Working on a new PC case

So back when I did up a PC case for Ikea Kallax shelving, that I use media center machine.

Now I’m looking at revamping my NAS box.

So first off are the drive cages. I found a SATA backplane on Ali Express for some Chinese drive box, and it seems to have simple power requirements, and is for hot swap drive bays, so I ordered a bunch.

Next, I drew up a cage for the drives, and printed some. This holds the backplane, and four 3.5" SATA drives will just slide in and mate to the backplane.

Next is the case itself. I plan on it holding 8 of these modules for up to 32 hard drives spinning. I have a 16 port SATA controller, and another 16 port controller coming.

Currently, I have 25 drives split between 3 machines, many in eSATA portable enclosures, and power management is … nuts. When finished, this should hold 32 drives, with porential to re-use up to 6 of the eSATA enclosures, and it ought to all run off of a single ATX power supply. I plan to fit it into a standard 2 post 19" rack, probably 6U size

I was starting the main case design, but until the backplanes arrived from China, it was all guessing for dimensions of the drive bays, now that they’re here, I can plan to get the LR dirty again.

Edit: Printables link: Printables


Got a bit of CAD done…

Provision is for a micro ATX board, but a full sized one isn’t that big an edit (And if you don’t need more than the first 4 slots, no edit at all is necessary.)

I put a provision for the 23030 fans that I already own into the top (Could also be bottom, since the top and bottom panels are the same profile) and a 120mm fan in the back (If you don’t edit for ful size ATX board)

It ended up being 8U. I was also kind of thinking that I’d accommodate 32 drives, but it seems that 24 is all there’s really space for, unless I abandon the idea of a 19" rack mount chassis. That’s still kind of on the table, since I’d like to just cram all the drives in there, maybe duplicate the ATX PSU mount and go with a dual PSU adapter.


Okay, got the LR3 all squared up and cut some 12mm plywood. The other parts are all 1/4" (or 6mm, I guess, but I left room for an actual quarter inch)

The motherboard sypport is actual 1/4" melamine coated MDF, bit the tip, bottom.and back will be plywood. My calipers call it at 5.6mm. Seems like an odd number to me.

I discovered while measuring that my X/Y was out of square by 2.1mm over the 4’ span. I know that the belt blocks are square, so not sure what happened there, but it was easy enough to adjust with the REF independant motor comtrol, once I determined the amount to adjust by.

I’m thinking I need to re-do my torsion box for the actual machine size, the wings I added aren’t as good as I could hope for. If only I had a machine thst could make some reasonable precision parts for me… :rofl:

Meantime, the side panels are so close to square I can’t measure a difference in diagonals.

Time to get cutting my so-called quarter inch plywood.

Well, good news is this piece is about perfect. Bad news is that I forgot to re-zero my work coordinates and it cut out of the middle of my piece of plywood, and now I don’t have room for the other panels, and it’s 23:00 local so I’m done for tonight. I could do the front bit at the bottom I suppose, but I wanted to leave that for last. I guess I’ll screw in the PSU to the back plate. I can set it on the floor and test at least


Wow replying to see finished product

Back and bottom attached, this keeps it all together

Top on with 200mm fan installed. Still needs a 120mm fan in the back.

Front view. I still need to install the power button. Maybe a LED, or maybe I’ll use an illuminated button. I also need to print off 2 more drive cages, thosr things take a long time…

This is not the project that I intended to use the LR3 for, but it definitely proves that the machine is capable of the work and precision I want for most projects.