Anyone have the time? Fear not, because this Time Keeper case mod is everything you could ever need and more. With a functioning clock built into the side panel, this is easily one of the most creative case mods we’ve come across.
Custom PC has been celebrating the best PC builds since 2003, and our Facebook group has over 420,000 members. We’ve seen many custom gaming PCs, from mods based on existing case designs to scratch builds. Here we chat to Hortensiu Milstein from DesignSomething about how they assembled and designed this Time Keeper case mod.
Custom PC: What inspired you to build this PC, and what look were you hoping to achieve?
Hortensiu: The idea came to me from the movie Hugo combined with the game Syberia. I wanted to recreate the clock from the train station tower and the mechanism behind it. I was also inspired by the automaton but that would be very hard to recreate. Maybe that’s a project for another day.
Custom PC: How did you plan out this build?
Hortensiu: I researched references about old mechanical clocks. I was also interested in the clocks’ look and function. Their design, hardware, and aesthetics all had to be just right. I found a technical project for a mechanically driven clock powered by a rubber band, and I redrew its components to make them work for this mod.
Throughout this project I used; 3Ds Max, Fusion 360, and Adobe Illustrator. I also did some sketches to illustrate the idea. All the painting and ageing were done through spraying and hand painting.
Custom PC: What tools, machinery, and materials did you use?
Hortensiu: I have a laser cutter and a 3D printer. The front panel mechanism and the side panel were 3D printed. For the front mechanism, I used plywood, and the side panel is PLA. The white translucent disk behind the side panel clock is a plastic sheet from the inside of an LED TV Screen.
Custom PC: How long did it take you to make this build, from start to finish?
Hortensiu: The working time for this build was four weeks, but the overall time from idea through testing the various components, with lots of failed laser cuts, was a few months.
Custom PC: Did you come across any difficulties during the build process?
Hortensiu: Believe it or not, my laser decided to die! That’s why I had to 3D print the side panel. The mechanism was a real challenge, but one I was able to overcome.
Custom PC: Are you completely happy with the end result, or do you wish you’d done some of it differently in retrospect?
Hortensiu: Not 100 percent, but in general I am happy with the end result. I still want to upscale it and create a bigger clock with a computer hidden within all the mechanical elements.
Time Keeper PC build specs
- CPU: Intel Core i5 9600K
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
- Case: DeepCool Matrexx 30
- Storage: 1 TB Samsung Evo
- Memory: 16 GB Kingston 3200MHz
- Motherboard: Asus ROG Strix Gaming Z390-I
- PSU: Gigabyte P750GM
- Cooling: 3 x 120mm Aqirys RGB fans. Three in the front and one on the back with the 120mm AIO Segotep cooler on top
A clock built into a PC case, we really have seen it all now. What next, a drinks dispenser? Actually, that gives us an idea…
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