Introduction: Small Computer Case
In this tutorial i will show you how i built my own small computer case out of basic materials, using basic tools.
This case is made out of transparent acrylic glass surrounded by an aluminium frame.
- Hot glue gun
- Dremel or metal filer (if you want smooth cuts for the frame)
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Step 1: Choose the Parts and Build a Prototype
The first step is to create the foundation of your PC by choosing the parts you will use. This build is based on the mini-ITX standard (as layout), but has small modifications.
For this build, i have chosen the following parts:
- Commel LV-672 Mini-ITX motherboard (with Pentium 4 HT 631 and 512 MB of memory)
- no name ATX power supply
- ATI Radeon HD2600 PRO
- laptop SATA hard disk
Additionally you will need:
- motherboard screws & mounts (the mounts i have chosen use hard drive screws)
- countersunk screws and nuts for them
Because my motherboard has a mini-PCI slot and because the GPU has a long bracket (goes past the motherboard when installed in the system), a double layer of mounts is required.
Step 2: Choose the Materials , Make Measurements and Start Building
The materials you will need are:
- aluminium angle bars 15mm x 15mm (at least 3 meters)
- transparent acrylic glass
The measurements are based around the mini-ITX motherboard that was chosen. The board measures 170 mm x 170 mm. You can see the layout of the components in one of the pictures above. Here are the measurements for the base of the unit that i have chosen to use (yours may deffer depending on your preferences):
- Length: power supply + motherboard + reserved GPU space = 290 mm
- Width: 3 mm gap for the GPU bracket + motherboard + 20 mm space for hard drive = 193 mm
- Height : 155 mm ( power supply + spare space)
You will need to cut 5 pieces of acrylic glass panels (i did not cover the I/O side) with the following sizes (as reference):
-290 mm x 193 mm (two)
-193 mm x 155 mm (two)
-290 mm x 155 mm (only one)
After that, start cutting pieces from the aluminum angle bar to surround the bottom panel (290 x 193) to get a aluminium frame. Do this process with the other panel to get two assembled pieces. Secure the corners of the bottom frame with countersunk screws. Next, secure with hot glue the remaining panels to the base and join the cover with the rest of the unit. I attached the cover with screws from the power supply and the side frame on the other side.
Step 3: Done
25/09/2016: so far, the computer does not look pretty and is not fully finished yet, because i don't really have time to finish it (school...), so an update will be coming in the future.
UPDATE 26/07/2018: This computer has served my grandparents for almost two years in this state (behind the TV obviously) until recently, as they switched to a newer computer. Surprisingly, it still works, but I will have to take it apart, because I have no use / any storage place for it. Fare well, old computer!