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How stupid is my idea? From 0 to printing my own Case?

CMetaphor

Quadfather
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
5,749
Location
Montreal, Canada
Long version:
I haven't exactly hidden how I'm off work or that I'm not doing well physically or mentally. I've been desperately trying to find any reason to get out of bed, and maybe I've found it?

As some know, I've been working to get a SFF gamer case available in Canada, because I really think that it's the best available on the market for performance and cooling in a small package. What you don't know, however, is that I've been dealing with the same company in the hopes of making a modded version, using some design suggestions I made. Sadly, most of this has been derailed by the pandemic. I may be able to get a case at some point, but the modded version and the Canadian availability is not looking so good.

So then I started reading about 3D printing, and the more I read the more I'm interested in it. Im an absolute beginner, but I believe I'm intelligent (enough) to be able to print things and maybe even design them.
Sooooo....

Short version:
1) I can buy an Ender 5 in very good shape very close by. Should I? I've read that it's a highly recommended printer for complete beginners because it requires no mods or extras to get decent prints right away.
2) How likely or possible or feasible would it be for me, currently a complete newbie, to design and print parts for Modding PCs and eventually a full PC? Obviously it will take time, but that's not really a problem if I can get into it, motivate myself, and not get discouraged.
3) What other recommendations or suggestions would you have?

Be brutal, but don't just step on what remains of my ego and confidence please.

I think it may be possible. And more importantly, I think it might just give me something to do with this life... At least for now.

Thanks all.
 

CMetaphor

Quadfather
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
5,749
Location
Montreal, Canada
Final side note:
I've designed and built many small things over the years: Little gadgets, unique Lego Technic contraptions, many custom PC mods and chops, etc. On top of that, I've always wanted to be an inventor. So, that's why I'm making this thread and crossing my fingers like crazy.
 

lowfat

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
10,464
Location
Grande Prairie, AB
It is possible. I've done a few cases. From tiny ITX to a 46L ATX. The printer isn't going to be the issue but learning to 3d model. It isn't necessarily hard. But you will need to be adept at Fusion 360 or similar. I'd start w/ learning how to model before buying the printer.

For more info on a couple of the ones I've printed and shared, see Hood's Path and The Crippled God in my sig.
 
Last edited:

danmitch1

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 15, 2007
Messages
1,638
Long version:
I haven't exactly hidden how I'm off work or that I'm not doing well physically or mentally. I've been desperately trying to find any reason to get out of bed, and maybe I've found it?

As some know, I've been working to get a SFF gamer case available in Canada, because I really think that it's the best available on the market for performance and cooling in a small package. What you don't know, however, is that I've been dealing with the same company in the hopes of making a modded version, using some design suggestions I made. Sadly, most of this has been derailed by the pandemic. I may be able to get a case at some point, but the modded version and the Canadian availability is not looking so good.

So then I started reading about 3D printing, and the more I read the more I'm interested in it. Im an absolute beginner, but I believe I'm intelligent (enough) to be able to print things and maybe even design them.
Sooooo....

Short version:
1) I can buy an Ender 5 in very good shape very close by. Should I? I've read that it's a highly recommended printer for complete beginners because it requires no mods or extras to get decent prints right away.
2) How likely or possible or feasible would it be for me, currently a complete newbie, to design and print parts for Modding PCs and eventually a full PC? Obviously it will take time, but that's not really a problem if I can get into it, motivate myself, and not get discouraged.
3) What other recommendations or suggestions would you have?

Be brutal, but don't just step on what remains of my ego and confidence please.

I think it may be possible. And more importantly, I think it might just give me something to do with this life... At least for now.

Thanks all.
I have an ender 5, And have modded the crap out it, that will probably be inevitable for you if you decide to jump into the game in the search for the best quality prints for the lowest price. The ender 3 pro is a bit cheaper, bit smaller build volume but just as user friendly.

If you are motivated, you can learn anything if you really put in the effort. We have a good group on here that can help you out too.

Edit: someone posted as im writing this, might have beat me to these points lol..
 

sswilson

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 9, 2006
Messages
19,938
Location
Moncton NB
Many of the type of things you may want to print probably already have pre-existing designs (SSD/HDD caddys as an example).

It's all doable if you're willing to put the time in, and it sounds like you've already got some kind of experience designing 3D parts, but your biggest limitation building a case is going to be bed size. As per lowfat's post above, if you look at his build logs I'm pretty sure he's done many of his larger parts in two (or more) pieces.

Ender 3 and Ender 5 list print bed size as 220X220, but the ender 3 is actually 235 X 235 (not sure about the ender 5) . That said... while you can stretch a part out to 235mm in one direction, I'd personally stick to 220mm square as the max edge to edge.
 

CMetaphor

Quadfather
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
5,749
Location
Montreal, Canada
Yeah, ender 5 allows more Z height 220x220x300
That and the "more modern" style of the Ender 5(the Z axis be the sole axis of the print platform while the head is fixed Z and only moves X&Y), together with the fact that's it's a fair price and very nearby, are what drew me to it.
Considering most of my builds are ITX (170x170) it would be easily fit in most printers. But I'd also like to play around with larger things too, things like card moving brackets, Nvme repositioning, large fans (220m) and more. So given that, I thought starting with a bigger print area will keep me happy for much longer.

Thanks all for the responses thus far. I'm almost getting a glimmer a hope here, haha. To answer some Qs and add more info: I have done some design in software many years ago, but it has been a while. However, Ive always been fairly good at learning software so I'm somewhat confident that I can, eventually, be truly confident designing my owns things from scratch.
 

Izerous

Well-known member
Folding Team
Joined
Feb 7, 2019
Messages
1,262
Location
Edmonton
1 side note is that a printed version will be in thoery bigger than a cut sheet version due to how think you need to print som pieces compared the thin sheet metals that could be bent in a bench top vice/brake.
 

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