an issue with the scanner (fans and possibly RAM being too tall), but not footprint. A printer may actually be fairly easy to work with, especially since old ones are relatively easy (and cheap) to get hold of. A cooler might not be the most adventurous thing to case mod, but it does allow for lots of space, cooling, and possibly peripheral storage (as well as a convenient handle).
gmxx (author)  LeftSquareBracket8 years ago
now that you mention the cooler idea, i remember seeing a cooler that would be the perfect size for the parts, and it was only like $6. The scanner would be cool if i could make the scan light come on while it was on, but i don't have any scanners i can cannibalize. The printer idea would be cool also, especially if i was able to make the printer tray, do something (like put a receipt printer in it or something.)
Sweet!
gmxx (author)  LeftSquareBracket8 years ago
lol
Mr E Man8 years ago
You can gather artistic inspiration from ordinary household objects.

For example, disguise your case as
  • a stack of folded laundry (thrift-store items with the centers removed like a book-safe),
  • a potted plant (Christmas cactus is cheap and low-maintenance), or
  • a stack of soup cans (either a pyramid of small cans or a couple institutional-size).
I would look at the mini-itx gallery to decide what not to do, since it has already been done. (The 800MHz Teddy Bear remains my favorite.)

gmxx (author)  NobodyInParticular8 years ago
i was looking at the mini-itx gallery a few years ago, and forgot about until now. the teddy bear pc is pretty awesome, especially with the headphones.
This would require quite a bit of experimentation, but how about a mobile or other kinetic sculpture that has each component of the computer dangling in space?

To connect components across rotating joints, obviously you cannot use wires without them becoming tangled after a few turns. But I suspect that an electrical connection with brushes and commutator would not provide a clean enough connection for computer components. Instead, you might need to use a very short-range wireless power and data transmission. A metal like gallium that liquifies near room temperature can also be used to electrically connect rotating joints.
gmxx (author)  NobodyInParticular8 years ago
that sounds awesome, but somewhat unfeasible for my needs. im looking for something that can be moved, and easily modified.
NachoMahma8 years ago
. It really depends on what you have laying around to put it in. . I like the VCR idea. Not many ppl use disks nowadays, a DVD player might be easier to use and a functional tray would look more "natural."