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Volunteer Moderator

Have you built your own case?

As a Volunteer Moderator and with my focus on the Red Team Modders Group, I agreed to write an 'How To' article on how to design and build your own custom case.  I've done this several times, basically with modding existing items such as appliances, printers and things of this nature.  But I have noticed enormous creativity in the AMD Support Forums from fellow modders who have built their cases out of tables and even scratch builds to mimic things they saw in a movie or game.  So before I write this article, I am seeking input from all of you in terms of my outline, things to consider for the components you'll be installing (such as support for the video card or adequate ventilation) and even the tools you can expect to need for the mod.  

Here is my starting outline.  Please reply with your comments about the outline, hopefully suggesting things I left out, and feel free to provide some detailed comments that I might be able to incorporate into the article.  I'll try to give credit at the end to all of you who provide constructive comments.  I am looking to start writing the article in early August 2023.

Outline for 'How To Design and Build Your Own Case':


Introduction - Who this article is written for and why you should read it.

Concept - You need an idea for the custom case before you start tearing something apart. 

Photography - Take pictures from the beginning of your custom build.  People will ask how you did it and you can help others with your design ideas.

Design - Some people draw a simple picture (me) and some people use CAD tools.

Materials - Make sure you can get the things you need, such as aluminum bars, plywood, an existing appliance that no longer works, etc.

Tools - You won't go far with just a screwdriver; cutting tools (hacksaw, Dremel tool, metal shears, etc.), measuring tools and other things need to be identified. 

Layout of computer components - Figure out the general placement of your motherboard, storage drives, fans, video card, etc.;  Make sure everything will fit.

Measure Twice Before Cutting - We've all made mistakes in past builds, usually when we are in a hurry.

Test Fit As You Go - As you cut and assemble the parts, test fit some components to ensure you are allowing enough room for things such as fans.

Assembly - Build your computer outside the new case if possible to ensure everything works before you install the components into your custom case.

Case Finish - Are you going to paint the case?  Make sure all your cutting is complete and all the components fit; then pull them out and have at it.

Testing / Benchmarking - Optional for some of us but you know people will ask about the performance of your new machine.

Posting in the AMD Support Forum - You've been taking pictures all along, right?  Posting pictures as you make progress may result in constructive suggestions.

Ok, that's my current idea of an outline.  Please comment and tell me what's missing or provide some details you would like to see addressed in one of the outline topics.  Here is a picture of one of my scratch-built computers - TOTB (Thinking Outside The Box).  This was built in May of 2013.  It has since moved from the wall in my den to above my workbench, minus it's plastic bin cover.  I'm planning on upgrading it's components soon.

Test fitting TOTB for wall hanging before installing the components (besides the PSU).Test fitting TOTB for wall hanging before installing the components (besides the PSU).


As Albert Einstein said, "I could have done so much more with a Big Al's Computer!".
1 Reply
Volunteer Moderator

I was hoping to receive a few comments by now.  Before I start on this next week, maybe someone will weigh in on what I have as an outline?

As Albert Einstein said, "I could have done so much more with a Big Al's Computer!".