I had been playing around with some ideas for the reservior I'm going to install in this case. I had ordered a couple of the smaller ones, a Danger Den reservior and a Danger Den Fillport Reservior. I really liked the Fillport Reservior, but was not happy with the size of it, it didn't fit the 'scale' of the Lian Li 343 case well. So I decided then and there that I was going to build a custom one of a kind reservior for this case, and that it was going to be great. I drew up some diagrams of the reservior to begin with. One of a kind for now, I'm already building a few of different sizes I have no use for ;)
First I will regale you with the CAD drawings of the res I produced to get an idea of what I wanted. As you can see it incorporates a Danger Den Fillport and the pump into one unit. Very low resistance from the reservior to the pump, and the height is about the same level as the radiator inlet and outlet, so a minimal amount of tubing there. This should be one very efficient and short water loop.
This last one took about 45 minutes to render, but turned out pretty nice.
With my acrylic having finally arrived today from Corbel Plastics up in Albany. The guy there was great, even had my end plates all pre-cut for me to 3" x 3" I had about 24 of them made. Here's a photo of the raw acrylic tube. 2 1/2" diameter with 1/4" thick walls. This material is cast, which means it's crystal clear, and is also very expensive at $20-$25 per foot with a 6 foot minimum order!
Now I could start to turn my 3D Studio reservior rendering into a real piece of water cooling hardware, this was a great relief to finally have the materials and adhesives in hand, I was jonesing for a chance to play with it. I built a little test reservior at first to see how things would go together, you can see the results in the photograph below.
Hey that looks pretty cool for a first off piece. I took the pictures after I had built both reserviors, which is why you can see the big one in the background. So I'll just cut to the chase and show you the photo's of that one right now. I don't remember the exact height of it, I will remeasure it and include it in the specifications at the end of the project. I'm estimating it's about 15" since it holds a component I'm putting in it just about perfectly.. And that component is 15" long.
I thought I should mention that polishing and cleaning is important for the 'look' when working with Plexiglas, Plexiglass, Acrylic or whatever you like to call it. A saw cut finish looks horrible unless you want to diffuse light, and they certainly do not bond well at all! Here are a couple of before and after photo's of the rough edge and polished edge. As you can see in the second phot, you can see right through 3 inches of acrylic as if it were just a window pane, this stuff has amazing clarity!