I've been using the Luggable PC as my portable computing solution for a little over a week and I'm happy with it. By recycling the parts I retired from my main desktop PC, it cost me a small fraction of the cost of a new laptop with similar specs. It's certainly no lightweight! (17.5 pounds, to be exact.) But it's portable enough if I'm driving somewhere. I'll still use my Macbook Air when I'm flying for a trip, or otherwise need something small and light that easily fits in a backpack.
Given its satisfactory performance to date I don't plan any more ground-up redesigns of the chassis. There will obviously be additional minor tweaks since I'm the tinkerer type. But if anything major comes up, I'm more likely to document it as a separate/spin-off/sequel project. (See below.)
I've updated the project status page to "Completed Project."
As stated earlier, I've documented the whole thing. The Fusion 360 CAD file is shared, the parts list filled out in detail, and step-by-step instructions posted. You are welcome (and encouraged!) to take what I've done and customize it to suit your needs.
And when you are done... let me know! Show it off! I'd love to see other takes on this concept.
Some possibilities for future development, by myself or by others:
- Laser-cut: My individual components were constrained by the 200mm x 200mm bed of my 3D printer. Most laser cutters have significantly larger working area which opens up the possibility of a redesign to take advantage of laser cutter strengths.
- Sheet metal: Similar to the above, industrial sheet metal tooling would allow tremendous reduction in part count and cost. If some enterprising entrepreneur wants to turn this basic idea into a product, it will definitely need to be redesigned for sheet metal mass production.
- AIO: If portability is not a goal, and the desire is simply for a compact chassis for full-sized components, the screen assembly and associated hinge can be deleted. In its place, an aluminum extrusion to bolt on a monitor that doesn't move (no hinge).
- Screen hinge for VESA compatible screens: A more ambitious version of the above that preserves portability. In this version, the screen and hinge mechanism is redesigned so it works with any VESA compatible screen instead of customized to a specific screen like I did. It'd be very impressive if this can be done!