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How TO make a variable 3D metal box

  1. Dec 14, 2014 #1

    css

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    Hi
    i want to know how to make a 3D metal box whose length, width, and height i can change.
    For example, i have a box of 3 m x 3 m x 3 m. i should be able to extend any dimension by a maximum of 1 meter i.e 4 meter (say). I want to use this to store items whose size is unknown, but the limits of the dimensions (of the item) are known and the metal enclosure should be compact (no free spaces). Any help or opinions in this matter would be very helpful. Thanks

    with regards
    css
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2014 #2

    Danger

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    A big part of how you do it will depend upon how strong it needs to be and how heavy the contents will be. As a couple of basic ideas, just look at desk drawers, filing cabinets, or the "slide-outs" on high-end motorhomes.
     
  4. Dec 14, 2014 #3

    css

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    Thanks for the reply. I will look into those suggestions.
    Components that I had in mind were of a desktop like motherboard, power source and gpu. So I need something that is flexible in size and compact.
     
  5. Dec 14, 2014 #4

    Danger

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    I see. So, not a lot of weight or stress involved. Is there any particular reason that you want it to be metal? While that is usually the best choice for homemade stuff because it's easiest to work with, there are other options available. A non-metallic one would give you the option of an "accordion" joint.
    There is also the possibility (if it suits your purposes) of setting it up the way a fishing tackle box is made. It's a clamshell opening box similar to a lunch kit, but opening it draws up a cantilevered tray that gives 2 levels. It doesn't increase volume, but it does give more surface area.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
  6. Dec 14, 2014 #5

    css

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    Hi,
    The design idea I had is to make desktop computers as compact and (if possible) portable. One example of this in the market would be "steam machines". These machines are very compact and computational very powerful. But some parts of the machines are customized, so we have to buy them from the manufacturer. My idea as to take off the shelf components and build a compact machine. i did some initial calculations and compared it to the a steam machines, the results are as follows
    (all dimensions in cm)
    Steam Machine: Bolt II
    dimensions: 41.656 x 11.17 x 35.814
    total volume: 1664.165

    Trial design
    Components include:
    1) Motherboard (Asus Maximus VII Formula) [30.5 x 24.4 x 5(approx)]
    Volume: 3721
    2) GPU (GTX 780 Ti) [26.67 x 11.11 x 4.1]
    Volume: 1214.84
    3) Power Source (EVGA Super Nova 750 G2 220-G2-0750-XR 750 Watts) [15 x 14 x 8.6]
    Volume: 1806
    4) Hard Drive: (Samsung EVO) [9.9 x 7.112 x 0.762]
    5) Cooling Equipment for CPU (NZXT Kraken X16 RL-KRX61-01)
    Volume (including radiator and two fans): 905.85 + 2*360 = 1625.85
    The above components are chosen at random (and have very good reviews).
    I divided my setup into 3 boxes: 1) Motherboard(includes ram, GPU, CPU, hard drive), 2)CPU liquid Colling Unit, 3) Power Source
    In the design the 3 boxes will be attached to each other via some sliding or locking mechanism. So for upgrades any box can be upgraded easily.
    I did a rough calculation to compare with the steam machine.
    The max dimensions for my setup are 35.7 x 38.4 x 13.
    Volume: 17821.44.
    There is a difference of about 1000 cm^3 in volume, which is not bad when you can build this system of the shelf with no customization what so ever.
    The reason for the variable dimensions 3D boxes is that the sizes of the above components can change (but not to a large extant, at least in the near future).

    PS: Thanks for the reply. The fishing tackle box idea looks interesting. I will see how it goes and give updates. I think the boxes have to sturdy so I thought of aluminium which is commonly used. I think the accordion joint might not be feasible, can u describe further how it can be used.

    Thanks
    css
     
  7. Dec 14, 2014 #6

    Danger

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    I agree, now that I know what you have in mind. That specific "joint" is actually a covering, as in a soft-shell. You would still need a component support structure within it, such as slide rails. The best example that I can think of right away is the focusing system on a very old "bellows" type camera.

    I've never heard of a "steam computer". Sounds neat.
     
  8. Dec 14, 2014 #7

    css

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    "Steam" as in the gaming company steam. They are introducing the idea of steam machines, which are compact and powerful desktops
     
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