So, how much do you think this custom case cost to create? a hundred
pounds? a hundred and fifty? As a matter of fact, the exact figure is
Zero Pounds, and Zero Pence. Necessity may be the mother of invention,
but necessity's mother is poverty. The industrial design of this case
was dictated not so much by my sense of aesthetics, as by my empty wallet.
The industrial look can be a very cheap mod. For example, on the side
panels, I simulate the look of dirty unpainted steel with some unpainted
and dirtied steel.
The entire project was completed with junk I had lying around anyway.
This case now houses my day to day workstation, and does a marvelous job
The fundamentals of designing an industrial case are simple. Leave off all
the fancy bits. The only part of my case which is not totally functional is
the blue cold cathode, and even that serves as a power light. I have taken minimalism
to an extreme, with no knobs on the Fanbus pots, and the power button reduced
to a bare microswitch. The design of the case itself is very simple. The cube
shape is made from a pair of old tower cases bolted together, and the front
panel is a humble sheet of plywood.
The chassis is made from a pair of very old Inwin A500 cases, which I bought
back in 1997 if my memory serves me correctly. These cases are made from very
thick metal, which has made the chassis completely rigid without any extra bracing.
As the first photo shows, the A500 is about as boxy, beige, and boring as cases
The left hand case was used complete. I took the drive bays out of the right
hand case, to allow more motherboard room and access to the drive fixing screws
in the left hand bays. A bolt at each corner held the 2 halves together without
even a suggestion of movement. Opening out the front vents with a jigsaw finished
off the job.
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