Homemade PC case in MDF

I want¬≠ed to share a project I did long before I start¬≠ed pro¬≠gram¬≠ming and the world of video games. It's a com¬≠put¬≠er cab¬≠i¬≠net made in mdf.


I had been mak¬≠ing things in mdf, such as sets of chess and box¬≠es that my girl¬≠friend had dec¬≠o¬≠rat¬≠ed with decoupage, I liked quite and had ease. One day I was in chem¬≠istry class in the uni¬≠ver¬≠si¬≠ty and I showed a friend the lit¬≠tle jobs I had done. He was inter¬≠est¬≠ed and told me that he need¬≠ed a tem¬≠po¬≠rary wood¬≠en box to cov¬≠er his com¬≠put¬≠er because he had not yet got a cab¬≠i¬≠net and his com¬≠put¬≠er cov¬≠ered it with a card¬≠board box. 


Fig¬≠ure 1 shows a struc¬≠ture for the moth¬≠er¬≠board and pow¬≠er sup¬≠ply that he made.

msi motherboard on a glass structure. mdf cabinet
Fig 1: Sup­port­ing structure.
msi motherboard on a glass structure, with accelerator. mdf cabinet
Fig 2: Ini¬≠tial dis¬≠po¬≠si¬≠tion of the ele¬≠ments. Below pow¬≠er sup¬≠ply and hard disk.

So the idea was to make a box con¬≠tain¬≠ing that to pre¬≠vent it from get¬≠ting dusty.

Design of the MDF PC case

My friend made a design that seemed con­ve­nient for ven­ti­la­tion and from that I made a 3D design using Solid­Works (at that time I didn't know Blender), that was my first approach with 3D mod­el­ing with­out count­ing that when I was a kid I made maps for Counter Strike using 3D Entity.

With the 3D design we were able to make some ren­ders and adjust it until it became as my friend want­ed. From that 3D design I made a plan of 6 views for the cuts of the pieces (I believe that by that time I had also made tech­ni­cal draw­ing in the university).

draw for the desing of mdf cabinet, ruler, pencil and eraser
Fig 3: Part of mdf and plane of the cuts.

Tak­ing as base the plans, I drew the six pieces on a plate of mdf of 5 mm of thick­ness, in this part the mea­sures were tak­en well so that every­thing is to square.

cut of wood for cabinet mdf, on the table a drill and a caladora
Fig 4: With all the cuts drawn, holes are made so that the sheet of the jig¬≠saw can enter.

I made all the holes in the inter­nal cuts so that the sheet of the jig­saw enters.

view of the cut of wood for the cabinet mdf, to the front it is observed a caladora.
Fig 5: Cut from one side.

I made the sim­ple cuts using a hand jig­saw and the pre­cise cuts with a bench jigsaw.

Wood Cutting for mdf Cabinet with Bench Cleaver
Fig 6: Inside cut of a side piece of the mdf cabinet.

The cuts were made to mea¬≠sure, only not so straight because they were made by hand.

plate of mdf with cuts for the construction of the cabinet mdf
Fig 7: The first piece of the mdf cab¬≠i¬≠net, one of the sides.

Fig¬≠ure 8 shows that the struc¬≠ture was already tak¬≠ing shape.

3 wood cuts in position to shape the mdf cabinet
Fig 8: Cab­i­net parts cut with­out gluing.

I glued the three pieces using glue and then applied a press so that the struc­ture is very firm, then the press­ing tools are observed.

gluing and pressing of the woods for the mdf cabinet
Fig 9: Glu­ing and press­ing of the mdf cabinet.

Notice how the red met­al press (a press itself) is in charge of keep­ing Monopoly's box armed, so the struc­ture didn't col­lapse under its own weight.

mdf cabinet, draw of the bays for hard disks
Fig 10: Design for disk bays.

For the disk bays we made a three-storey struc¬≠ture, in the fol¬≠low¬≠ing fig¬≠ure the idea for the design is shown.

mdf cabinet, hard disk bays made of fibrofaccile mdf, unpainted
Fig 11: Unpaint¬≠ed disc bays.

The piece was also built with 5 mm mdf and a lay­er of red acrylic paint.

mdf cabinet, hard disk bays made of fibrofaccile mdf, painted red
Fig 12: Disc bays finished.

Then we start¬≠ed to think about the dec¬≠o¬≠ra¬≠tion of the box, because it had to have even a coat of paint. At that time I didn't know as much about com¬≠put¬≠er com¬≠po¬≠nents and brands as I do now, how¬≠ev¬≠er I pro¬≠posed some designs that he liked.

sketches for the decoration of the mdf cabinet, republic of gamers logo design
Fig 13: Scrib­bling some designs while doing my Ger­man homework.

mdf glued cabinet, with acrylics and republic of gamers logo
Fig 14: The mdf cab­i­net after glu­ing and with part of the design. The blue pieces are trans­par­ent acrylic.

The Repub¬≠lic of Gamers logo for an MSI board, I know.

mdf cabinet painted black with red ornaments, acrylics and republic of gamers logo
Fig 15: Side of mdf cab¬≠i¬≠net, notice the acrylic placed in a groove at the top.

We had bought some meat pies to eat and it was get¬≠ting late.

Here you can see that I'm putting the fin­ish­ing touch­es. Our mdf cab­i­net was almost finished.

mdf cabinet painted black, nvidia logo design
Fig 16: Retouch¬≠es in the dec¬≠o¬≠ra¬≠tion of the cab¬≠i¬≠net mdf.

mdf cabinet painted black with red ornaments, acrylics, republic of gamers logo and screwed coolers
Fig 17: Cab­i­net mdf with screwed coolers.

We screwed the cool­ers in place, placed the struc­ture with the moth­er­board, the foun­tain, the disks inside and final­ly the two pieces of acrylic that went into grooves. This was the final result

cabinet mdf final finish, with all elements inside
Fig 18: Final fin­ish of mdf cabinet.


We man¬≠aged to fin¬≠ish the mdf cab¬≠i¬≠net and my friend had a small box to house his com¬≠put¬≠er. It was tem¬≠po¬≠rary until he final¬≠ly got a PC cabinet. 

In my opin¬≠ion the dimen¬≠sions were quite exag¬≠ger¬≠at¬≠ed, but my friend was wor¬≠ried (and right¬≠ly so) about refrig¬≠er¬≠a¬≠tion. In a met¬≠al cab¬≠i¬≠net the heat is part¬≠ly dis¬≠si¬≠pat¬≠ed by the ther¬≠mal con¬≠duc¬≠tiv¬≠i¬≠ty. In addi¬≠tion it pro¬≠vides pro¬≠tec¬≠tion to the cir¬≠cuits against elec¬≠tro¬≠mag¬≠net¬≠ic noise.

How­ev­er, if we take into account the fact that I used to cov­er the com­put­er with a card­board box, the mdf cab­i­net was a small improvement.

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