Casecon: Aquacube

A casecon specifically designed for a water cooling system with more than 1500cm² of radiator surface.

Requirements

  • good cooling performance leveraging two large 560x140mm radiators, ten 140mm fans (1500 m³ throughput per hour) and a full water cooling stack
  • support for an E-ATX mainboard and a Quad-SLI graphics card array
  • support for a 1500W power supply unit
  • silent operation under full load
  • clear style without windows or fancy lighting
  • easy maintenance and refilling
  • robust but accessible without screws (using magnet connectors)

Design

CAD model:

Hardware only
Full CAD
Watercooling Flow

Preparation

Info

  • This takes some time. The complete build took around 30-60 hours.
  • For information on building watercooling systems, see the Watercooling 1x1
  • To prevent surprises, plan the build in CAD.
  • At a good hardware store or woodcraft shop, you can buy wood panels at custom dimensions and designs with all-laminated edges.
  • The laminate layer on the edges is ~0.5 mm thick, which might increase a panel's overall dimensions by ~1 mm.
  • Some components of this case are are taken out of another stock case. An ATX (305x244 mm) form factor case should be sufficient, as most full-size PC motherboards are approx. 305x270 mm in size and thus do not require an E-ATX (305x330 mm) motherboard tray.
  • The setup requires a fan-controller that supports at least 25W power output.

Tools

Preferred Tool Alternative/Optional Tool
manual + cordless electronic screwdriver power drill
bits (PZ1, PZ2), wood drills with centering tip (⌀ 2 mm, ⌀ 10 mm), countersink -
electric jigsaw with clean-cut blades fretsaw and guide rail
oscillating detail sander with sanding discs (P40, P80) sandpaper/sand-sponge
angle grinder (for seperating the stock case modules) rotary multi-tool ("Dremel")
matte black spray paint (for surfacing edges and parts) black permanent marker
- bar clamp (for screwing the panels together)
- rivet squeezer (for connecting metal sheets)
- metal file (for deburring metal ridges)
Recommended Tool Setup

Parts

Assuming, that you already have:

  • PC Hardware (Motherboard, CPU, GPU(s), PSU etc.)
  • Water Cooling Stack (pump, water blocks, reservoir, hoses, connectors, controller etc.)
Part Amount Avg. Cost
Sum 500-700 €
680x400x16 mm panel (top/bottom) - laminated Multiplex or particle board 2x 17 €
648x368x16 mm panel (middle) 1x 8 €
400x400x16 mm panel (front/back) 2x 15 €
648x400x16 mm panel (left/right) 2x 17 €
160x190x16 mm panel (drive tray sides) 4x 8 €
160x146x16 mm panel (drive tray bottoms) 2x 6 €
Phobya G-Changer 580 radiator 2x 200 €
Phobya 560 HEXX grill 2x 50 €
Phobya 280 HEXX grill 1x 19 €
Noiseblocker BlackSilentPRO PK-3 1700rpm 140mm case fan 10x 120 €
Y-Cable 3-pin Molex 1 to 4 3x 10 €
magnetic door latch 12x 11 €
power button with red lighting plus wiring 1x 10 €
Stainless steel screws: 4x40mm and 3x12mm 50x 5 €
Steel brackets 40x40mm 4x 4 €
Rubberized furniture feet 4x 5 €
LEDs, wiring and connectors for Power, HDD activity and Alarm notification 3x 10 €
Another ATX PC case (e.g. Sharkoon Rebel9 Aluminium) provides motherboard and PSU trays 1x 45 €
PC noise-absorbent mat set (Big Tower) 1x 25 €

Construction

  1. Seperate the motherboard and PSU trays from the stock case, resulting in two distinct modules.
  2. Deburr all wood panels as well as the case modules.
  3. Build the two drive trays from the small wood panels (inner width: 146mm, length: 160mm).
  4. Cut out the holes in the side panels, countersink them and mount the grills.
  5. Cut out the hole in the top panel, countersink it and mount grill and fans.
  6. Cut out holes for the PSU (bottom and back), motherboard (back), drives (front) and cable duct (middle). Countersink the front holes.
  7. Attach four furniture feet to the bottom panel.
  8. Screw the panels together: bottom, front and back.
  9. Mount the middle partition panel using four steel brackets (distance to bottom panel: 157mm).
  10. Attach the noise-absorbent mats to the long sides of the radiators. The compressed material will keep them in place in the lower compartment.
  11. Mount six magnetic door latches each on the front and back panels, so that the side and top panels can be magnetically attached/detached. It is recommended to first mount the metal plates and then the magnets.
  12. Install the power switch and status LEDs in the front panel.
  13. Mount motherboard, PSU and drives in the respective trays. Make sure the motherboard solder contacts do not short-circuit.
  14. Install the water cooling system - starting with pump and flow sensor in the lower compartment.
  15. Fill the water cooling system while not powering the PC hardware - and thoroughly test for leakages.
  16. Done.

Images

Box and Parts
Magnet Connectors
Cut Holes and Mounted Trays
Hardware Installation
Finished Case
Computer Hardware
CPU/RAM closeup
Aqua Computer Aquaero 5 XT
Aqua Computer Aquasuite