Eric Bylenga
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Centris/Quadra 650 Case Design

I bought a bare Centris 650 motherboard from eBay a while back and so initially I built a case for it out of an old skimboard that I made when I was a kid. It's 3/8" plywood which is pretty thick for building material and I wasn't happy with the quality of my cuts that I did with a handsaw. In addition I wasted a lot of space in weird places as I didn't model everything before building the box. So it looked like this....

Old Case Off

Recently we had the opportunity to play with a Trotec laser cutter at work so I set about modelling a new case in TinkerCAD with proper dimensions. First I measured all the components and built the motherboard, drives and PSU. Then I modelled my new case around these designs.


As I designed the case I took into consideration that I could not cut angles, which makes the case very square in one sense. The beauty of the Trotec is the perfection of the cuts it can create. It can also etch too so I can add logos and artwork if I desire.

I did all my prototyping in cardboard scrap. I love this system 'cuz there is really little cost to making mistakes and cardboard was pretty easy to come by. Here are some pics of the progress.

Cardboard Test
Cardboard Inside
Cardboard Logo

And here's the completed project. I chose 1/4 hardboard for my material (it was the cheapest thing I could find), and the final product I'm fairly happy with. I have a couple areas to improve. First I still have some extra space I could trim, especially if I can replace the PSU with a slightly smaller form factor. Secondly I'm worried a bit about heat dissipation so I could add some more vents, but I have run the computer on some fairly heavy stuff and it seems to be okay in terms of that. Finally I'd like to add some artwork to the sides and top and modify the CD-ROM drive bay to be wood instead of the dreadful beige.

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Last Modified April 13, 2019