Custom Fabricated Bulletproof Laptop V2

This is my second attempt at making my own laptop from scratch.

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As school started last year I was issued a "school laptop" it was small low profile and did its job. But I like to be different, and I love making my own stuff and over-engineering it. So I did the most logical thing and made my own laptop. I had been collecting computer parts for a while so I was all set on that front, all I needed was a case. I wanted this thing to be substantial, strong, and "everything proof". So I came up with this. The case is 16 gauge steel and weighs 40 pounds. But I have an ammo can handle for easy carry. Its mismatched guts come from various HP laptops. The hardware is good enough to run Fusion 360 in the field, and normal school things. But I hope to someday build another with real fancy hardware and a tank-proof metal case.

Intel core i5 7 gen
Intel integrated graphics
8 Gb DDR3 ram
500 Gb SSD
all the ports one could need
a disc drive
the random screen I found in a parking lot that somehow works

I started by making sure all the hardware actually worked and fit together well. This was a rocky start as I ruined a few parts in this process.  But eventually, I had most of the parts playing well with one another. But they were still just parts sitting on my desk. So I started on my epic journey to make the perfect laptop case. I got to work designing this magic case and wanted it to withstand my siblings and daily school life, and determined nothing is childproof until it is bulletproof. So I went for the thickest stuff we had, 16 gauge steel. I used this and proceeded to make a few beautifully warped cookie pans and a laptop base. Tig welding is great when you're good at it (but I am not), and I probably should have used a good cutting disk from the beginning. However, I pressed forward and made everything work out. The main box was done. so I moved on to mounting the hardware. I used standoffs for everything, I had to drill out the holes in the motherboard larger to make it work but nothing is going to be coming loose. I cut holes for the keyboard and touchpad and 3D printed holders and epoxyed them in. Then I proceeded to figure out the screen. I had found a busted laptop in a Mcdonald's parking lot. The body was trashed, but the screen was not and somehow it worked perfectly with my motherboard. I stripped it down to just the LCD screen component and made a metal frame and bezel. It was an absolute nightmare, I precariously welded the screen into the box trying not to melt anything, and was pleasantly surprised when it still worked. After that is was smooth sailing, with only a couple of minor setbacks. Such as the wifi antenna having to be outside the case and the hard drive I was going to use dying. It was overall a worthwhile project and a good learning experience. I still have odds and ends I've been adding and changing. But overall it's been a great daily driver for school and gaming. The one thing I'm still not sure of though is if I should paint it or if I should or polish it, and if paint do I weather it or make it look new. This ain't my first rodeo though and I hope it's not my last.

  • 1 × 4x8 sheet 16 guage steel For the main body.
  • 1 × Ammo can of choice For handle.
  • 22 × 4/32 flat hex machine screw To hold it all together.
  • 18 × 4/32 hex standoff 1/2 in long Holds everything in place.
  • 2 × Custom titanium Hinge I don't know what to tell you bud, it opens and closes.

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  • 1
    Step 1, Before we begin

    These are modified instructions on how you too, can build your own bulletproof laptop.  these DIY-friendly instructions do not require Welders, Industrial metal stamps, A 5-ton Hydraulic brake, Plasma cutter, or any engineering experience whatsoever. 

    Note: this example laptop was made using 22 gauge aluminum and is not in any way bulletproof nor should be used in military operations.

  • 2
    Step 2

    Find hardware.

  • 3
    Step 3

    Test hardware compatibility, ensure the system runs.

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