Adding a window and hole for a radiator to a side panel.
I'm getting a Fractal Design Define XL. What I'll be doing is adding a 3 fan Rad in the basement for a liquid cooled system. What I want to do is take the current side and make some cuts for the rad out the side, and also add a window that covers the entire upper section where the mobo and everything is at.
Basically it'll look like this: (where the rad is in black, window is clear, and the grey is the existing panel)
I have seen some great stuff where people just make the entire side clear acrylic cut a space out for the radiator, but my thing is I don't want to have to screw the entire panel in to the side, I'd like to just add a large acrylic window to the current panel and cut out a spot for the radiator to get air.
My question is this, the Define series has a soundproof material on the side wall that would obviously need to be removed, anyone ever done this? Also, when adding the acrylic window, I'm going to have to obviously attach the window to the panel, I have some nylon push retainer anchors, or should i use something else to fasten it to the panel? Any ideas on what would be a good thickness for the acryilic? I was looking on delviesplastics.com and they have 1/16, 1/8, 3/16, and 3/4" for thickness. I'd like to avoid distortion and just have a nice clear display of my hard work on the case.
The other thing I'm trying to figure out is if there is a best practice (or best method) way of doing this? I've never done any sort of fabrication/alteration outside of putting together furniture so talk to me like I have no idea of what I'm doing.
So I guess no one here has ever done this?
Best thing for windows in my opinion is to just use 3M double sided tape. 3M 4010 tape in specific. However, you'd definitely need to get rid of the soundproofing around the plexi so it can stick to the bare metal. This is where I can't help you as I've never touched one of these cases before and have no idea how difficult it is to remove. I believe the plexi I used in my last mod was 1/8", which worked pretty well.
My idea for the rad air holes would be to get some sort of modders mesh (Like this stuff) and affix it in the same way with the 4010 tape. Just cut a rectangular hole in the panel like you would for the plexi.
This has given me a ton if ideas for ways to handle what I'm wanting to do. When looking at MNPC's work, I notice that they have their rad fans pushing out out of the case. I've always figured I would have mine pulling air in. A: this will help with positive pressure in my case and keeping the case cleaner, and B: I can just put magnetic filter covers on the PC rad intake allowing me to quickly and easily clean them and keep anything from ending up in the radiator anyway, and C: this is going to give me the coolest air over the rad fins because I will be pulling cooler outside air over the fins rather than the warmer ambient air moving through the case.
Thoughts? Great link btw LPFAN, I'm definitely going to be putting some time on that site before I make any purchases.
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