Can be made with a 3D printer, lasercutter and perhaps a thermoformer.
These will be Linux Design Centers
Basically, I got a kinda crappy free computer and will hopefully get my hands on a few more.
I want to do a case redesign that looks and works well and is radically different than the norm yet still approachable.
It needs to be easy to build domestically.
The idea is to give designers a linux environment hardware embodiment. Maybe design schools will keep one around so students know there are alternatives to (typically windows machines for solidworks and such.)
Right now the main premise will be thermal management and incorporating unique form languages.
Final design documentation will be submitted to the Open Source Hardware Association directory.
I've been doing some doodles here and there and thinking of features which seem like they would fit well with the overall idea. I haven't had the time to focus enough on this project lately so right now the computer is splayed out pizza box style on my desk, chugging along. So I haven't given up, I modeled all those components! I'm actually going to model more: a screen, keyboard and mouse.
I actually ran with one idea.
There are a couple places where I broke rules, thus making actual production more difficult. Examples are zero draft angles on some vacuum molded parts. The exposed cables bit is interesting, I like the idea of it not being a static entity but in reality this could pose a great point of interest for say.... a cat.
Right now i'm imagining this could be made with polystyrene or acrylic, laser cutter, vacuum former, sheet of aluminum and some way of manipulating its geometry.
Bottom line, a lot more work than most would be willing to put in.
I will persevere, the way doesn't seem clear right now but I think some breakthrough will happen.
So all parts of the machine are modeled except the old case, power switches, existing air duct, power supply and a USB front panel. There are some lacking details so if you intend to use these files keep that in mind, that being said, everything except for some stuff on the motherboard is dimensionally accurate. There are text notes on the models to indicate where things can/can't go as well. As always, ask if you have questions.
The power supply is similar to a laptop so I can keep it external if I want, or try to model it when I get back from travels and incorporate it.
At this point I can start moving things around and thinking of an envelope, on of the major things I'm thinking of is cable lengths, I can move things easier or to more unique configurations so I'm going to try and ignore that currently and sort that out later if its an issue, so there is the potential that to replicate my results a couple extra cables will need to be bought or spliced.
So the above have been voxalized and will likely be incorporated in-game but currently you can't do assemblies. Maybe in the future there will be an option to replicate this project in game, I like the idea of open hardware ideas being distributed that way.
Right now I'm learning about layout standards and best practices. Its interesting to read about flex allowances, thermal patterns, the reasoning behind the orientation and layout... I'm not really sure where this will go but I like the idea of computers built for very specific user groups.
While looking at whats out there I'm attracted to many single board computers (ah, the DIY spirit is talking.) but I think that I shouldn't give up, in the end this computer should be pretty cool and hopefully other motherboards will be compatible so others can enjoy.
Right now the only thing I'm having problems with is the internet! I don't know if its an actual problem with my computer or something on PopOS end, but yeah. Weird connection issues.
My first steps are to make a template for the motherboard (or find a reference file?)
Then using best practices start looking at airflow options.
Take apart power supply, I'm curious if I can relocate it into the cabinet and if it really needs to be fully enclosed if inside a larger case.
Right now I'm imagining a kind of high-heel shape where the power supply is the heel and everything else is in the foot section (where the toe split to make a tripod), from here perhaps a monitor mount could be near the "ankle" for an all in one. (with weight then being the main issue.)