Computer Case Controls Enclosure

I’m already well into assembling a controls enclosure of a different style, but while working on it I had a great idea:

Using a computer case for a controls enclosure.

Quite a few people have old PCs lying around that could easily be adapted into a controls enclosure for your X Carve electronics, especially if you don’t have an X-Controller. A PC case already has:

  1. 12V, stable 5V, and 3.3V power for LED strips, Laser modules, additional microcontrollers and relays, fans, etc.
  2. Pre-installed fans for cooling
  3. A metal case that is earth grounded for safety
  4. A sheet metal backing that can easily have mounting holes drilled out

I think new X Carve owners that didn’t go with the X Controller and are struggling with coming up with a plan for how to house and/or mount their electronics should absolutely consider an old PC case as an option.


I just recycled 3 old pc’s too!!

This Is a idea I have been toying with. I was going to do as you said and relocate switches to a empty bay panel and use aviation connectors to connect to the xcarve.

Aviation connectors would definitely be the way to go. I’d even like to make a cute little connector panel to fit in the existing PCI slots out the back of the case.

many kinds to choose from

If you really wanted fancy and keep the dust out seal the case and go liquid cooling with a external chiller that could also cool a liquid cooled spindle or laser unit. My buddy put a transmission cooler in his deep freez and plumed it the the next room to his pc lol I am thinking of doing the same with my setup in the shop cause I am right next to the deep freez.

That’s very handsome, AJ, but many people already have older PCs sitting around, so the whole build could be very inexpensive. Like under 40 dollars, easy.

Shuttle XPC SS51G

Yyyyyyeah. That might be a little small. I was thinking more like a standard ATX.

Nathan - it works great. I’ve built three machines now with old discarded computers. Plenty of room for the computer power supply, and a 48 volt power supply, plus the my Gecko controller that I usually mount into the removable access panel of the case. The DB9 connectors work really well. The computer supply can give you 3.3, 5, 7.5, 12 volts for things like lighting, tachometer, relays, etc. After two years, I opened one up - it was dusty, but not bad. Just vacuumed it out then used blew it out. Here is the only pic I have:


That’s great! DB style connectors is definitely an option for low current signals that should be considered.

Yah, the DB9 is standard on Gecko and the connector shell leaves plenty of room for a necessary current limiting resistor in the Gecko system (controls motor amperage).

AJ that design is beautiful! Do you have the assembly for it? I’d love to build one!

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Actually if you have a dedicated pc for your machine you could probably integrate it into there too. as long as the case has clearance.


Awesome… Done this in easel only? :slight_smile: