If anyone has told you PC modding is dying, they're wrong. Very wrong. In fact, 2012 is shaping up to be one of the most fantastic years ever for mods and scratchbuilds on bit-tech - there's some simply awesome work on show and we're only half way through the year. One project that has caught the eye of many since it started in January is D33P Thought by forum user Asouter, who joined our modding forum at the same time.
We're rather proud and more than a little smug, that Asouter found bit-tech through searching for inspiration for his new modding project, and combined with a theme that roughly resembles the computer Deep Thought from The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, Asouter was set to create one of the best projects we've seen so far this year. It's over to Andy to tell us more.
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The project started with the need to have a bigger case - quite a popular motivation if you look around these forums. I had acquired a third HD 6970 2GB graphics card and the extra waterblock was bringing an already struggling pump to its knees.
I’d searched the Internet for a case but couldn’t find anything I liked. I didn’t want to mod another case, as it’s always a compromise but wanted something totally unique.
That’s when I stumbled upon Bit-tech, project logs and an endless source of ideas. I liked the idea of an acrylic case, hardware is getting very pretty and I wanted everything on display. One project that stood out for me was Phinix cube by Mike Krysztofiak. I liked his ideas, especially how he’d used inserts to bolt his panels together.
I was all set to build a cube but wasn’t quite satisfied with a copy of someone else’s build, that’s when I started playing around with shapes but no matter what I sketched, it just wasn’t doing it for me! The thing that was irritating me was the thought of big slabs of uninteresting acrylic, Time to get radical and turn it on its side (literally)
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The sketch was done during a tea break at work. I knew instantly that it was exactly what I wanted and I was feeling really excited about the whole concept, the method of build using layers and threaded rods would work and would also make housing radiators and reservoirs simple. Now the question was do I share my build on bit-tech?
It was quite daunting, this was my first scratch build, I was worried about how the project would be received and if I’d get a hard time from other community members. Initially it didn’t start well the build was okay but my photography was letting the project down (it only had a 2 star rating), If you read through the log, you will notice how the pictures got better.
The other thing that was needed was a project name, the sketch reminded me of Deep Thought from the 70s TV show The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. This also gave me a huge amount of material from the books and recent(ish) film, to draw ideas for some of the features.
The whole concept fell into place and I wanted to surprise and delight, forum users and fans of The Hitchhiker's Guide. However, I had a lot of cutting and sanding to do to really nail the case build first.
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I purchased a Dremel cutting tool and some accessories, a router table, pillar drill and table top bench. Initially I used the router table to cut the acrylic into strips and again for the internal cuts. I was expecting a better surface finish and so I had to file and sand all of the edges. Each piece took around 45 minutes to complete (there are over 150 pieces) 45 minutes x 150 = lots of time spent in front of the TV.
This was when the first thought of how could you keep the community interested when there’s not much to show for a hundred hours (or so) of work. Had I known it would take so long I would have got the pieces lasered or used a different means of cutting maybe a disc.