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[Build Log] Metroid -A 3D printed computer case

Level 7
Hi guys, I'm 8-Bit Builder. I've been doing this for about 10 years now and just starting up my newest build. I build cases in the an old pixelated style as you will see shortly :D.

I've been wanting to build a Metroid computer case for about 7 years now but plastic was always too expensive ($1 a cube) compared to .08 cents a cube of wood which is what all my previous PC mods are made out of. Once I found out how accessible 3D printers were, I jumped head first and picked up a Maker Select. After a few months of non-stop printing it dawned on me that I could make the Metroid computer case I've been thinking about for such a long time. Normally I spend about 200-250$ in wood/paint but 3D printing plastic is really cheap in comparison, about $80 in plastic. I'm also planning on having a really cool light sequence on the inside of the case to get the red effect of the in game Metroid. Being my first foray into a 3D printed computer I'm sure I'll run into issues but look forward to overcoming them. This will also be my first time with programmable LED's so it will be a learning experience on that front also! I'm going with an ASUS STRIX for the Aura Sync capabilities since this case is going to have a big focus on lighting. The more advanced lighting will be done with the Tinkerboard.

A strong gaming pc
100s' of LEDs programmed inside for a light show
95% 3D printed

ASUS has sponsered/supplied me with components for this mod (Really appreciate it) and also in the past on my Airship PC Case seen here:

ASUS ROG STRIX X370-I GAMING AM4 AMD X370 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 Mini ITX AMD Motherboard

ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 TURBO-GTX1080-8G 8GB 256-Bit GDDR5X PCI Express 3.0

-ASUS ROG Strix X370-I

-ASUS GTX 1080 Turbo

-GeIL 16gb DDR4 Super Luce RAM

-Thermaltake SFW Toughpower 600w fully modular PSU

-Thermaltake Riing RGB Fans (120mm, 200mm, Cpu cooler)


Asus Tinkerboard with a few hundred LEDs programmed in a cool light show

And heres some photos of my past work:

Airship from Final Fantasy

Link from Zelda

And a 3D model I've printed, Calcifer from Howl's Moving Castle

Ok on to the build! This is what I'm building (modeled in 123Design/Tinkercad):
Metroid from ...Metroid!

The modeled case

My first idea of how the components will fit

I started printing and doing test pieces to make sure I had it down pretty good and to test strength of the frame. Needless to say, it holds a LOT of weight (I weigh 185lbs)

I've got the printer going in earnest on the final design now. The printer will be going non-stop for about 2-3 weeks to get all the pieces done. I'll be back soon though with photos of attaching sections together with glue and 3D pen welding!

If you have any questions or ideas, feel free to ask 😄

Level 7
Back with a few updates. I'm printing in earnest, and got a few progress shots and issues even, but nothing unsurpassable.

This is a gif of a lighting test for the build. I wanted to verify Red Leds would go through green plastic without to much color distortion. Alls well on that front

Heres the printer starting on a 48 hour print job.

This is the base of the metroid which will support the weight of all the components. Just prepping gluing it and clamping.

And this is my work area. Off to the right is my second printer with the Airship pc case nearby.

Community Admin
Community Admin
That's pretty awesome! Might have to get you to design some 3D-printed accessories to compliment our motherboards!
We have a forum section for 3D-printing as well:

I'm sure there are also others who are eager to follow your progress and learn from your experience.

Some downloads:

Some ideas from the past:
FPS, Racing & VR Gamer / Tech Enthusiast / ROG Admin

Level 7
Thanks for the links, they are pretty awesome. I wasn't aware they were prociding stl models for 3d printing, thats cool! I'll see what I can use, and if anything, use the ideas of them to mod them to this cases theme at least.

Level 7
ON to some special super glue made for 3D PLA and a 3D pen to weld the pieces together. The glue is probably fine but I'm gonna play it safe and double up on strong connection points.

The glue

3D pen action

After 3D pen

Give em the clamps!

Finished base

Baby for scale 😄

Level 7
This post is about printer problems 😞

This is how it looks starting. This is about 3 hours into a print of 1 of the 14 sections left

A little futther in the print, about 9 hours

Aaaaand heres the issue at about 12 hours in. The tube that guides the plastic let loose while I was away from home and just shot the plastic everywhere. Usually on 3D printing you can resume from where an error happened but due to the nature of this design, the pieces have to be complete in 1 shot. So this is about 12ish hours of progress loss and plastic loss 😞

Round 2 at trying the same print after I fixed the issue. Using my Fire light to keep it lit up at night for the timelapse I'm making.

ANNNND heres issue #2. This is hard to see, but at 46 hours in on this print WITH ONLY 2 HOURS LEFT!, I got a layer shift. A layer shift is usually because a belt slips or a cable got caught on something. In this case, the cable got caught on the section of the plastic as it was printing. It prevented the head of the printer to move to its correct position so it started printing to the left by about 4mm. i caught it after it happened in about 10 min. but it was too late. 46 hours loss and about 11$ of plastic loss ;_;. Since this happened, I don't print the sections more than 4 columns of cubes high (88.8mm), that way I don't take such a large hit of loss of time. Its not noticeable in this photo of the layer shift but i had to discard this piece.

These issues combined with my 2nd printer also running into problems (was down for 5 days while replacement parts came in), was a hit in my sails of progress, but I've been back on track in the last day or so and got them both running. About 7 days of non-stop printing should get the the top of the case complete. I'll be back in a day or two to update progress with the components being layed out inside the base, and will probably ask for opinions on what looks best. See you guys then!

Level 7
Heres a component placement update:

The ASUS Turbo 1080 just by its lonesome

The ASUS STRIX-370I alone also

But not for long! These are testing "legs" to hold up the motherboard. I'll make some beefier/sturdier ones soon, but I really do like the 45 degree angle of the STRIX 370-I toward where the window will be. Not often I get to do a motherboard at an angle like this

The bottom is for a 200mm fan, just using one of my placeholder fans atm to test with

Bottom with no fan frame base

With base

With fan

Level 7
Back with some more things:

Working on the "teeth" which are what hold up the case from the floor

Printed in tranparent red and white, with a hollowed out point for leds to light up

The teeth going through quality control (not sure how to embed gifs/youtube links on here so just a regular link for now:

Teeth in place

This is neat, this is heat changing plastic. Its brown at room temperature but turns green as it warms up. In this photo, I drilled the holes a little bigger and the friction from the drill heated the end up to green as you can see

Lastly, a new issue. This is a partial clog in the nozzle where not enough plastic comes out. I cleaned the plug and had to toss this piece.

Level 7
Working on the top frame now.

Heres the base in pieces

Clamping it together

All said and done with the lower section

I'm still waiting on the printer to finish the rest of the sections so will have whole frame done in a few days

Level 13
That's Awesome! Great Stuff , Thanks