I had a perfectly good metal heater housing left over from a previous project (http://www.instructables.com/id/Old-rusty-heater-resurrected/
), so naturally I had to make something out of it. The more I looked at it, the more I envisioned a new computer. I just happened to have all the parts needed, including a mini-itx board, and this little heater housing was a perfect size for building a small desktop pc.
Step 1: Materials required
Since I had all the parts I needed, I really had to buy nothing. The parts used were:
- empty metal heater housing
- mini-itx motherboard
- 160 gb hard drive
- 300w power supply
- DVD combo writer
- wireless PCI card
- momentary switch
- two LEDs for the front panel
- two IDE cables
- internal speaker
- 1gb PC2700 memory (maximum for this motherboard)
- software (operating system, hardware drivers, application software)
- miscellaneous nuts, bolts, and washers
The tools used were:
- drill & bits
- jig saw with a metal cutting blade
Step 2: Determine layout
I began with taking all the major components and figuring out the best place to mount them. I finally decided on mounting the power supply on the bottom right, the motherboard on the top right, and the optical drive at the bottom left. This would give good access to the optical drive, the motherboard back panel ports, and the optical drive. I mounted the hard drive behind the motherboard.
Since the heater housing came apart in two separate pieces (front and back half), I had plenty of room to work, even though when assembled very little space was wasted.
Please note that the parts shown in the photo are for reference only, and not the actual parts I used (a mini-itx board is significantly smaller than the ATX board shown).