Custom (self-made/tinkered) cooling pads?

I’ve started using my 12th gen for a bit more CPU intensive tasks and naturally it will heat up the CPU quite a lot.

So I was thinking of getting a cooling pad, preferably with silent Noctua fans.

Has anybody made experience with this or even this yet? Or rolling his/her own solution?

Let me know!


I’ve just started designing something. No progress to speak of, but I’ve got a thermal sensor and a couple other items on the way, while I poke around in CAD this evening. I want the feet to fit “inside” the thing, so it doesn’t try to move around at all. I’ll post stuff as I make progress…

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Awesome, let us know when you have more progress!

I was thinking about whether to allow movement or not and settled with “just make it static”. I didnt find a good reason not to.

Curious about your design. And also the size of your fans and arrangements.

General thoughts: Initially, USB2 powered with a pair of 92mm Noctua 14mm fans. Pretty straight forward. That’s doable in the next week. Got the parts ordered, CAD’ing tomorrow evening. Phase 2 (out a few weeks, probably): Make a new USB 2.0 expansion card that has one of these on the bottom: DIY Magnetic Connector - Right Angle Four Contact Pins : ID 5358 : $6.50 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits so it just clicks on and powers up. Maybe add a thermal or sound sensor to detect when the machine is getting hotter or the internal fans are running, and speed up/slow down the cooling pad accordingly (gotta find a use for a few RP2040’s I’ve got laying around!). And RGB LED’s, because RGB makes things cooler, right?

I remembered these posts, they might interest you.

Ps love that you use privacy respecting front ends when sharing links!

Someone just stuck fans on with sticky tape :pleading_face:

The Noctua’s come with ‘speed limiters’ that should keep me solidly below 500mA until I have the time for the full PWM controlled thing. Once I have that, I’m planning on using a USB3 power negotiating controller to make sure I have sufficient power to drive the fans and any RGB led’s I might have laying around. It’s always an interesting balancing act to see how much power I can draw while staying well within the 900mA (or 500mA: lower would be better). I occasionally make keyboards so I’m unfortunately aware of the power limitations of USB :expressionless:

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After 1 that sort of worked, then 5 prints of small pieces to get the feet cutouts in just the right place, I have a nicely functioning cooling tray!


You can watch it print here: Time Lapse Print

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That’s awesome, especially

  1. It’s open source and
  2. You used Noctua fans

Two questions though:

  1. Did you run any benchmarks with and without the cooling pad?
  2. Do you plan to mod the cables to be more elegant/merge into one?

I’m thinking about actually printing this pad …

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I didn’t benchmark anything because I spent twenty years working on compilers, so I don’t believe benchmarks :rofl: (My goal was comfortable lap, not faster device)

I do plan on changing the routing of the cables from the fans to the back so they’re the same length, then shrink tubing them together. Probably won’t do it for a couple weeks, but if you want that and aren’t comfortable in CAD, I’ll update this post when it’s done.