Rack mount HDD enclosure, part 5

Let me start off with a simple question: why has Protocase never come up in my search results before? With their Protocase Designer software, I could create a CAD design of a 2Ux12″ enclosure with 4 cutouts in the front for 80mm fans plus a cutout for a 16mm vandal-resistant switch. Plus in the back of the case, I had a cutout for a FlexATX power supply (it’s actually just a square hole for the AC plug and holes for a 40mm fan, but close enough) and a cutout for the port multiplier.

And the software is the easiest I’d ever used for something like this. I’m not kidding. It is extremely intuitive. It comes with a pre-loaded library of cutouts for various things, and you can create your own cutouts if you know what you’re doing. Only downside is everything is in inches, and I’d love to see a metric option, so Protocase, if you happen across this, consider that an enhancement request.

And I was able to get an instant quote as well from the software:

Rack quoteFor a custom cut 2Ux12″ rack enclosure made from 18 gauge steel into which I’d just have to add what I’m going to be mounting up, with plenty of room for cabling and cable management… I’d say 138 USD is a pretty good overall price.

Their service promises turnaround of a few days, but I’m not going to place the order just yet. I’ll probably wait till later in the week if not till next payday.

In the mean time I’m going to be playing around with their software a bit more. I’ve got a couple other ideas in mind, and I’d like to see what kind of quotes I could get. Ordering multiple things at once could save on shipping.

  • Hi Kenneth! Cameron here from Protocase. Thank you for your kind words about Protocase Designer (PD)! Our software engineers work hard to make sure PD is as convenient and user-friendly as possible, and I’ll be sure to forward this blog post to them so they know how much it is appreciated!

    In response to your issue regarding the lack of metric option, PD does actually have the ability to measure in CM and MM. If you open a file then go to EDIT>PREFERENCES you’ll see the option to change DISPLAY UNITS from inches, to centimetres or millimetres.

    Hope this helps! And if you ever have another issue, please don’t hesitate to send us an email at info@protocase.com. Take care, and happy designing!