bit-tech.net

Mod of the Month - May 2008

GraniteCase

by pieterveenstra
Worklog


Ah, granite. It really is a lovely material to work with, particularly if you're building a high end kitchen counter top, or perhaps a beautiful tile floor. One thing is for sure though, it's not exactly the first material that would spring to mind for modding!

Maybe that's why new forum member pieterveenstra felt it had to be done - it is, to our knowledge, the only actual granite computer case in the whole wide world. There may be countless reasons for that - cost, difficulty to machine, weight...the list goes on and on. However, one thing that pieterveenstra has been able to make painstakingly clear - it's not cause it's not pretty!

Like Tiny HTPC, GraniteCase is already complete...but it's just so damn noteworthy that I couldn't help but not include it here. So, let's take a look at the making of a one-of-a-kind, shall we?

Mod of the Month - May 2008 GraniteCase by pieterveenstra Mod of the Month - May 2008 GraniteCase by pieterveenstra
Challenge one: Turn a bunch of pieces of gorgeous, polished natural granite into something more reminiscent of a computer case. After cutting the slabs down to size, Pieter started by aiming square at the front panel.

Mod of the Month - May 2008 GraniteCase by pieterveenstra Mod of the Month - May 2008 GraniteCase by pieterveenstra
Even the power button on GraniteCase is made of granite - after all, why use anything else? A lot of careful drilling and cutting and shaping was done to create the case, which actually assembled like a dream. Because of the weight, sides are anchored on using very thick threaded rods and caps instead of standard screws.

Mod of the Month - May 2008 GraniteCase by pieterveenstra Mod of the Month - May 2008 GraniteCase by pieterveenstra
The bottom part of the case was designed solely to house the motherboard and DVD drive - the hard drives and PSU were going to be kept separate. In order to accomplish this, Pieter built another entire granite box on top of his previous creation, creating a layered effect very similar to one of Ediejo's Lian Li works.

Mod of the Month - May 2008 GraniteCase by pieterveenstra Mod of the Month - May 2008 GraniteCase by pieterveenstra
With all the cutting and shaping done, it was time to move on to actually installing the hardware inside the case. How this was mounted would either really bring the case home as an artistic triumph, or as an absolute disaster that was all too pretty outside and just plain ugly inside.

Mod of the Month - May 2008 GraniteCase by pieterveenstra Mod of the Month - May 2008 GraniteCase by pieterveenstra
Of course, you don't think it would end up featured here if it stood a chance of being that ugly inside, did you? Pieter actually put a lot of work into his wiring and layout inside, opting for a glowing plexi removable motherboard tray and well-mounted spotlight LEDs inside. The shroud that covers the DVD and fans is a contrasting white that stands out without looking utterly garish. And it's all finished off with a nice "thank you" to his sponsor, Sapphire.

The great job that Pieter did with such a hard material is really shown off in some of the other pictures in his worklog, so I highly recommend stopping by to take a look!

In the meantime, if the idea of cold, polished rock is just unusual and attractive enough to earn your love, then make sure to vote for GraniteCase by pieterveenstra as the Mod of the Month for May!