Building your own case.

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by drew., May 14, 2003.

  1. drew.


    Mar 17, 2003
    I would really like to build my own clear acrylic case. At first i was like awww, it cant be to hard, but then i thought, how am i ganna make the drill holes and make sure the mobo will fit in right? I was wondering if anyone has tried building there own case, and how hard is it?

    Also, if i did build, id get the acrylic glass stuff at lowes, but what would i do to make the outer panels of th case stick together, screwing them, or some type of epoxy or glue?
  2. got_ammo


    Jun 14, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    Building your own case would be very difficult on a first try. You need to be able to cut/drill/bla the acrylic perfectly. I would suggest you ask the guys at for some help, they seem to make some really cool mods.
  3. morriswindgate

    morriswindgate Banned

    Jul 26, 2000
    1. Buying the materials retail will cost you more than buying a pre-built case.
    2. You probably do not have access to heat forming equipment so you will have to cut the panels which will leave them opaque instead of clear, and ad to that glue lines.
    3. Have you ever tried working with this stuff before? It is not easy to cut without professional tools in the thickness you will have to use for rigidity.
    If you want one of these cases, buy one not build. And then you can make mods to it.
  4. TechSupport420


    Dec 19, 2002
    I'm not sure about building a case out of acrylic but I know that when I used a sheet of it to custom mount a fan over 2 drive bays the cutting is easy with a sharp xacto knife but the drilling is a whole differnt story, I had to drill a hole for the air which I used a 60mm circular bit and the screw holes were like 1/2" away from the edge so those of course cracked my first try, it's hard but with a little practice mine turned out great. I wouldn't ever try to build a whole case out of it but acrylic is great for mods!
  5. piasabird


    Mar 28, 2002
    Confluence of the Mississippi and Misouri Rivers
    I watched a guy at lowes cut the plexiglass on a frame like they use for glass. It was easy with the frame (for narrow plexigrass). You definitely need to plan building a case well and Know the exact dimensions. Plexiglass is easy to crack if you cut it too fast and it melts if you cut it too slow. A nice scroll saw might help. Also get plexiglass that comes with contact paper on it to protect it, not plastic film. This helps to protect it while you work on it. Look for some sites on the internet where they actually have some people who took pictures of their projects to see what is involved.

    You can bend plexiglass by heating it up with a hot air gun like for removing paint, but then you have to hold it in place. It does not like to bend at 90 degrees it likes to have some curve. You almost need to build a frame before you bend it and then clamp it to get it right. It takes special glue or solvent to bond plexiglass also.

    I dont know how they cut the thicker stuff. Might try looking at a Glass Shop. Some mod shops sell little square cubes for joining sheets together at the corners with predrilled holes. I think you can cut plexiglass with table saw with a carbide blade. I have tried this to some extent using wood and plastic. It is hard to cut perfectly rectangular openings for things to stick out of without special tools. A nice dremel scroll saw and/or a dremel tool is probably needed. Then of course you need those little things like the ATX switch, maybe some LED lamps, etc.

    Plexiglass takes lots of patience.
  6. Familyman


    Jan 17, 2003
  7. DGCYS


    Feb 9, 2007
    Working with plexiglass

    Hi all, I'm new here but have been working with plexiglass the past few months.
    Here are some tops that may help.
    Cutting: use a hooked floor tile knife and a straight edge. Score the plastic along your line. After you have made 2 or 3 passes you can take off the straight edge. continue scoring (on 1/4" plexi i score about 20 times) Put a scrap piece under the edge so the knife does not cut your floor.
    Put a 2x2 or a bar at the edge of the score and snap the piece in 2. it gives a nice edge
    You can cut with a jig saw but go slow and back the blade up to remove any melt

    Making cut-outs: Mark the shape you want then drill in the corners a hole that the jigsaw blade fits in. Cut out the area then sand.

    Sanding: i use a dremel with a small drum to sand the edges (you can polish to make clear)

    Drilling: leave protective paper on or cover both sides with masking tape and drill with slow speed and light pressure. you can drill right at the edge like that.

    Joining: If you want to use screws, just drill a hole a little smaller than the screw. The screw will form it's own threads. Computer case screws work great! Clear epoxy is so-so and MEK is strong. I have switched to using decorative brass "L" brackets as the look cool and add strength.

    Hope this helps, If you need any help please PM me