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Project: OSIDIAS (Carbon Fiber SFF taken to the extreme)

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Hey guys, congrats on the shiny new forum! DarthBeavis mentioned to me a while back that it was coming, and I'm going to get you all up to speed on my latest project. In the interest of not cluttering things up to badly, I'll give you a few links to my past projects, and then start right in with OSIDIAS.

Alpha Blue


Project Rogue

Project: Hutch (Currently in progress)

Okay, shall we get on to the real fun? Since these forums are new, and I've been working on this project for some time, I'm going to have to copy and paste posts from another forum. I apologize in advance if there is anything that seems confusing, or if I refer to another post that obviously isn't here. I'll get everything current, and we should be good from there on out! I'll start with my original planning posts, and it will give you some idea of how things have progressed since the beginning!

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Feb. 6

Hey guys, I'm throwing around ideas for another new case... I've been sketching up some ideas and wanted a little feedback. Keep in mind that what you are about to see, is unfinished, and missing some key details. However, I like the concept, but I want your opinions on how it all fits together.

Okay, here is the core of the case. It's SFF of course, and it's damn tiny due to efficient space usage. I'm planning a DFI X58, SLI, full size PSU, 4 full size hard drives, pico, and watercooled CPU in this little package. Due to it's design, it should also run fairly cool. As of now, I don't plan on deviating much from this except for details like adding mesh, or possibly windows.

I was then inspired by a RED camera cage I saw, and wanted to add a more industrial and sci-fi look to the case. The following is what I came up with. Of course it's subject to revision, but wasn't sure how it all fit together.


Feb. 8

I've been playing around... what do you think of holes? Or maybe some variation of this?

Okay, one more here. I added vents to the side panels. What do you think... too many holes? They will have mesh behind them, with the exception of the most forward hole, that will have a window...


Well, I didn't have as much time as I had hoped for last night, but I did make a few small revisions. I made the side window slightly smaller, and added another opening beside it. Even thought the window is still larger than the rest of the openings, the spacing between them is consistent. Also, I added matching holes the the 'cage'. I'm unsure about the abundance of holes now, but I need the airflow. There will also be mesh behind them, so they won't stand out as much as the vents, for example. Speaking of mesh, I created some mesh with 1mm holes... Lol, talk about a CPU killer! I'll have to revise that... 😄

Now, this next part is just for Xtra. He wanted to see the interior arrangement....

Feb. 14

...and we have a name for this project... It will be OSIDIAS, and I've got to give my wife credit for coming up it. It's sad how much I concentrated on this trivial little detail, but I was convinced that I wanted something completely original. I think I've found it.

Over the last few days I've been making up a parts list. It's amazing how much aluminum will find it's way in to this box. I'm planning on making the outer shell out of a single piece of aluminum. I'll cut all the holes, then bend accordingly. Should be fun, huh? Also, as mentioned earlier, I'm going to braze all the parts together. This will free up any concerns about fastening parts together, and will guarantee a rock solid case. I also like the idea of no exposed fasteners anywhere on the case. This will be a new technique for me, and one that is rarely used in modding in general. I'm sure it's been done, but I can't name a project that incorporates it.

Feb. 16

I managed to get the interior tray about 90% finished over the weekend. Here is a pic of what I've got so far. Most of it will be bent out of a single piece, and the rest will be brazed together.

Another updated pic...

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Feb. 20

Okay guys, I've been playing around with renders. Since I'm using ViaCAD, Kerkythea isn't as easy to use as with Sketchup. I've basically got to export a .dxf, and then import it into SketchUp. However, when I do, not everything gets exported. I'm not sure how to fix that yet, but I'll keep playing around with it. So, the render below is missing a few components...

Feb. 28

Okay, I've got a small update here. I've added the LCD to the front, and an Aquaero to the right side. There's also a new reservoir on the rear, but I've got to finish a little tube routing before you see that.

I probably should have added a few comments. The LCD is capable of rotation and swiveling. Left, right, up down, and portrait/landscape.

One more thing... I've started to order a few parts... 😄

One more small update here. I've finished the interior tubing layout. Simple and efficient...

Mar. 3

I've got about 90% of the details finished on this case. I'm still tweaking though. Last night I managed to make a little more room for larger fans. Originally I was only planning on 25mm thick fans, now I've got room for my monster San Ace 1011's. This thing might have enough thrust to fly. I've also got to do a little more interior parts placement. The Pico-ITx was originally located on the lower right rear, but I've since added the Aquaero to that location. That means I need to find a new spot for the Pico. I'm also looking for room for a Multiswitch, and USB hubs. I'm also thinking of adding a single SSD to the system for my OS. That would make for a total 5 drives. A SSD for the OS, a pair of Velociraptors in raid 0 for games, a 750gb drive for data and backups, and another 750gb drive for the Pico.

Mar. 5

I've got a quickie ViaCAD render here. No time for anything prettier, but I thought I'd show you the color scheme I'm likely going to use. Although my Duality project may be postponed, I loved the colors enough to use them here. Before settling on the orange, I ran through a rainbow of choices, and came back to this. It just stands out. :thumb:

Just a slightly better render...

Mar. 23

Okay, I'm sure you guys are tired of seeing all the lame render pictures in this thread... I assure you, these are different though. Dark~3nergy has put his talents to use for me, and created the following...

Many thanks go out to D~3 for all his time!

Okay, thanks in part to partial inspiration from this thread, I came up with an idea I'm going to expand on. I've long thought about having fun with transparent LCD's, but redders' thread made me consider it all over again. So, it was time for a little experiment. The following is a standard 7" LCD removed from it's housing, and with all backing and polarizing film removed. What we have here, is what I intend to use as the side panel windows on OSIDIAS. For lack of a better term, I'll call them active windows. You can see that as long as there is a light source behind the LCD, dark objects and text is shown through. Granted, colors would be washed out, but the concept is still sound...

This could be fun!

Apr. 22

It's been awhile since I've posted an update. So, I figured I'd get you all up to speed on how I've been spending my time. Project: Hutch will be getting some long overdue attention soon, but in the meantime, I've got some new hardware to play with. Although I've not started an official log, there have been some parts arrivals for Project OSIDIAS.

I've got an Asus Rampage GENE II, Intel i7 920, 6GB OCZ Platinum, and a SilverStone DA1000 PSU freshly delivered. I'll be pairing the new parts with my existing EVGA GTX 260's. There may be a video card switch in the near future, but I'm using what I already have for the moment. Also arriving shortly, will be a slot load Blu-ray drive. All the above parts will be the heart of OSIDIAS, and I'll have a running system long before the project is actually finished.

So, how about a few hardware pics?

As of now, I've got most of my software and games installed. Although I've only been using the hardware a short while, I can tell you this... It's the best hardware combination I've ever used. Everything is rock-solid, and I've not had a single error or glitch in two weeks of a fresh Vista 64 install. I'm really looking forward to getting the CPU on water and hitting the overclocks. Stay tuned!

May 11

Just a non-update update here... In between all of other miscellaneous projects (including current, but not log-updated Project: Hutch), I've been giving OSIDIAS's design a slight tweaking. One of the benefits of delaying the start of a project, is that it allows new and alternative ideas to come out. Ideas that may not have been possible if work was already underway. One of the things I realized, is that I may need to find away to attach all the ribs to the interior of the case. They will need to slide out with the motherboard tray. This will require them to be mounted to easily removable frames of their own. It's not really a big deal, but will require some interior redesign. I've also found the need to widen the case itself by a single centimeter. That change alone allowed for the following...

The biggest idea came to me as a sat at my desk listening to the whine of the fan on the Via pico-itx board in the Rogue. I've got no way to quantify it, but it seems lightly louder than before. So, I've decided to 'Langer-ize" it. In Jesse's outstanding Prometheus log, I suggested the possible use of a Cooler Master Aquagate Viva for watercooling the pico. Well, I'm now taking my own advice. I've found room for a secondary watercooling loop... Utilizing the Viva's pump and radiator, as well as some very creative parts placement, will allow me to ramp the insanity up another notch. Stay tuned for updated sketches...

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June 23

I've been pretty busy lately, but I thought I'd show you one of my interior revisions. I've changed the internal supports to something a little stronger, and changed the layout slightly. In addition, the case is now able to fit most any rad up to 56mm in depth. Also, I've made room for the second radiator (Aquagate) for cooling the Pico, and a 3rd fan over the video cards. Once I get that done I can get the tube routing planned out. More to come!

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June 27

I just can't stop revising... I was looking at the newly added 70mm radiator, and I got to thinking... It's just not big enough. Granted it's plenty for the Pico, but what if I ditch the idea of watercooling it, and add another radiator to the main system? Well, with a few small revisions, I now have room for a X-Flow 240. Why the X-Flow? I'll need to relocate the G1/4 fittings, and this rad would allow the most workable solution. I won't be able to fit 120mm fans on the second radiator, but I'll make sure it does get some air. Details are to be worked out on that yet...

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June 29

A few changes... No more aluminum exterior. Here is what I'm planning on using for the case itself. You can't go wrong with carbon fiber, right?

Since the case will be formed out of a single piece of material, I'll be experimenting with some reverse molding and vacuum bagging techniques. It's either going to be the coolest thing ever, or a colossal failure. I can't wait!

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August 23

As the beginning of this project gets closer, I've been receiving a steady stream of parts and materials. Of those parts and materials, the carbon fiber is probably the most integral. With it, I'm hoping to take what I hope is a pretty cool concept to begin with, and take it to the next level. While there are many cases made of aluminum or even wood, a case constructed of carbon fiber is a much rarer occurrence. Fellow modders Langer, MKmods, jhanlon303, and rendermandan, have all worked with it in some capacity, and I owe them credit for inspiring me to use it here as well. With that in mind, I went ahead and ordered an orange carbon fiber/kevlar blend. This particular fiber will be used for the side panels and ribs on OSIDIAS.

So, without further delay...

And one more pic...

More to come!

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September 17

Despite the lack of 'real' work done on this project, I've still been collecting a steady stream of parts. One of the most anticipated of these parts arrived in a box from Aqua Computer in Germany. Inside was the electronic heart of OSIDIAS. These parts will be responsible for monitoring almost every electrical aspect of the case. From fan speeds, to temp monitoring, to lighting, and even powering up and down. Although I've got much detailed planning to do to make this all happen, I'm looking forward to the challenge.

So, what did I get? Here are all the parts laid out for inspection.

One of the most critical parts, is this Multiswitch. It is controlled via USB through the Aquasuite software. This will be the electrical switching station for anything having on/off requirements. The lighting would be a good example of this.

Next up is the new Aquacover for the DDC pump. All specs aside, it was just too damn good looking not to throw in the system.

Now we have the new flow sensor and inline temperature sensor. Both of these parts are very high flow, and low restriction.

And finally, we have a VFD Aquaero. This is really the brains of the operation. Everything starts here. All monitoring and control runs through here and the Aquasuite software via USB. The Aquaero will be linked to the secondary Via pico-itx system, and a touchscreen LCD. These components working together will allow seamless and automated system control and monitoring.

One last thing worth mentioning, is the Powerbooster modification made to the Aquaero. This addition is a special cooling block and a small hardware modification of the Aquaero which will allow you to use a Laing pump on fan channel 1. The other three channels will be able to handle 15W instead of 10W. This increases the available overall power to 45W. It's more than enough in my case.

Now, to go play with some hardware...

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Oct. 24

Although I've been busy with other things, I'm still taking the time to tweak the internals on OSIDIAS. Things are so tight in there, I've got to have the placement of every part planned in advance. I really don't want to get started on something, and then realize I've got to remake a part. The material budget on this case is much higher than in my last projects, and I want to get it right the first time.

So, with that in mind, I've finally got the tubing layout finalized. Everything has sufficient room, although i had to get creative on parts placement. The newest addition to the loop was the Aqua Computer flow meter. That's what you see partially obscuring the CPU block. It's a decent sized part, but it's a worthwhile addition. You can also see that I reversed the pump's position. I've got that great looking AC top, and I intend to show it off a little...

With the tubing taken care of, now I need to finalize cable routing, and various electronic component placement. I'll work on that as I continue to work on Project: Hutch.

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Dec. 18

There's a funny thing that happens when you are planning a project way longer than you had anticipated. Changes. Changes happen. Many changes actually. Although I've stood by the basic form factor I had first envisioned, things have been in a constantly evolving state. A tweak here, a tweak there, in the ongoing pursuit of perfection. Every last detail is being planned and thought out in advance. Just when I think I've got it nailed, another idea pops in to my head, and I'm revising again. Now, I can't keep this up forever, and I'll soon have to commit to a design plan, but until that happens I'm going to have a little fun.

So why the rambling intro? Well, I've got another idea. This one is slightly more costly, slightly more unique, and way more insane. In fact, this sort of thing wouldn't even have been very economically feasible even a year or two ago. What sort of thing am I referring to? UMPC's... Yes, why stop at 2 systems in a single machine, when you can have 3. Do I have your attention now?

Here's what I'm thinking... As OSIDIAS stands right now, I've already got a 7" touchscreen on the front. This screen was to act as the control interface for the pico-itx system, which in turn monitors and controls almost every aspect of the main system. If I replace that touchscreen with a UMPC linked via a wireless connection to the pico, I can retain the same functionality through software. The biggest advantage then, is the ability to remove the UMPC and control the system remotely. On top of that, I've got still got all the original functions of the UMPC itself. Overkill? Nah, there's no such thing! So, stay tuned for updates as the plan gets revised and implemented. Insanity has reached a new level...

I suppose you want to see the UMPC I plan on using, huh? 😄