3D-printable NAS chassis

Ran across this on Youtube the other day, a 3D-printable NAS chassis. It’s designed for a mini-ITX motherboard, has room for 6x 3.5" drives, 3x 2.5" drives, and one PCIe card. Based on the video, it seems pretty well thought-out with what should be decent drive cooling and a reasonably-rigid assembly. It is a paid design at US$12, and I have no affiliation at all with its creator. But it looks pretty nice IMO. The video:

…and the model:

…now it’s just a matter of finding a server-grade ITX motherboard. The best candidates are still looking like the Avoton C2750 boards, which is kind of sad.


…now it’s just a matter of purchasing a 3D printer. :grin:

I wish such a design was already for sale by a chassis manufacturer. It seems that small cases have this weird aversion for 3.5" drives. Either you only get room for 2.5" drives, or a spot for a single 3.5" drive in the mix.

Hence, why I am eyeing the Jonsbo N1.

Nice! I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while, might have to spin up the printer and see how this goes :grinning:

Most DIY machines these days have no need for disks in the traditional 2.5" or 3.5" form factors… Sadly, that’ll make life more difficult for us as they disappear from more and more designs, like external disk bays did over the past few years.

The Supermicro X11SDV-8C-TLN2F looks attractive, but at US$1100 or more each, yikes!


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I don’t like them. They ran out of space, so no M.2 slots, which is pretty annoying.

True, though I guess you could use the PCIe slot for that. But Mini-ITX is a pretty space-constrained environment, so something’s going to have to give.

I haven’t been following the market too closely, but I don’t know what’s available that has:

  • Mini-ITX
  • 9+ SATA ports (so as to be able to use all the drive bays in this chassis)
  • Server-grade hardware (IPMI or equivalent is a plus)
  • Reasonably-modern (the Avoton SOCs are 10 years old)
  • 32+ GB RAM capacity
  • CPU doesn’t need to be huge, but shouldn’t be a potato
  • Intel NIC onboard
  • Hopefully not ridiculously expensive

The X11SDV is close–8 SATA ports rather than 9, and I’d say it at least borders on ridiculously expensive. But I don’t see any other Mini-ITX server board in Supermicro’s product line that has > 6 SATA ports. I haven’t checked ASRock yet.

For a small NAS like this chassis would make, m.2 doesn’t seem that important to me. It’d be nice as a boot device, but a SATA SSD would be plenty for that.

C3000/Supermicro A2SDi fits most of the criteria, though the CPU is lacking some modern instructions and cost gets pretty ridiculous, too. Still getting up there in age, but C5000 has downgraded I/O to SATA 3 Gb/s (yeah, the thing we had before SATA 6 Gb/s) and mostly PCIe 2.0.


4 m.2 on the 16x. Use the mobo m.2 for extra sata ports or another m.2.

And the six main sata

The flex version is better if you want more lanes.

You mean the Oculink connector? X11SDV non-flex doesn’t have M.2 slots.

You’re right. I was referring to x10sdv.

Do you have a cost estimate for this? I mean, after you have found a suitable server board.

I recently posted on Nextdoor (no, I am neither a dog or cat owner) about whether anyone was willing to print parts for me for a charge. I found a couple of guys, who ipso facto are local to me. Maybe that would work for you.

For the chassis? Assuming you have a 3D printer, it’d be 2 kg of PETG filament, which starts around US$15/kg on Amazon, plus a power switch (call that another $10), plus the cost for the files themselves ($12)–so $52 for the chassis, or more if you’re using more expensive filament. Fans would be extra, ~$10 each for 92mm units.

You’ll then, of course, need a SFX power supply of adequate capacity.

As to the 3D printer itself, they’re getting quite affordable. If you live near a Micro Center, they have a regular coupon that gets you a decent printer for $99. But then you have another hobby to learn…

I printed and built a NAS out of makerunit’s first 3D-printed NAS case and I think it’s fantastic. Had the 6-bay version been available earlier, I probably would’ve printed it instead. I might just print it for fun and transplant what I built into it.

I know others who’ve printed makerunit’s other cases, too. We’ve all been really happy with what how these cases have turned out.


Am I mistaken in remembering your having come up with a somewhat-similar design some years back?

No design of my own, but I did review and print somebody else’s 3D-printed case, the MK735. The MK735 is the black and blue case right next to makerunit’s 4-drive NAS case.

I still really like the MK735, my primary NAS still lives in the MK735. It holds more drives and I was able to 3D-design a modification to squeeze 4 more 2.5" drives into it.

Unfortunately, others can’t obtain the MK735 any longer. Which is a bit disappointing. I’m excited that somebody else has a case that kind of fills that void!

Got to tell you, I wish I had a 3D printer and the software to product this kind of workmanship. Someday maybe.

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They’re getting pretty cheap, and they are kind of fun to play with. And even useful from time to time.

I enjoyed watching that video. WOW! I just checked out some of the prices and you are correct, I could buy one right now, so much cheaper than the last time I looked over 5 years ago. I wonder if the wife would notice :see_no_evil: