Case modding is popular sport among hackers and makers at the more advanced levels, most often including the gaming realm. And while gamers often just start out playing on consoles as a hobby, it would seem as their expertise level increases and translates to the computer, so do their programming, engineering, and IT skills. For those operating on the PC level, suddenly manipulating and modifying hardware becomes another part of the hobby altogether. Speed is crucial, and keeping the noise factor down, via fans, seems to be a constant conversation in the community—as well as a household where everyone might be subjected to the noise (yes, voice of experience talking here!).
Another area where avid gamers seem to gravitate to and meld in naturally is that of 3D printing. The communities often intersect as a group of like minds, and those just being introduced to the technology quickly discover that the benefits of 3D printing are perfect for their wide-ranging needs, offering independence in design and manufacturing, customization options, and always best of all—affordability. Along with that comes the affinity for gaming figurines, as well, which can easily be 3D printed, to include trophies for gaming tournaments as well.
And now, whether you are interested in fabricating your own computer case to improve the looks of your hardware or to improve its performance—or most likely, both–Thermaltake has released open-source files so that you can now 3D print your own. They are also providing accompanying models to fit the cases as well, with everything hosted on their very own new site, 3DMakers. The company, known for their production of cases, fans, and power supplies for PC gamers, has been moving to connect gaming and 3D printing, and their new platform further encourages the DIY gaming crowd to move into the fabrication and furthered customization of their own computer mods.
“Thermaltake is intended to build an innovative brand by incorporating with ‘Maker Movement ideas,’” they state on the 3DMakers site. “Thus, we offer a 3D printing platform for anyone who loves DIY and modding to discuss and share the innovation and creation of customized case components and accessories.”
This should be a big hit as it allows for gamers to continue in their never-ending quests for power and customization in their systems, and allows them to take the reins even further. Files can be downloaded from 3DMakers for a number of pieces and components such as brackets, optical drive bays, LED strip holders, and of course, the Core P5 case. For those interested in laser engraving, that’s available with gCode information as well.
“By practicing and incorporating the ideas of the ‘maker movement,’ Thermaltake is offering a platform with free 3D printing files for makers to download,” they state on 3DMakers. “Anyone can use the 3D printing files to their advantage by mapping out and design their own build featuring with customized components or accessories.”
The platform is meant to be user- and designer-driven, and will feature mods that show off superior innovation and quality in design. With the amount of customizations that gamers are fond of adding, it would seem that an open-source case—although we don’t have any concrete examples of this yet from ThermalTake—is a perfect solution for allowing users to design exactly where they want all the cables, vents, and more to be positioned. Being able to use 3DMakers as a beginning source for doing this should be immensely helpful for makers on all levels who may not want to produce a case from scratch and have a variety of needs—and their own ideas for–design.
The level of affordability offered by 3D printing should certainly not be underestimated when it comes to a free platform like 3DMakers either, as it’s no secret that the constant refiguring and decking out of a PC is not cheap—traditionally.
Just as 3D printing leads to a whole new universe of options, as new designs and components are offered up by users on platforms like 3DMakers, it will be interesting to see how gaming—and the hardware used—expands as well. And let’s not forget either, the value of one-upping your competition in the gaming world with a host of coveted 3D printed parts and customizations really adds to the fun. Does this platform interest you? Discuss in the 3DMakers Computer Modding & 3D Printing forum over at 3DPB.com.[Source: Hackaday]