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[Intel NUC] The microprocessor [completed - final pics]

Level 7
Hey guys,

For a long time i've been wanting to make a small pc for the tv so when i saw the announcement of the Intel NUC/Bit-tech competition i thought i would send in a design and see how it goes. Sadly I didn't get picked for the competition but in the true spirit of modding i bought all the parts instead so i can still make a case.

When i first saw the Intel NUC and its small size i knew it would be perfect for my needs. When thinking of a design for the competition i started looking at Intel's old microprocessors and what they meant for the general public back in the days. These nuc motherboards are a bit of the same in my mind seeing they are quite powerful for their very small form factor. Anyways, enough of that 🙂

This is the design i sent in for the competition. It has changed quite a bit but i don't have any better ones.

Decided on a different version (still an i3) but with an wired network and no thunderbolt as i have no need for thunderbolt as of now and it was a bit cheaper

Nuc, 8GB of vengence 1600 ram and a wireless & BT card from Intel

120GB Kingston SSD

Now that that is over lets start with the build pictures
200x200x20mm piece of aluminum cut with a circular saw, worked a lot better than i thought it would.

As i recently finished upgrading my homebuilt CNC mill/router i thought i would put it to the test during this build

The Mill

Took me a while with the electronics since im no electrician and don't have a lot of skills with it, luckily no smoke

A bit of roughing with a 6mm endmill

More pictures soon as i have gotten a bit further than this.

Hope you like it and please drop a comment 🙂

Level 40
Dude I so like these threads. Love the fact you just got on with the build. Keep the work log pictures coming I have subscribed to this thread.

Oh and not to bad a job on the wiring of the box. 🙂
To help us help you - please provide as much information about your system and the problem as possible.

Level 14
cnc = ❤️ 😄
i want one too.

Level 7
Thx for the comment guys.
HiVizMan: i was so excited about the competition there was no backing out 😉

Forgot to post this in the first post but this is from where i got the inspiration, its not to scale since that would have meant making it very long

Started with milling som slots for the air intake

The air intake is done, and lowerd the tabs for where the nuc will be seated

Bottom side, as you can see i left a few tabs so the piece wouldn't move while milling through the sheet. Just cleaned of the tabs with a file as they were only around 2mm thick

For some reason i'm missing a lot of photos from milling the slots and the holes for the legs. But here are the slots 🙂

Had to mill out a bit for some of the slots because they all connectors are not on the same line

As usual something is bound to go wrong and while milling the slots for the connectors i forgot to zero the mill bit so all connectors are 1mm off to one side. That's why up in the right corner i had to make an extension bit for the motherboard

Test fit of the powerhouse 🙂 As u might have noticed the air intake is on the bottom side, i didn't want to have an air intake in the lid and making it this way i can get airflow through all components before leaving the case.

Sneak preview of next update

more updates coming soon 🙂

Level 7
Seem to get less and less time with modding every week but got a lot done during the weekend 🙂

The acrylic, Not much about it yet but i still need to get the film of the die on it, but that will be in a later update. Not the greatest finish on it but needs to be as "frosty" as possible to spread the light evenly.

The lid itself is just hollowed out on the inside, did a quick test fit to see if everything lines up. The lexan is slightly bigger than the aluminum. This might be because i removed the inner part first and then milled the outer profile, just give it a good sanding and it will be alright

The second mystery hole is for a fan controller to adjust the brightness of the leds (so u know cheapskate 🙂 )

Time to give the case some legs :), decided to go with m3 socket head screws so milled some 2,5mm holes

Milling a few legs at a time, didn't wanna mill all in one go in the event none of them would fit.

After finishing the leg cut outs i was thinking a while how i could chamfer the other side without using a file. So i milled out a pocket of the lexan where the legs fitted perfectly and then just jammed them in there with a plastic hammer and started chamfering. Worked a lot better than i thought it would

The three stages of the legs and the final color i picked. Did not expect the gold color looking so good. usually u need to try all brands before finding a good one.

All 12 legs milled and chamfered. Threading was a pain but eventually i got them all done. Had to use a normal one to get the start and made a custom flat end one to get it all the way to the bottom

quick test fit to see how it looks.

Next update coming tomorrow!
The color i chose, same as the test bench i made last year. It's called fine black, a very light texture which makes it look very "oem". Def my favorite black. Looks very bumpy but it's due to the ridiculous cropping i did to not show the hole thing 🙂

Level 7
Time for another update,

The lid painted

Need to practice on taking photos, they all are the same color but look different in every photo 🙂

Quick assembly to see what it looks like

From the oven straight back to the mill

First youtube video! Milling with a 1mm end mill to get as sharp edges as possible. The sound might be a bit loud so be prepared

All done, Decided that the old intel logo would fit the build better than the new one. The first plan was just to do a slight pocket and paint it. After finishing the pocket i realized that it would not look like i wanted it to.

So i came up with this, took a 2mm aluminum sheet, milled 1mm, chamfered all the edges and milled through the rest. As the pocket is 1mm deep and logo is 2mm thick it will be about 1mm above the lid. Also makes painting it a lot easier

Some of the edges needs a clean up but it will fit after some convincing.

Some paint after sanding and cleaning up the edges

Gave the on/off button some paint at the same time

Screws for the case

Just had to try it, still needs a bit of fiddling but very happy i went down this road

More updates coming soon!

Level 7
Back with another update.

Was thinking for a while on how to power the leds for the case. From experience in the last mod i did i saw better light spread with more leds and less intensity so i've decided to put quite a few leds in it and using a fan controller to adjust the intensity/brightness of them. I've seen others using the internal USB header but they won't supply enough power and the last thing i want to do is fry something. After doing some measurements i found out that the internal and external power supply is linked together, meaning as soon as i plug in the external power supply there's a constant 19V dc. From here i will use an 7812 voltage regulator to get the voltage down to 12V which i will feed into the fan controller to be adjustable all the way down to 0V.

The 7812 Voltage controller. Now i realize this photo wasn't the best for scale 🙂

Was so into the electronics i forgot to take more photos. But here its all done, tried to do some sleeving on it but was quite tricky when everything is soldered together. And the legs are painted 🙂 had to leave the last bit of the led connection un-sleeved so it would flex enough
The metal plate which has a bit of copper on it is the wireless antennas i took from the original nuc case, did not want to ruin them before i have tested that everything works

The nuc installed

On the left side you can see the 7812 Voltage regulator and kinda get a size on it, its tiny!

Plugged in but not powered on, testing that everything works, no smoke!

Added some leds to the lid, first thought was to glue them in the bottom of the case but seemed a lot easier to put them in the lid

Soldering together all the strips

More coming soon!

Level 7
Final update!

Was thinking a while how the easiest way to get a film on the acrylic, after some searching i found some transparent acetate film with an adhesive backing on ebay. Ordered a glossy version made for inkjets. Printed out to test it and it looked alright, but def not as glossy as i imagined. For some reason it would not stick well to the transparency film either. So fixing to problems at one go i decided to try and spray it with a clear coat and using sticky tape over the color. In the end the sticky tape had as even surface as the clear coat and no dust in it. So decided with sticky tape.

The result

And now for some final pictures 🙂 For some reason the acrylic ain't as glossy as real life but i can't use any other functions than auto on this camera

Hope you like it 🙂

Level 7
beautiful work dude! its really a good build congratulations!!;)
"if you dream it, you can make it" - Fransn0w

Fransn0w wrote:
beautiful work dude! its really a good build congratulations!!;)

Thx man!