Making a CPU waterblock using a mill?

  • Thread starter DyslexicHobo
  • Start date
  • Tags
    cpu
In summary, the conversation discusses the speaker's desire to learn how to use a mill by making a useful project, such as a water pump for their computer. They consider making a high-quality yoyo, but are advised to learn how to use a CNC lathe for precision. The speaker also asks about using a mill to make a CPU waterblock and the potential for galvanic corrosion. The other person suggests using a liquid coolant to establish a connection between the metals and using inhibitors to prevent corrosion. They also mention that a heat sink should be easy to machine due to its lack of curves and bends.
  • #1
DyslexicHobo
251
0
So I really want to learn how to use a mill, and what better way than making something that's actually useful? Next semester we will be manufacturing an air compressor as a final design project. I'm hoping that I can figure out how to change it into a water pump (materials are NOT an issue here! I don't care about price). With that, I can purchase some more water cooling supplies to custom water cool my computer.

At first I was thinking about making a high-quality yoyo, but then a lot of the yoyo gurus were telling me that I'd need to learn how to use my CNC lathe in order to get the precision required (which makes sense). It seems like I'd be able to make all the measurements of a CPU waterblock with normal measurement tools. Do you think I could make a surface flat enough to have good contact with the processor using only a mill, bandsaw, and grinder?

I go to a small university for mechanical engineering so we have a good amount of equipment at my disposal. I just don't want to bother the lab techs to spend hours teaching me how to use a CNC for something non-academic.

Would a CPU waterblock be a good choice?
 
Engineering news on Phys.org
  • #3
DyslexicHobo said:
So I really want to learn how to use a mill, and what better way than making something that's actually useful? Next semester we will be manufacturing an air compressor as a final design project. I'm hoping that I can figure out how to change it into a water pump (materials are NOT an issue here! I don't care about price). With that, I can purchase some more water cooling supplies to custom water cool my computer.

At first I was thinking about making a high-quality yoyo, but then a lot of the yoyo gurus were telling me that I'd need to learn how to use my CNC lathe in order to get the precision required (which makes sense). It seems like I'd be able to make all the measurements of a CPU waterblock with normal measurement tools. Do you think I could make a surface flat enough to have good contact with the processor using only a mill, bandsaw, and grinder?

I go to a small university for mechanical engineering so we have a good amount of equipment at my disposal. I just don't want to bother the lab techs to spend hours teaching me how to use a CNC for something non-academic.

Would a CPU waterblock be a good choice?

You should have fun with those projects,:approve: A bookmark to this site, will be a big help if you use it.

http://www.cnczone.com/
 
  • #4
Bob S said:
Here is a review of CPU coolers using heatpipes. Heat pipes are more efficient than thermal conduction in moving heat away from CPU.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/heatpipe-cpu-cooler-roundup-review/1

Thanks for the link. Right now I'm using a heatpipe cooler and it's great. I'm really just doing this because I can (well...hopefully). I think it'd be really neat to make something that I can use outside of my academic world.

RonL said:
You should have fun with those projects,:approve: A bookmark to this site, will be a big help if you use it.

http://www.cnczone.com/

Thanks for the link! I've been looking for a site like that. I still need to learn some sort of CAM software before I start even thinking about a CNC project. I'm still learning Solidworks.
 
  • #5
You can definitely make a well performing water block relatively simple - but you cannot get the desired surface finish with just a mill, but lapping the resulting block shouldn't be too big of a hassle
 
  • #6
My main concern wasn't necessarily the mirror finish. I've lapped a heatsink before and am comfortable doing that.

I just wasn't sure how much tolerance the flatness of the heatsink would have using these tools. I'm planning on ordering a copper bar from McMaster. Will it be flat enough to use as a heatsink?

I've really got no idea at all how flat I need this to be. I guess the thermal paste will be able to fill any defects.

Edit: I also read about galvanic corrosion. Is this something that I need to worry about?
 
Last edited:
  • #7
DyslexicHobo said:
My main concern wasn't necessarily the mirror finish. I've lapped a heatsink before and am comfortable doing that.

I just wasn't sure how much tolerance the flatness of the heatsink would have using these tools. I'm planning on ordering a copper bar from McMaster. Will it be flat enough to use as a heatsink?

I've really got no idea at all how flat I need this to be. I guess the thermal paste will be able to fill any defects.

Edit: I also read about galvanic corrosion. Is this something that I need to worry about?

Well you ARE going to skim the base right (right word in English?), that should give you a reasonably flat surface to work on.

Galvanic corrosion is only a concern if you start mixing metals of different electrode potentials, i.e. aluminum and copper.
 
  • #8
Only if the aluminum and copper are in proximity? What if I have a radiator with aluminum siding and a copper heatsink?
 
  • #9
DyslexicHobo said:
Only if the aluminum and copper are in proximity? What if I have a radiator with aluminum siding and a copper heatsink?

The liquid coolant will establish a connection between the two metals.
Pipelines, marine, and diesel engines, all use anodes to combat the electrolisis effects.

At the scale of what your doing, I'm not sure just what (if anything) you need to do.

Ron
 
  • #10
Cu and Al in the same cooling loop will cause corrosion over time. You can add inhibitors but its really just easier to stick with one material.

A heat sink should be easy enough to machine since there are no curves or bends so it shouldn't require CNC. You will have to lap the base where it contacts the CPU/GPU but a quality end mill should give you an initially flat enough surface to work with.
 

What materials are needed to make a CPU waterblock using a mill?

To make a CPU waterblock using a mill, you will need a block of metal (such as copper or aluminum), a CNC mill, coolant, a drill bit, and a tap and die set.

What are the steps involved in making a CPU waterblock using a mill?

The steps involved in making a CPU waterblock using a mill include cutting the metal block to the desired size and shape, drilling holes for the inlet and outlet ports, tapping the holes for the fittings, and milling channels for the water to flow through.

What are the benefits of using a mill to make a CPU waterblock?

Using a mill to make a CPU waterblock allows for precise and accurate cuts, resulting in a high-quality and efficient waterblock. It also allows for customization and the ability to create unique designs.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when making a CPU waterblock using a mill?

Some common mistakes to avoid when making a CPU waterblock using a mill include not properly securing the metal block, using incorrect cutting speeds or feeds, and not properly aligning the mill with the block.

How do I maintain and clean a CPU waterblock made with a mill?

To maintain and clean a CPU waterblock made with a mill, you should regularly flush it with clean coolant and make sure there are no clogs in the channels. You should also regularly check the fittings and seals for any leaks and replace them if necessary.

Similar threads

  • Mechanical Engineering
Replies
30
Views
2K
  • Mechanical Engineering
Replies
21
Views
472
  • Mechanical Engineering
Replies
15
Views
5K
Replies
15
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Programming and Computer Science
Replies
1
Views
964
  • Engineering and Comp Sci Homework Help
Replies
9
Views
4K
Replies
1
Views
910
Replies
2
Views
53K
  • Mechanical Engineering
Replies
15
Views
759
Back
Top