cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

[Worklog] Baby Blue - Breaking Bad themed ITX Build

Matteo_50mmCase
Level 7


Hello ROG Community and welcome to my project "Baby Blue".

Those who know and follow me already might think, "hey, i know this project" and you're right. This is my second attempt on this project since i lost my motivation and needed to start it new. The main reason for this is that i messed up a few things because i lacked experience with the tools i used. I then tried to fix all these problems but never was really happy with the results which was a bit depressing. So after a long time i decided to draw the line and begin new. I'm already pretty good with this tools right now but i will choose another way this time.


Idea:

I will keep the idea for this project. For everyone who sees this project for the first time: I want to build a "Breaking Bad" themed ITX system. The name of this build origins from the song played in the last scene of this amazing show (Badfinger - Baby Blue (Breaking Bad Soundtrack) (HQ) 1080p - YouTube). This means i'm going to use different elements from this show in my build. I want the inside of the case look like a lab using metal, a stainless steel Reservoir like the big reaction vessels in the superlab, soft tubing with crystal blue coolant and more. All in all, it will look pretty industrial. On the outside there will be symbols and stuff, things you know when you watched the show, but not made of simple decals or stickers. I want to make it look really cool.


Case:

What really annoyed me on my first attempt was the case. It was the Jonsbo U2, it's a cool case but not for this mod. All the time i thought i had to fit everything inside this little case and eventually forget that this wasn't the goal for this project. Of course i don't want to use external cooling on an ITX build but the U2 was just too tiny. So i decided to get a new one and chose the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX since i really enjoyed working with the ATX version. I just love the design and the features it offers.







For an ITX Case it's really spacious without being to big.



One of the features i really love, the removable radiator mount. I'm going to put the fans for the top radiator inside the top. Saw this a few times now and it seems to work.



Will be really tight but it fits. On the back i used an 140mm case fan from the ATX version. I love the simple look and it does its job.



Hardware:

The hardware i'm using isn't the newest but it is more than enough for 1080p gaming.

CPU: Intel Core i5-6600k
MB: ASUS Z170i Pro Gaming
GPU: ASUS RX480 8GB
RAM: 2x8GB G.Skill Ripjaws V
SSD: Crucial MX300 525GB M.2
PSU: Silverstone Strider Gold 550W



I got the board last year from ASUS and going to mod this one to fit the rest, no red allowed in here.



I already installed the RAM modules but i'll take these off again. The black doesn't really fit.





Cooling:

Since the whole build will be watercooled Aquatuning Germany / Alphacool sent me a big package full of stuff.



Unbelievable what's going inside this little build.







Really love the look of the Eiszapfen series, simple and shiny.

Let's head over to the reservoir. This one is from my first attempt and it was custom made. I did the drawing and went to a metalworker. It is made of stainless steel like the big reaction vessels in the superlab. To keep it waterproof i used sealing compund (i hope this is the correct word) and a flange to keep it together.





For the CPU i'll be using the Eisblock XPX and for GPU the GPX from Alphacool.







I chose 2 240mm ST30 full copper radiators, enough to keep it quiet and cool without having a fat radiator blocking the view on the rest of the inside. The fans are NB-eLoops from Alphacool, the color doesn't matter cause you won't see them later.





I will make the cables myself and use the new Eiskamm cable combs.



CAD:

This time i don't want to mess up again so i'm using other methods, methods with which I am more familiar. Since i use CAD for my studies and know some people with a CNC milling machine, why not use this to my advantage. Some people say this has nothing to do with modding, but as long as these ideas and drawings are made by me i think it's still modding, just another kind of it. Of course i'm going to do more than just this but i had to start somewhere. I can guarantee you i have to use my dremel for this project more than once. The pieces will be milled and edged by Gosumodz.

Let's stop talking and take a look at the first pieces i planned. The inside will get a new PSU Cover made of aluminium, this will not replace but only cover the original PSU Cover and will make the inside look way cleaner. The small darker piece is a standalone piece of aluminium, i made it darker for the rendering to make it more visible but i really like it this way, maybe powdercoat it black? We'll see. The chemical formula of Methamphetamine will be backlit later.



The next part is a tray for the reservoir and functions as passthrough for the 24Pin ATX und the front panel connectors. There are also a few combs for tubing and cables which will be mounted to the tray and PSU Cover.



On the front of the case i want to have the "Golden Moth Chemical" Logo, the "yellow bee" that is printed on the Methylamine barrels. As i told you i won't use decals for this, so i designed an inlay consisting of a powder coated aluminium cover and yellow acrylic. This will also be backlit.





I really hope you like my idea and please let me know if you have tips or suggestions for improvement.

A big thanks to my sponsors for trusting in me and supporting this project!
10,326 Views
17 REPLIES 17

Matteo_50mmCase
Level 7
Ok guys, finally got a first update for you. My friend John from Gosumodz sent me first pictures of the CNC milled parts.
This is the front cover, i'm going to powdercoat it black once it's here.



Unfortunately the acrylic plate was too thin so John came up with an idea. He milled little pockets for the inlay and divided it into 3 smaller parts.





The tape is only for shipping.
And this is the front view, keep in mind that we had to leave a little gap since the powder coating will create a ~0.1mm thick layer.





Really looking forward to receive the parts and start working on the case itself. 🙂

Unfortunately the CNC milled parts didn't arrive yet because there are some problems at the post office..
In the meantime i already prepared the water cooling parts for the next step. The black finish looks cool but won't really fit the theme, so i'm going to change this.
I startet taking apart the GPU block because i have to separate the aluminium parts from the rest.





This is why alphacool blocks also watercool the rest of the card. It might not be the same as a fullcover block from other manufacturers, but it still has contact with the "water part" and not only uses passive cooling for VRM etc.



Since i already assembled the RAM modules a few months ago i'm going to take these apart aswell.





The motherboard heatsinks are also made out of alumnium.



Time to go outside 😄
To get the black layer off the surface i'm going to put the parts in drain cleaner and leave them for a few minutes. Even though nothing will explode be sure to wear safety gloves and googles due to its high pH. Long clothes also might be a good option.



After a few seconds you can already see something happening.







After a minute the aluminium starts to shine through, but i'll leave it a little longer.





Now i took the bowl and went to the drain. When it starts to foam i take it out and wash it off with water and a brush.





Sometimes some parts of black are still left on the piece, just put it in the drain cleaner a few minutes to make sure it's clean.
I then did the same with the backplate..





..and the RAM modules..





..and of course with the MB heatsinks. The red seems to be another kind of paint, the drain cleaner had no effect on it.



The cool thing is, the laser engraved logos are still visible after this procedure. Unfortunately some parts had these stains which only went away after sanding.
So i tried it with one of the RAM modules and it looks really great. I started sanding with 120 grit, then used some sanding fleece to create the brushed look.
Looks much better, doesn't it?



A big thanks to my friend Matthias from Aquatuning who teached me this procedure!

xeromist
Moderator
Drain cleaner...never would have thought to try that. Does it need a specific formulation?
A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station…

Hi guys, just want to let you know that the CNC milled parts finally arrived. I'll be on a trip till saturday, going to update the logs as soon as i'm back.

xeromist wrote:
Drain cleaner...never would have thought to try that. Does it need a specific formulation?


Thought the same when i first heard of it 😄 I'm not sure but my guess is that the NaOH does the job.

I'm back and finally able to work at this mod again. No photos of the cnc milled parts yet but i continued working on the heatsinks and stuff.
Since the red didn't go away with the drain cleaner i started sanding these parts like i did with the RAM heatsink.



After 1-2 hours this is what it looks like.



Definitely worth it.





To prevent the aluminium from oxidation i sprayed a really thin layer of clear varnish on it, this way the heatsinks are still functional.



Some hours later the varnish dried and i put everything back together.





I decided to countersink the holes in the RAM modules, this way it looks much better.





Next step was the Eisblock XPX CPU Cooler.



I had to swap the alphacool logo with the white one from the modding kit and i also wanted to make the cover fit better.



I took it off, started sanding it, gave it the brushed look, painted it with clear varnish and voilà.



I might paint the mounting matt black afterwards, not really sure yet.

To end this update i have some more pics of the GPU block. Next update will contain some shots of the whole hardware in the case as well as the cnc milled parts.





Sorry for the late update guys, i was pretty busy the last weeks.

Today i want to show you the CNC milled parts from Gosumodz. I already coated them with clear varnish to prevent them from oxidation.
The front cover was powder coated in matt black with a fine texture. The few scratches are only on the clearcoat because i already installed some of the combs via screws, they won't be visible later.



The sharp object is my own designed USB3.0 cable comb. Since you can't take off the connector i had to make a comb that closes when you mount it to the big plate.











With the powder coating the inlay fits perfect!


That's not all i want to show you today. I recently got an amazing addition to my workbench.

Let me present to you:

My new Prusa i3 MK2S 3D Printer!



I ordered the kit version which took me 2 days to build.





I also ordered a few spools of filament to work with, especially for this mod



Stay tuned! 🙂

Hi guys, got a pretty big update today 🙂

Before i start working on the inside of the case, i wanted to finish the exterior. Since the front cover and inlay are ready, let's go over to the backlighting. To create a smooth lighting i'm going to use the same concept as i used in the sLights from my previous builds. From bottom to top i'll need a frame, a backplate which reflects as much light as possible, the thick acrylic plate to break the light coming from the edges and the visible part, the inlay in this case. I use white LED stripes with a density of 120LEDs/m, these are really bright. Some people use standard clear 8 or 10mm acrylic plates and engrave a pattern to achieve a smooth light distribution. I never did it this way but i bought the so called EndLighten T from Evonik which is specially made for this purpose and distributes the incoming light from the edges very evenly. The reflecting backplate will be created with chrome/mirror wrap from Oracal, the best and cheapest way i can think of.

So all that's left is the frame and i'm not going to use angle profiles again - this time i want to make use of my new printer. I created a first design in CAD and this is what it looks like in Slic3r. Slic3r is an amazing tool to prepare your 3D models for printing. This is needed to set all the parameters before printing, so the printer knows what to do. Even for a beginner like me pretty easy to use!



First i wanted to print this piece with PLA, one of the most common printer filaments which is recommended for beginners because chances of failing your prints are pretty low. On the downside PLA starts to lose stability at 60°C, that's why i decided to use ABS. Everything went fine, to keep the smell of molted ABS out of my room i kept the window open all the time. Right here it's printing the infill, a structure generated by Slice3r to save time and material while still maintaining the stability.



But then the open window ruined my print... 5 hours after the start it got late and cold outside, the heated bed keeps the object at around 100°C, the cold air from outside cools it down at the surface. The temperature difference leads to tension inside the object which then leads to the so called "warping".



There are some ways to correct a warped print afterwards, but in addition i also got a layer shift because i had the printer running at a too high speed. The whole print got shifted about 5mm and i aborted the print after nearly 6 hours and went to bed a bit frustrated.

The next day i decided to print it in PLA, i will try ABS with smaller prints first to get the hang of it. The LEDs will get warm, but not that warm so i won't have to worry about the PLA losing it's stability. I also redesigned the frame to save some material and time.







This time it didn't even take 3 hours and i had no problems at all, the print turned out perfect.



To secure the frame later i designed hexagonal recesses to put in M3 nuts.



Let's go over to the front part of the case, still needs some preparing.







After sanding i did a test fit.







In the meantime i printed a 1mm thick plate which will be used as the backplate later.





Outside i went on with the distribution plate. I bought it last year already and had other measurements back then, time to adjust this.



Another test fit.



After cutting the plate i needed to sand and polish the edge again.







This is what it looks combined.



Inside again i prepared the LED stripes.







The little canals i left in the frame will be used for the cables, these fit in there perfectly.





Image limit reached..

Time to put the chrome wrap on the backplate..









And another test before i put everything together. You notice i test these things very often, but i rather take the time to do so than to take it apart later when something doesn't work.



With the distribution plate installed:



Everything works, let's put it together.







And the result looks amazing!



Last step, cable sleeving..



and done!



I really enjoy working with the printer. It's a cool gadget but when you use it for parts like this it turns into a powerfull tool and i'm looking forward to use it more often in future.

xeromist
Moderator
The overall effect of that lighting is pretty good. I think it was worth the effort to make that diffusion box.
A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station…