future nenBy sethnmalice
We all love a good mod, but it's often debated in the forums whether scratch builds should even be considered in the same category. After all, you're starting with a blank canvas - so it's a lot easier to realise your vision, right?
Maybe...anyone who's ever built a case from scratch can tell you that planning out the little details can become a nightmare when you've suddenly also got to plan out big details - like, "how am I going to fit a computer in there?!" It takes careful planning to bring together a good scratch build, and sometimes it's easy to take for granted that there are already things like drive bays and a PCI card bracket in a mod.
Great scratch builds take planning - planning that sometimes comes from drawings, sometimes from cardboard...and other times from making a full MDF mock-up of your entire case as you build it. It's that last idea that sethnmalice has built his project, future nen, with. And it has not been an easy task.
The case started off as a drawing - half cube shape, half small-form-factor, half X...wait, I'm running out of halves. Anyhow, the design features a great "layering" effect between acrylic and sheet aluminum...an effect that had to first be drawn, then cut and mocked up.
In order to get layouts just right, sethnmalice cut an entire replica case out of MDF before starting the aluminum. Screwing up a sheet of MDF costs very little - so he was free to play with things like drive cages in a life-size model that could support weight. Try that with cardboard...
Once he had fine-tuned that, he could use it as a template to cut the sheet aluminum that he intended to build the case with in the first place.
The actual aluminum frame has been a rather impressive bit of engineering. You can see smaller thematic elements brought out from great cases by Shuttle and Lian Li, allowing sethnmalice to make great use of a rather small bit of space. There's also some great style nods reminiscent of one of our top modders, Edvuld.
What's a great case without a name...and more importantly, what's a great name without a nameplate? Fortunately, this case has both - some of the first acrylic cuts have been started, including this awesome nameplate. No laser cuts here, folks - this was sheer Dremel power.
Be sure to check out sethnmalice's worklog
to find out the future of this mod!
If you think this mod should win this month's competition, don't forget to vote for it in this thread! Voting closes on 9th September 2007.