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Dark Crystal

Foreword by macroman

Project "Dark Crystal" is a case mod inspired by our very own Eddie Dane's Vesperdeco PC and created by PilouX, a top class modder from Belgium and a respected member of our forums. Dark Crystal is a symbiotic mixture of nature's own and man-made materials, wood and Plexiglass, although you would not realise it just from looking at the finished result . Project Dark Crystal is one of those rare examples of modding which combines inspiration, innovation, art and engineering into something that is both unique and practical. Enjoy the ride as PilouX, in his own words, takes you through the journey that is "Dark Crystal"...

THE DARKCRYSTAL WOODCASE PROJECT



Dark Crystal Introduction Dark Crystal Introduction

-- INTRODUCTION --
Welcome to the start of my article about the building of my wood PC case. Looking at websites talking about PC modding, what I saw was (except for rare exceptions) a lot cases with a cut window and some lighting, which all too frequently look the same. What I wanted was clear in my mind: something different; something one cannot buy... all the interest was there.

Since a long time ago I have had a great passion for design and especially retro-futurist design in vogue for already a few years especially in the field of motorcars, and doing research for an uncommon look for my PC, I thus decided to design and build my own case with this different visual aspect. After much research on the Net to collect all the information I needed, I started the building...

The first challenge was to find materials sufficiently accessible and easy for me to work with and during my research, I fell in admiration in front of Eddie Dane’s Vesperdeco HTPC (thank you Eddie) which gave me the inspiration for some aspects of this project. The general shape of the case was already in my mind and following the reading of the Vesperdeco HTPC’s article I decided to add acrylic bands on the case to give it some lighting. At this time I decided to use pine wood and some plywood: cheap materials and easy to work with using the tools I had.

Having acrylic at my disposal, I decided to use this material for the case’s internal design; I also wished to give to the internal parts such as hard drives brackets and optical drives a design which fitted in well with the external look of the case. Using wood for its easy working but not liking its "natural wood" look, the final touch would be an integral black paint which let the acrylic inserts diffuse the blue light through it.

Hardware configuration:


<ul><li>ABIT NF7 Rev2 motherboard</li><li>AMD Athlon XP 2500+ / Thermalright SLK900U heatsink</li><li>512Mb DDR400 Infineon memory</li><li>GeForce 3 Ti200 128 Mb graphics card </li><li>Maxtor 40G 7200 rpm / Quantum fireball 15Gb hard drives </li><li>Pioneer 16x slot DVD drive</li><li>Enermax 350W PSU</li><li>Soundblaster LIVE 5.1 soundcard </li><li>Pinnacle Studio PC/TV Rave tuner card</li><li>Single 4x20 Crystalfontz blue backlight LCD</li><li>Fans:</li> <ul> <li>2 x Aerocool LED: Blue </li> <li>1 x Sunbeam round CCFLL Blue</li> <li>1 x Akasa LED: Blue<br> <li>1 x Noiseblocker S2</li></ul></ul>