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just a future idea regarding groupfunding new cases?


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I had been thinking a tiny bit about that idea for a few years but never saw much want to mention it to anyone else..at least till dcr made this post [which I've quoted below]

Quote

 

so at this point i may as well as finally mention it now..

I had been thinking about the yellowing/cracking of many performa/powermacintosh cases and mm although this sort of thing is a little outside me I'll share the idea with you all still..

 

except for certain clones a lot of the desktops could be summarized into either 'small' (performa era) or 'large' (the later powermacintosh) and as they generally seem to share most basic parts in both groups I don't see why in the future it couldn't be hard to groupfund some generic (but with a bit of swoops to them ofc, no 386-like boxy bland shape) desktop cases that would basically come in two variations as per se...

 

small one - minic 6-series case except (unless I'm wrong about the demand for these) for not having tv tuner bay, rather there would be a removable panel as to accomodate the height difference between a 1-pci and 2-pci board's rear panel, and the modern psu built-in would be rated high enough to handle the worst setup possible which in that case would be two 5-20W pci cards and two internal hds

(and since new slide-in connectors would be made for this a small surplus of these could also be sold at-cost to other users who want to fix up their existing apple case instead)

 

large one - not a lot to say about this other than for that it would have removable rear assembly (not just simply the bezel) as to accomodate the differences in rear ports/slots layouts. otherwise I won't be surprised if it somehow could be designed to still reuse the original rear bezel instead of normally going with a custommade one?

(can someone confirm if the G3/DT board still used same standoffs as pre-G3 ones tho?)

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I like the idea, but I think executing it will be difficult to get right. I'm no expert on this, but as I understand it, there are several pretty big challenges to overcome.

 

Tooling/manufacturing cost to produce a good quality case is very expensive and there is precedent for this from @maceffects SE case project.

 

I think ascertaining demand for this type of product would also be difficult, it would probably be a lot less than you'd initially think. A lot of the PCI-based Macs can be fairly easily transposed into ATX cases, there are a few examples on this on the forum, some are quite good. So that is already an option that exists for someone wanting to rehouse Mac parts without having to fabricate a new case or pay lots for a custom case.

 

I think someone 3D printed a new case based on the 630/6200 case formfactor, it wasn't a factory look by any means but seemed to work fine for them.

 

And finally, design/look/feel, how do you get everybody to agree on what the 2 case versions should look like? Would we try to replicate one of Apple's designs, or come up with something new, how would you make sure you develop something that most people will want?

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What could be done is using an existing atx minitower and desktop case and crowdfund different inserts, with mounting holes, clips and slots adapted to a few of the most common mac internals. That way a transfer would be much easier. Then the front parts could be 3d cad modeled and 3d printed, either by yourself or an online service. 

My experience is that you need to tune the settings and print angles quite a bit to get flat surfaces up to a good finish. The true DIY er and perfectionist will of course sand them and paint the parts with a custom mac beige spray paint  :)

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I think this is a great idea, good enough that I've floated it before, and/or said similar things when other people did.

 

 

Following off from here: 

 

Purely from a practical perspective, I would say, start with figuring out what the commonalities between the 7200+ and the 8xx/8xxx cases/boards are. The 8-series and OutRigger are a great starting point because they're pretty similar and there's a lot of really bad cases in this specific band. To be straight-up, I think that this project should not be a straight 1:1 replication, the way the SE/30 and IIe cases were. We'll end up with another run of cases crumbling to bits in however many years, and, to be honest, mot people don't use their vintage macs today the way they would have in 1997 when these things were new and LCD monitors cost minimum $2000.

 

Our best bets here might involve doing up an ATX power supply conversion kit and either building board mounting adapters for current ATX cases, or building something relatively simple to hold the minimum of what people need out of these systems. My proposal would probably be a minitower in proportions similar to the older 8-series machines (800 through 8500) or smaller, if people think we can get away without a spot internally to put a CDROM drive.

 

 

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20 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

My proposal would probably be a minitower in proportions similar to the older 8-series machines (800 through 8500) or smaller

 

 

@Danamania's Quadra 920 design!

 

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21 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

To be straight-up, I think that this project should not be a straight 1:1 replication, the way the SE/30 and IIe cases were.

I think you are right. Focus on the functionality and powersupply, make it as easy as possible to transplant the parts.

When it comes to cosmetics, I guess with 3d printing, people can come up with all kinds of crazy ideas. It would actually be more interesting to see new designs with a nod towards Apple legacy, instead of "another powermac 7100 style chassis"..

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20 hours ago, Fizzbinn said:

@Danamania's Quadra 920 design!

 

almost hate how much I love that idea.

 

Based on the way that looks next to the 14-inch Macintosh Color Display, I actually don't think a 5.25 bay would fit alongside the larger 8xx/8x00/8x00 motherboards. There's sort of a complexity question too. In that thread, JT suggested a drawbridge design, which I'm presuming is either: the right-hand panel folds down, or, the left-hand panel, the fascia and the top of the machine all fold down,

 

19 hours ago, John_A said:

people can come up with all kinds of crazy ideas.

 

Yeah, exactly,

 

To be honest, this is a great point, between ideas, differences in what people need/want, and things like 3d printing and custom fabrication, we don't necessarily need a big run of the same case.

 

I'm tempted to say for like my 7200 in particular, the most I'll put in it is either a scsi2sd or a sata card and one hard disk, the SIL3112 cards are fairly low profile anyway, so I would idealy end up with something a little thinner than the starter 7200.

 

Basically none of the CPUs for these things produce what I'd say is "too much" heat for the 7x00 case or even something a little thinner, provided maybe airflow was a bit better, to handle. I think the 604ev/350 which you might see someone with an 8600 want to use is an entire fifteen whole watts, and i don't think any G3/G4 upgrade for this era was above that (but I'd have to look.) (Actually that's a great point, the 7500+ and 8500+ have those full height processor cards so at least one version of this presumptive case needs to be tall enough to allow for that.)

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20 hours ago, John_A said:

powersupply

 

For what it is worth, the power supply is fairly easy in and of itself; there are tons of cheap and accessible PSUs that will provide enough juice for pretty much any classic mac LB and associated gubbins.

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The benefit to scanning and/or otherwise creating exact 3D models is that, as 3D printing improves, eventually I imagine you'll be able to print a reasonable facsimile of the original case to preserve the original look.  But, whether that level of printing is available in one year, five years or ten or more years is anyone's guess.

 

In the meantime, as far as any type of small mass production of cases, as others have suggested, are figuring out the commonalities of popular (or even unpopular) models and making case(s) and/or inserts/add-ons to accommodate different boards.

 

And, darn it, I'd still like a replica PowerBook 180c case in metal rather than plastic.  ;)

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Yeah, it would be fair to say this is a preferences thing. I love the  7x00  look and the 8500 has even grown on me a bit in the past few years but to be honest a lot of "the look" is ruined by the fact that it's not practical to run these things with CRTs any more, so you'll get people who think just turning them all into minitowers is Basically Fine.

 

I'm also a bit here for the idea (like the Dana Quadra 920 reference above) of riffing on what Apple "actually did" a little bit to produce something that's sort of '90s-Apple-like even though it's not actually '90s Apple.

 

 

Tangentially, one thing I forgot to mention above is that the other reason I suggest starting with the 7000/8000 (and possibly even 9000) series case is because those computers were built in an infinitely more straightforward way than the 630/580/6000/5000 series were, and because they're very widely cross-compatible. Plus, during the second-life era of these systems, lots of people were tossing  500-series, 630, 6x00/5x00 systems into the trash in favor of upgrading and using 7000/8000/9000 types of systems.

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20 hours ago, dcr said:

The benefit to scanning and/or otherwise creating exact 3D models is that, as 3D printing improves, eventually I imagine you'll be able to print a reasonable facsimile of the original case to preserve the original look.  But, whether that level of printing is available in one year, five years or ten or more years is anyone's guess.

The 3d printing community has evolved, and there are nice 3d printers available for very reasonable money if you are prepared to do some work and educate yourself. With FDM printers and large flat surfaces, the challenge is usually calibration and alignment of the XYZ axis. Using the center of the build platform is easier, but when expanding  the surface area, the position errors  of the printhead gets bigger and is more difficult to adjust for. 

Smaller parts like those below is easier.

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4031999

Edited by John_A
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Posted (edited)

I've actually considered making a universal case with an internal stamped adapter that allows it to be converted and use a standard ATX power supply with adapter.  However, that is much more complex than using an existing design and modifying it (like the SE/30 & IIe).  I have been inspired by Dana's designs though...  

 

I've also wanted to create the 5x0 series as those need it the most, however, I'm not sure enough demand exists.  These molds are very large and very complex which results in very expensive tooling.  I've also ran out of my own personal seed money at the moment, so getting prototypes made and such would be an issue.  

Edited by maceffects
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On 4/8/2021 at 11:08 PM, Cory5412 said:

...but to be honest a lot of "the look" is ruined by the fact that it's not practical to run these things with CRTs any more...

 

Maybe what we need is a monitor case that looks like the original with a glass front resembling a CRT but the inside is designed to hold a LCD/LED flat display like some have done with compact Mac modifications.

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21 hours ago, dcr said:

 

Maybe what we need is a monitor case that looks like the original with a glass front resembling a CRT but the inside is designed to hold a LCD/LED flat display like some have done with compact Mac modifications.

I see so many of these, and their powermac varients the 5200 and 5400, with CRTs that have detached from the inside due to the plastic becoming weak over time.  This is especially true of ones UPS has "handled with care"

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On 4/10/2021 at 1:08 AM, TheMacCollector said:

I see so many of these, and their powermac varients the 5200 and 5400, with CRTs that have detached from the inside due to the plastic becoming weak over time.  This is especially true of ones UPS has "handled with care"

 

the CRTs are bolted to the metal frame on the 5XXX machines. 

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