What to Remember When Designing an Alternatively Shaped Chassis

Whether it’s the shape of a Tron lightcycle or seemingly inspired by the architecture found in Blade Runner, most of us have a few ideas in mind when it comes to cool looking alternative computer cases. But if you ever decide to try to turn these chassis design dreams into reality, you’ll soon discover it’s a bit harder than simply scrounging the parts together and finding a place to stick a fan. With that said, it can be every bit as rewarding as it is challenging, and made a bit easier by keeping the following in mind when putting together the blueprint:

Boards need straight slots: You’re only going to get so much variety as for as the dimensions of an ATCA board and other necessary components go. While the inside a diffused mini depth charge may seem like the perfect place to contain your computer, there needs to be a straight line or two where boards can be fitted.

Dust loves nooks and crannies: The more curves and crevices in your chassis, the more likely dust will latch on and collect. Worse yet, unregulated designs can cause internal dust and debris levels to climb to fire risk status. If your chosen case has many contours, make sure there’s an easy way to clean it.

Cooling, of course: The cornerstone fans synonymous with towers don’t always work with completely cooling the inside of a custom made case. Since the walls are not so straight and simple and parts may be divided by unconventional structure, it’s possible that some of your hardware wouldn’t benefit from the removal of warm air from the central compartments.

Future customization: It’s safe to say you’ll eventually be looking to make some component upgrades. Factor this now in order to avoid worrying about it later. There’s no point in working hard to build your own alternative case if it won’t be able to house the hardware of tomorrow. With that said, keep in mind that parts are mostly getting smaller.

Your dream computer chassis design is most likely achievable as long as you prepare yourself for some tedious weekend labor and pay heed to the aforementioned. Considering the wide variety of online sources for guides, parts, and inspiration, alternative cases have never been more popular or more possible to build yourself. It’s undoubtedly the best way to customize your computer and definitively declare it as your own.