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Minihack

Laser cut Akitio 2 re-body

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A little while ago I bought an Akitio 2 to play with for my Mac Mini. I did not like the idea of chopping the original enclosure and also was not happy with the idea of separate power supply and wires running all around the desk so, as I run my own one man laser cutting business I decided to make my own design.

I wanted to develop something that met the following criteria.

1. No cutting of the original Akitio Thunder box, but re-using everything that I could from there in such a way that the Akitio could be re-assembled into 'as new' condition' if I ever wanted to sell it;

2. On board power supply to power everything (i.e. one mains lead in);

3. Switch at the front;

4. voltage indicator at the front to check stability of 12v line;

5. Lots of ventilation for the GPU;

6. Filtered input air;

7. Stylish look (shouldn't scream 'home made'.

8. Potential for expanding design to take longest GPUs on the market.

 

I won't bore you with all the development side in this first post [ but will add the detail if you'd like it], but I did go through a lot of perspex before I settled on the first proper prototype I am showing in this post. Some sheets were wasted through simply not getting measurements right, others from fundamental design changes to get maximum strength from minimum materials cost.

 

 

I'll explain more after the pictures, but here is the enclosure in the current state.

 

I will have to split this post due to the 1MB upload limits per post.

 

In this first post: front view with engraved detail, on/off switch and voltmeter:

 

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Edited by Minihack
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As you'll have seen from the first post I went for a honeycomb ventilation pattern  - reason: this hexagonal pattern give maximum open area for minimum strength loss.

The inlets and outlets should be filtered, so I have used demciflex filters to front and GPU side (and will also be buying for the roof outlet and for PSU fan inlet).

 

Mix of matt white and black sort of evolved from the parts I had to hand, and these parts are all 3mm thick.

 

I used the feature of putting white onto black at the switch area both for style points and for extra re-inforcement. 3mm is, in my view, not a structural strength product and doubling up can compensate for that in stress areas.

 

And so, we come to the back of the case:

 

 

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I'll upload some more once I am allowed to!!!

 

Anyway, you get the gist of it so far. Back of the case also is double thickness around the SFX power supply to give it good strength to withstand plugging and unplugging of the mains lead.

 

Let me know your thoughts!!!

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Here are a couple more rear views showing engraved detail alongside the ports.

 

Re-used parts from the Akitio thunder are:

 

Circuit board and ports (obviously); PCI-e card holder (it is such a neat design this really was needing to be re-used); Case feet. All the screws removed from the original parts have been bagged up and placed back in the box so it can be re-assembled if need be in the future.

 

Here are some build details:

 

1. I made this to fit my MSI GTX 660 twin frozer III and so it is made to the GPU length.

2. Made to fit the Silverstone range of SFX Power supplies - I have a 450W example to hand. 

 

The above 2 factors means this comes in at 268mm long, 164mm wide and about 150mm high - it'll take 2 slot GPUs up to 260mm long.

 

External acrylic is all 3mm as mentioned already and, if making one from a single colour then you can squeeze it all out of a piece that is 600mm x 400mm.

 

Internal acrylic used is a inverted T frame design from 5mm clear perspex. The 2 pieces needed can be cut from an A3 sized sheet.

 

Other items used are:

 

8 x  12mm corner cubes with 3mm tapped holes in the centre of each face.

 

8 x 10mm standoffs with M3 internal threads and M3 extremely sections where they are screwed into the upright supporting piece of 5mm perspex.

 

Rather than trying to tap the perspex with an M3 thread for the standoffs (never a good idea in my opinion) I instead have used threaded inserts that can be heated up and pushed into pre-cut holes in the perspex and provide an incredibly strong unstrippable threaded connection [ I use these for all my motherboard trays in my business and they have never let me down].

 

 

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