Visually pleasing custom/DIY fan filters?

CZroe

Lifer
Jun 24, 2001
24,195
856
126
I took an old Cooler Master Stacker STC-T01 and updated it with a 360mm top-mounted radiator grill replacing the 80mm blowhole, a 250mm fan replacing the laughably-small 80mm fan on the side-panel's round 300mm grill, and all the optional fans this case was designed to support (two additional 4-in-3 device modules for a total of 3x120mm intake fans in the front, Cooler Master CrossFlow blower fan drawing through the motherboard side panel and blowing across the motherboard, etc). OK, full disclosure: I'm not going to install the two 80mm fans in the secondary PSU block-off plate. They'd have to mount externally to fit with the radiator and this thing is already a wind tunnel! Now I need to get it all filtered.

The front intake fans are already filtered through the bay covers. The giant side fan was filtered but that is going to be my exhaust fan since the 360mm radiator, CrossFlow, and 3x120mm fans will all be blowing in (too much for the single 120mm in the back). There is an unfiltered perforated vent along the bottom for the secondary power supply mount but the PSU will exhaust outside the case and the rest will be subject to positive pressure (sacrificed the top PSU bay for the radiator mount).

This leaves the CrossFlow blower fan and the 360mm radiator fans. The radiator grill I installed is a Phobya hexagonal pattern with very little to impede air or dust, but it looks awesome with the white fans underneath. Because of this, I'd love to have a filter that the fans can still be seen through without looking bad itself. If I just used a screen then it probably wouldn't be dense enough to capture much. I'd love something a little metallic and more dense but still clear enough to see through. Any ideas?

The CrossFlow fan already pulls through some stupidly-restrictive holes on the side panel. I don't want to restrict it more but I doubt I could mod it neatly enough to unrestrict so I think I'll just throw a paper filter there, turn the fan speed way down, and admit that it's just for show.
 
Last edited:

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,709
1,450
126
I took an old Cooler Master Stacker STC-T01 and updated it with a 360mm top-mounted radiator grill replacing the 80mm blowhole, a 250mm fan replacing the laughably-small 80mm fan on the side-panel's round 300mm grill, and all the optional fans this case was designed to support (two additional 4-in-3 device modules for a total of 3x120mm intake fans in the front, Cooler Master CrossFlow blower fan drawing through the motherboard side panel and blowing across the motherboard, etc). OK, full disclosure: I'm not going to install the two 80mm fans in the secondary PSU block-off plate. They'd have to mount externally to fit with the radiator and this thing is already a wind tunnel! Now I need to get it all filtered.

The front intake fans are already filtered through the bay covers. The giant side fan was filtered but that is going to be my exhaust fan since the 360mm radiator, CrossFlow, and 3x120mm fans will all be blowing in (too much for the single 120mm in the back). There is an unfiltered perforated vent along the bottom for the secondary power supply mount but the PSU will exhaust outside the case and the rest will be subject to positive pressure (sacrificed the top PSU bay for the radiator mount).

This leaves the CrossFlow blower fan and the 360mm radiator fans. The radiator grill I installed is a Phobya hexagonal pattern with very little to impede air or dust, but it looks awesome with the white fans underneath. Because of this, I'd love to have a filter that the fans can still be seen through without looking bad itself. If I just used a screen then it probably wouldn't be dense enough to capture much. I'd love something a little metallic and more dense but still clear enough to see through. Any ideas?

The CrossFlow fan already pulls through some stupidly-restrictive holes on the side panel. I don't want to restrict it more but I doubt I could mod it neatly enough to unrestrict so I think I'll just throw a paper filter there, turn the fan speed way down, and admit that it's just for show.

That Stacker was a classic and ground-breaking full-tower, and I wish I'd purchased one. But my cheaper HAFs utilize some of the same features, so . . . I'm good . . .

The problem with filters arises with their restriction of airflow. I've found that fan screens (see FrozenCPU), sponge-plastic filters, and even the white filters you can buy in a packet for AC vents from Home Depot -- all clot up fairly quickly. I thought I found a solution in your $1.80+ per-18"x24" fiberglass household AC filters. They come with a thin cardboard border to keep the fiberglass from fraying. You can cut those things to whatever size, and use some cheap bathroom silicone caulking to run a bead around the edges of your custom-cut pieces. Let them dry and then install as desired. Perhaps you would've designed them so they fit securely where you apply them.

To clean these DIY panels, take them outside, put them on the pavement and hit them with a garden hose. Or -- run them under the cold tap in the bathtub -- or whatever cold tap is convenient. Put 'em between two paper towels to absorb the water, then stick them back in your case.

I think that fiberglass comes in more than one color, and I'm already planning to look for "colorless" or white. The last set I had were blue fiberglass. I couldn't tell how the hue of the fiberglass would affect your case-interior LED intentions -- or mine. That's why I want white, "clear," or colorless.