Homemade PC case in MDF

I wanted to share a project I did long before I started programming and the world of video games. It’s a computer cabinet made in mdf.

History

I had been making things in mdf, such as sets of chess and boxes that my girlfriend had decorated with decoupage, I liked quite and had ease. One day I was in chemistry class in the university and I showed a friend the little jobs I had done. He was interested and told me that he needed a temporary wooden box to cover his computer because he had not yet got a cabinet and his computer covered it with a cardboard box.

Figure 1 shows a structure for the motherboard and power supply 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: Initial disposition of the elements. Below power supply and hard disk.

So the idea was to make a box containing that to prevent it from getting dirty.

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 jigsaw 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 measure, 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 cabinet, one of the sides.

Figure 8 shows that the structure was already taking 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 structure, in the following figure the idea for the design is shown.

mdf cabinet, hard disk bays made of fibrofaccile mdf, unpainted
Fig 11: Unpainted 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 started to think about the decoration of the box, because it had to have even a coat of paint. At that time I didn’t know as much about computer components and brands as I do now, however I proposed 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 Republic 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 cabinet, notice the acrylic placed in a groove at the top.

We had bought some meat pies to eat and it was getting 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: Retouches in the decoration of the cabinet 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.

Conclusion

We managed to finish the mdf cabinet and my friend had a small box to house his computer. It was temporary until he finally got a PC cabinet.

In my opinion the dimensions were quite exaggerated, but my friend was worried (and rightly so) about refrigeration. In a metal cabinet the heat is partly dissipated by the thermal conductivity. In addition it provides protection to the circuits against electromagnetic 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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