I thought I should post a brief introduction to the very early stage of my project. I don’t have a main board yet so a lot of this is theory including the design so far as I haven’t been able to take accurate measurements.
I’m part of a large home lab community and for those that do not know what a home lab is, it’s a place to learn and put in to practice IT skills, from starting small using Raspberry Pis, NUCs and Micro Servers to inevitably ending up with a rack to place your servers, switches and routers. As a community we like to tinker, change things around play with different use cases.
As soon as the news came out that the framework main boards were going to be available then the community became excited with the potential idea of using these as servers, due to the size, flexibility and upgrade-ability.
To design a 3D printable rack mount for the framework main board. For this project I have imposed the below criteria:
- Must be 3D printable on a 200x200 bed (most common size)
- Must be modular to allow users to piece together a server for their needs and change in the future as those needs change
- Must allow users to create their own modules and share with the community
- Must work with the existing expansion cards, plus future deeper cards (I’m looking at you Ethernet)
- Must be able to fit 19" 1U rack, 10" 1U rack plus vertical “cluster/blade” style mounting for high density computing
- Should work with off the shelf components and common standards where possible
Technical Areas of Interest:
- Being able to power on the device without pressing the onboard button! (Plus anything else I can pull from the header - this wont be off the shelf, however may still do an optional lever based approach)
- Best approach to getting power to non onboard devices (Fans, LEDs, SSDs, HDDs, external PCIe etc etc…)
- Using the internal mini PCI-e and M.2 slots (E.g. Ethernet, 5x SATA maybe full PCIe breakout)
- Usage of USB-C to SATA/M.2/PCI-e etc etc
- Front screen potential
The Design Principle:
This is just a concept of what it will look like, it is incomplete and has been through several iterations and will have many more iterations to come as I try to fit all of my ideas in to a small chassis.
For the front 17" unit this comprises of 3 bays, these bays will be mountable in any order, the first and the third are identical in size so you could have two main boards in this form factor, the same bay can also be used individually across the 10" and cluster versions. The middle section is suitable for 2.5" drives, 1U power supplies or anything else that will fit in to a ~80mm wide 1U form factor.
The anticipation is that each bay will be 3 parts: Front (first 44mm), with middle and rear making up the rest, the advantage of this is that changing the front layout doesn’t require reprinting 50% of the bay.
The fan covers can be switched for any 40mm fan cover so you can customise to your own taste, pictured is my framework logo based fan cover.
Note: The 3D printable framework case shown in the left bay is just for reference and not part of the design.
Any questions or feature requests are welcome!