I have been working on my own 3D Printed nas for the last two or three months. I have taken a few pictures of the process and prints and I thought this is a good time as any to start putting a page together.
To begin with, I have owned a nas for a few years now. The current nas is only getting older and since I finally got a 3D Printer I wanted to start on my own build. Now, you don't need to do this as there are many nas boxes out now which is a good thing. The reason I decided to design and make my own was because I always wanted to make my own parts and the 3D Printer allows me to do this now. The other reason is because I wanted something that could use more off the shelf components that I could choose and replace if needed. Most nas boxes are proprietary which is fine as some also have some really nice software included, not to mention small and compact. I just wanted something a bit more flexible in terms of the hardware that I could choose and install myself.
My current nas only has 4 drives which is nice but I'm limited to the space since it won't allow me to use larger hard drives due to it's older hardware. I still have a bit of space but the hardware is my concern at the moment more than the space. With all this in mind, I also wanted something I could design to support either 3.5 and/or 2.5 drives of any type of plug. When you buy an off the shelf nas you get sata connectors now which is fine, but if you have a few older drives like I do, I can just get a card and still keep using those until they die if I really want to.
Another aspect of my system is that I want it to be modular so that I can change it to fit my needs. For example I wanted to also use the same bottom enclosure to make a simple computer without the nas part. I'm still working on the parts but that's the idea anyway.
Now the reason this is taking a long time is for the fact the 3D Printing has its own learning curve. The software is also still in BETA for it and I have found somethings print well and others not so much. Add the price of filaments and you can see why too.
The other part is the CAD software that also seems to act funny or refuse to work at all at times. So I have basically ran into a few things which have also slow down my progress, but so far I have been able to get closer to completion.
Here are my latest prints of these parts. Don't mind the ugly colors as I was just using my leftover green and purple filament. I will update them as I get my final prints. But you can see the overall nas in these two pictures. The nas is 3 large sections. The bottom where the motherboard sits, the middle where the cd rom and one 2.5 drive fits and lastly the top where 5 3.5 inch drives can fit or 10 2.5 inch drives. Yes I decided to make that 10 since those drives are still barely getting to 2 terabytes and the build allows me to do this. I could probably squeeze a few more drives but I want to keep it sensible. The catch here is that the most sata connectors on a budget motherboard are 6 connectors. So I guess if I want to set a nas for just 2.5 drives then I need to find another adapter. Either way I'm including the holes in anyway.
At this point I still need to make more changes to some dimensions and move a few holes to make sure they align correctly. The software started acting up yesterday so I gave up for the day. I'm also low on my filament so I will be putting this aside for a bit since I also want to wait for the software to get updated on the printer itself.
September 1, 2015
I had to keep making more changes every time I print this so here are a few more pictures I have taken. The progress has been slow as these take a long time to print. Not to mention the fixes I needed to make to the CAD files. I really want this to be printable and usable from the start so I am taking care to do my best to make it happen. As you will see I have made quite a few prints. Every print has been an update with minor fixes or changes but I think I got the two lower parts done now. As for the colors, I just used what I had on hand so this is the reason for so many colors. I'm also testing different filaments too.
October 5, 2015
I have done a bit more work on this case and I finally got some longer screws for the front.
Now for another surprise, here's a video I just made on the case I just put together, well just the case so far.
Update November 1, 2015
I have been working on a slim power supply case so that I can use a larger power supply with the nas since that will need to handle more drives. The length from front to back seems to be long enough for one. The reasons for having a separate case is because one, I can't print that large of a case on my printer, and two it makes this very modular. Think legos, I can add and take off parts as needed. Anyway, here's what I have so far. I need to get this case finished before I can add the nas.