What sort of part is this?
December 25, 2010 4:13 PM   Subscribe

What is this metal thingy from my computer case? Pictures inside.

This thing.

I just bought a computer case and it has three of these attached to the top with screws. I'm fairly certain that it's made of black anodized aluminum. The manual calls them "nipples" but a Google search doesn't reveal anything that looks similar. Is there a common name for something like this?
posted by BlackBox to Grab Bag (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think it's a spacer. The idea is that you can mount something like a circuit board on them, and they hold the board away from the case.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:21 PM on December 25, 2010

I don't think it's a spacer, these are spacers, it does look a little like a thumbscrew but since it was actually screwed on that seems somewhat pointless. Could be some useless flair that the case manufacturer added to make the case stand out. (My Thermaltake Armor has hinged shields on the front which don't add or protect really). I might have seen those on some Coolmaster, Antec or other midrange gaming cases, and I think they're just some form of embellishment or they might be used to stack something by way of screwing into the other side.
posted by chrisbucks at 4:40 PM on December 25, 2010

I would think that spacers would be made of an insulating material like plastic or nylon.
Can we see where they were on the case?
posted by Drasher at 4:41 PM on December 25, 2010

Were they on the inside or the outside? They look almost like levelling feet, but I'm unsure why they would be on the top.....
posted by jlkr at 4:51 PM on December 25, 2010

posted by hortense at 5:07 PM on December 25, 2010

It looks like a threaded insert. To what? I don't know.
posted by plinth at 5:09 PM on December 25, 2010

better pics on the >>>next page.
posted by hortense at 5:09 PM on December 25, 2010

I would call it a standoff. aka a spacer
posted by patnok at 5:12 PM on December 25, 2010

OK I can see where this could be pressed into a hole in a piece of wood or plastic (or whatever) & then providing a threaded hole for to use a machine screw to attach the connecting part.
posted by patnok at 5:15 PM on December 25, 2010

hortense has it, I'm pretty sure - although I'm surprised it came with the case and not the aftermarket heatsink.

Curious - what is the make/brand of your computer case? I'm impressed with the company for including something like that, thinking of the customer's convenience.
posted by porpoise at 5:52 PM on December 25, 2010

Response by poster: I should have gone into more detail (and I should have done a little more research). this is the case and the metal thingies sit on the the top panel of the case under the two handles. With closer examination, it looks like another piece screws down on top of it and attaches to the handle.

Thanks for the answers. This is my first post on MetaAnything so as banal as my question seems, this is actually hella exciting for me.
posted by BlackBox at 6:10 PM on December 25, 2010

Response by poster: The case is a Zalman TNN 500A. When I bought it, several parts were missing, including the two handles which I rather liked the look of. I was hoping the missing metal pieces might be standard components so I could restore the case to its original condition.
posted by BlackBox at 6:14 PM on December 25, 2010

Hortense is right. The reason why those came with this case is because it's supposed to be a completely fanless design, so the heatsinks come with it.

In fact, you might even be missing a few of those pieces.

Did you buy it used?
posted by dubusadus at 6:19 PM on December 25, 2010

The ones in Hortense's picks are knurled knobs / standoffs, while these are externally (as well as internally) threaded?

They're the kind of thing that's designed to screw into blind holes in wood / plastic for mounting, but I wonder if in this case they're meant for mounting an external heat exchanger / reservoir / controller like this?
posted by Pinback at 6:34 PM on December 25, 2010

Response by poster: The threaded metal pieces are on the outside of the case, on the top. They don't have anything to do with the cooling apparatus inside the case. they are only there to attach the handles to the top of the case and look badass. The blind hole idea might be on the right track. @dubusadus Yeah I bought it used, hence the missing parts.
posted by BlackBox at 7:14 PM on December 25, 2010

ahh, clarity, reading they are on the outside of the case. They were pressed into the handle(s) to attach them to the case. The handles got pulled off somehow, but they remained.

They likely were pressed/molded into the handles, depending on what said handles were made of.
posted by KenManiac at 8:02 PM on December 25, 2010

What size are they? If they are <1/8" dia. they probably belong inside the machine, but if they are larger, it could be a stabilizer or adjustment device. Does it have a hex drive or security drive on the top of the flat head screw? Have you tried a magnet to deduce if it is indeed aluminum? In all likelihood, they were part of the packaging of the machine.
posted by ~Sushma~ at 9:30 PM on December 25, 2010

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