Sunday, January 4, 2009

Initial Designing...

Google Sketchup is a cool tool for designing / drawing all things technical.

Have used it many a time for designing wooden furniture, and also for the overall renovation design of our apartment. Its easy to use, flexible, etc... Highly recommended.

Anyway - for the design I have already sketched many things on paper...
And been through a few versions in Sketchup.

For some reason, standard computer parts dont seem to fit together nicely into a small, compact package of things. It either has to be very wide, flat package, or a chunky, boxy thing.

My initial thoughts were along the following lines:



Something like a slim, sleek, stainless steel and wood contraption. However it ends up being too wide for the TV cabinet, and working in stainless steel would probably be to hard with my limited tools...

Next my thoughts turned to using Plexiglas (Acrylic) and wood.
Generally made things more boxy and tall. Tried various layouts of the pieces inside.



Still didnt feel right. However definately liked the move towards Plexiglas - made it feel simpler.

Anyway - the final (hopefully) version of the design is as follows...



Looks simple and clean. Hopefully when it gets put together eventually it will look something like this. Maybe changes along the way - however this is the basic plan.
Size ends up being around 340mm wide, 260 mm deep, 130 mm height.

It requires the internals to be organised as follows (view from the back):



With the power supply up the back top section, covering up all of the card slots :-(.
The HDD is above the CPU fan.
Note that I will probably widen the system by around 1 cm, with the aim of fitting in a PCIex1 TV tuner card if possible... this decision will have to wait until the mainboard arrives.

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