Eye-catching 4U bezel design is as strong visually as the X Stadium products themselves
In the world of casino game design, visually slick graphics are just as important as the technology behind the game. Top designers focus on bold imagery throughout, all the way down to the smallest details. So it’s no surprise that when idNerd Studio came to MBX to engineer the hardware for its X Stadium product line for game creators, they set their sights on a bold design for their 4U server bezel.
X Stadium consists of two related products: the Display Server and the Control Production Computer. Casino stadium game designers integrate X Stadium with their own technology to visually enhance their products with better display and animation capabilities, effectively turning lifeless stadium game displays into an exciting, entertaining, and eye-catching promotional tool.
Both X Stadium products deploy on a Supermicro 4U SuperChassis featuring a unique 90-degree rotating front module that allows the server to be oriented vertically as a tower or horizontally as a rackmount system. By rotating the front module, the control panel, power button, and three drive trays are oriented in the correct direction for the desired position. In the case of X Stadium, the products use the horizontal rackmount position with the power button located on the top right and USB ports on the bottom right.
Either way you look at it, this chassis presents some extraordinary branding challenges because the rotating module is integrated into the front bezel and cannot be removed like most other server bezels.
MBX “Brand Builder” inspires custom design
idNerd’s branding inspiration for X Stadium was a fully-custom 4U design with a dramatic venting pattern that they discovered in the Brand Builder on the MBX website. The idNerd design team collaborated with MBX on the overall look in order for the MBX mechanical and graphic designers to draw up the plans. Because of the fixed bezel on the SuperChassis, trying to replicate this highly customized design took creative vision.
The first challenge was to determine how to affix the bezel to the front of the server. While it’s usually pretty easy to swap out a standard bezel for a well-engineered custom design, this chassis’ fixed bezel offered no convenient attachment points. The solution: MBX engineered a bezel that was positioned over the original bezel, effectively wrapping around it and creating a means to secure it. The second challenge was to make sure the “bezel on a bezel” design wouldn’t obstruct airflow and cause the server to overheat. The 4U SuperChassis operates with three 8cm fans located in the center of the chassis providing cooling airflow while two 8cm exhaust fans at the rear of the chassis expel hot air. The venting needed to ensure plenty of air could flow into the fans!
Creating the “bezel on a bezel”
The solution that was conceived involved a two-layer aluminum bezel design that’s as visually striking as it is functional. For the outer layer, the MBX mechanical and graphic designers replicated the sought-after venting pattern and further amped up the design with a strategically positioned cut-out in an “X Stadium” shape to represent the logo, which added dimension as it was raised away from the second inner layer where their red logo boldly appears behind the black outer layer.
Each layer is powder coated in one color, then red stripes are silkscreened to the outer layer. To cap it off, a dome label is affixed in a small recessed area to identify whether the hardware is the Display Server module or the Control Production Computer. Also, the important visual features of the SuperChassis, specifically the LEDs, USBs and power button, remained visible.
Although the design sounds complicated to fabricate, idNerd can place orders in lot sizes as small as 25 units, so the capital outlay doesn’t break the bank.
What seemed like a long shot at first – creating a custom bezel to overlay the fixed bezel that works both functionally and aesthetically – turned out to be a big winner, boldly representing the X Stadium product and branding. Odds are this server will draw a lot of attention in the rack!
About idNerd Studio
Founded in 2010 as a creative studio based in Hong Kong S.A.R., idNerd Studio is the leading provider of animated content and slot game design solutions for premium casino and hotel operators in the Asia Pacific region. idNerd’s ability to combine creative contents with hardware and software allows them to produce unique, audience-engaging solutions that are second to none.
Whether you already have a vision for your bezel design or need inspiration and guidance for an unusual challenge, the MBX branding and engineering teams can get you there, with an eye-catching design that puts your brand image front and center. Learn more >