Thank you so much for the feature PCPP! This has been a dream of mine for very long and I though it would never be possible just a few years ago when I got into tech! I am blown away by the attention in the comments. Thank you all. This is such a great community and site! I've been on here for a few years at this point and it has been such a great tool in my (admittedly very short, pretty much since I was 12 and got into tech from Linus's HDD failure video on NCIX) career!
This machine will be used mainly for video/photo editing and gaming (and of course general computing). Will also be used to run VR. It is based on the sentinels (weird robo-squiddy thingies) in The Matrix (one of my favorite movies).
As you can hopefully see, the case is totally custom. The base is wood and the shell is fiberglass-sandwiched chicken-wire. There is also a Raspberry Pi Zero mounted in the front with an 8-channel relay to control my custom led circuits and strips. More details to come : )
I originally conceived this idea over a year ago and slowly worked it over in my head until we started a few months ago. This was a nice father-son project; I bought and designed mostly everything but needed my dad's carpentry and general expertise for fabrication. In case you're curious, I'm 15.
Pre-Planning After my plans were finalized in my head, I made a rough SketchUp model with components to scale to get measurements for the wood mockup. My dad helped with all the woodwork and we ended up with the first draft per-say. After some small modifications for better io access and a paint job, Boom! V2!
Case (ish) The chicken-wire frame was built on the wood base and around a stand-in wood gpu. We then coated it in fiberglass strips. The window is a glass water bottle cut lengthwise by our glass artist friend. The big front eyes are lenses from broken projectors from my school (I work in the Tech Dept.) The tiny eyes are marbles I ordered on Amazon. All accents around the eyes and face as well as the claws are made of lead flashing. Hopefully no one gets stabbed by the lead spikes... ; )
Installation For base V2 we added some tiny wood blocks to act as stand-off extensions to give clearance for the custom extensions I got from Ensourced.net. I ended up just hammering in the standoffs because the wood was not being very nice to me. : | I stuck on the ssd with some double-sided foam tape and we mounted the hard drive with some bolts my dad found in the garage. The gpu is mounted on top for tonnes of airflow using an ugly flexible riser card that I spray painted.
Raspberry Pi stuffs I made a custom power adapter out of two female pin cables soldered to a chopped off micro-usb end to power the Pi Zero from the mobo usb headers. Also made an adapter for powering the leds by chopping a molex connector out of an old pc. The 12v power from molex from the psu is distributed through the 8 channel relay controlled by the pi. There are 3 circuits I soldered together out of some loose leds and 3 cheap strips from Amazon. On one of the relays are jumpers going to the vandal switch on the front so I can remote power on/off my pc from anywhere. (All pi stuff mentioned so far is entirely my idea and I'm pretty sure never been done before at least in this way. Lemme know of any others.)
I use a static ip for the pi, portforwarding on my router, and a free ddns hostname service so I can send commands on my phone from anywhere. I use Juice SSH and the Tasker plugin for integration with another plugin for Tasker linked to the fingerprint scanner.
What all this results in is that I can hold my finger on the back of my G5, a menu pops up with graphical options. If I hit the power icon it goes through Tasker then Juice then my hostname to my router to the pi which runs my Python program that controls the gpio to trigger the relay to short the power pins to start/shutoff my PC! (I'm pretty proud of that there. : ) I also have some programs just to do fun patterns with the leds.
Other things worth(?) mentioning I found an animated screensaver on the interwebz while looking for a wallpaper. I used shadowplay to do a screen cap of the screensaver then used that as my wallpaper with Wallpaper Engine on Steam.
I killed my first Pi zero. It was working fine for a few days until it left this earth and took my wifi adapter and sd card with it. : ( I imagine it was due to my incredibly awful soldering job.
I wrapped the ugly wooden desk in some carbon fiber vinyl from Amazon. Looks very nice imo.
I haven't had any issues with the riser card after I replaced the first one I got. This first one looked much better and was slightly longer so the curve was nicer but it turns out it had some corrosion I only found after the refund period was up. Eh.
Any comments or input welcome and appreciated!!! Thanks for checkin' out my project of passion!