Custom Built 3D Printed Computer Cases For Fun and Profit

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ronwoodson
ronwoodson Store Associate
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edited January 2 in 3D Printers

Creating state-of-the-art gaming cases using consumer-grade 3D printers like the Bambu Labs X1 and others is an exciting venture that allows for unprecedented customization and design. This article will guide you through the process, from choosing the right printer and filament to selecting the appropriate nozzle and other accessories.


Choosing the Right 3D Printer

The Bambu Labs X1 is a high-performance 3D printer that is well-suited for this task. It features a Core XY system with 20,000 mm/s² acceleration, up to 16 multi-color printing, dual auto bed leveling, and a 7μm lidar resolution. It also includes spaghetti failure detection and AI-inspected first layer features, which ensure the quality and reliability of your prints. Bambu Lab X1 - Carbon Combo 3D Printer - https://www.microcenter.com/product/667416/bambu-lab-x1-carbon-combo-3d-printer

Selecting the Appropriate Filament

The choice of filament is crucial as it determines the quality, durability, and appearance of your gaming case. The Bambu Labs X1 supports a wide range of filaments, including PLA, PETG, TPU, ABS, ASA, PVA, and PET. It is particularly adept at working with advanced materials like PA, PC, and carbon/glass fiber-reinforced polymers.

PLA is a popular choice due to its ease of use and good detail resolution, but it may not be as durable as other materials. ABS is more durable and has good impact resistance, making it a better choice for functional parts. For a more exotic look, you could consider metal-filled filaments, which can give your gaming case a metallic appearance.

Choosing the Right Nozzle

The nozzle is another critical component in 3D printing. The Bambu Labs X1 comes with a 0.4 mm hardened steel nozzle, which is suitable for a wide range of applications. However, if you're using abrasive filaments like carbon or glass fiber-reinforced polymers, you might want to consider a nozzle made of a more durable material, such as hardened steel or a metal with a high melting point. The shape of the nozzle tip can also affect the quality of your prints. Conical nozzles are often used for printing small details or intricate designs.

I found a few options for 3D printer nozzles made from hardened steel or materials with high melting points on Micro Center's website:

1. BIGTREETECH BIQU MK8 Nozzle, which includes high-grade copper alloy nozzles and hardened steel nozzles capable of withstanding high temperatures up to 500°C or 400°C. https://www.microcenter.com/product/635183/bigtreetech-biqu-mk8-nozzle-high-quality-copper-alloy-hardened-steel-nozzle-175mm-filament-3d-printer-parts-for-cr10-cr10s-ender3

2. Leo Sales Ltd. 0.4mm Hardened Steel Nozzle, compatible with Makerbot, Creality CR-10, MK8 Makerbot, and Reprap Prusa I3, and suitable for all 1.75mm filaments. https://www.microcenter.com/product/647071/leo-sales-ltd-04mm-hardened-steel-nozzle

3. Micro Swiss MK8 Plated M2 Hardened High Speed Steel Nozzle, designed for high temperatures and abrasion resistance, available in different sizes such as 0.4mm, 0.6mm, and 0.8mm. You can find the 0.4mm version https://www.microcenter.com/product/634319/micro-swiss-mk8-plated-m2-hardened-high-speed, the 0.6mm version https://www.microcenter.com/product/634320/micro-swiss-mk8-plated-m2-hardened-high-speed-steel-nozzle-6mm, and the 0.8mm version https://www.microcenter.com/product/634321/micro-swiss-mk8-plated-m2-hardened-high-speed-steel-nozzle-8mm

4. Micro Swiss CM2 RepRap (V6) 1.75 Nozzle with a copper core and M2 hardened steel tip, suitable for a variety of applications. https://www.microcenter.com/product/669571/micro-swiss-cm2-reprap-(v6)-175-nozzle-copper-core,-m2-hardened-steel-tip-6mm

5. Inland Hotend with Nozzle 0.4mm Hardened Steel, featuring an all-in-one design that combines the heatsink, throat, heater block, and nozzle. https://www.microcenter.com/product/667509/inland-hotend-with-nozzle-04mm-hardened-steel

*** Please note that the availability of these products can change, so it's a good idea to check the current stock on Micro Center's website.***


Designing and Printing Your Gaming Case

When designing your gaming case, you'll need to consider the dimensions of your components, such as the motherboard, power supply, and graphics card. You can find detailed measurements for common components online, which can help you design a case that fits your components perfectly (here's a link to get you started - https://www.selfcad.com/blog/3d-printed-pc-cases. Once you've designed your case, you can start the printing process. The Bambu Labs X1's high acceleration and speed capabilities will allow you to print your case relatively quickly, while its advanced features ensure the quality and reliability of your prints.

To tie a neat little 3D bow on everything, 3D printing your own gaming case is a rewarding project that allows for a high degree of customization. With the right printer, filament, and nozzle, you can create a unique and functional gaming case that reflects your personal style.

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