I dropped my Mackbook Pro 17" (original version). The case and LCD screen was damaged. I thought it would be cool to have a "Tough Mac" style replacement case. That is a machined aluminum case to replace the original, look like the same as the original, but a bit thicker.
I've wanted this long *before* the new unibody version. From what I've heard the new version is still thin at places. They are still very nice, but I don't feel compelled to get a new one yet.
My idea was to forgo some of the thinness of the overall design and have a 1/8th inch (3 cm) thickness all around. It doesn't have to be completely weather tight, just no so darned fragile.
Is there anyone who has done anything like this? Are there CNC codes out there to have a machine shop do it? Who else thinks this is a cool concept?
Also (off forum topic) can I upgrade to the new higher resolution LCD too?
building a case thinner than the original thickness can be challenging due to parts like the battery being a made thickness, i've been thinking about this subject and created some sketches of my thoughts, i just have had some hardship uploading pictures on this site
Of course with the way I've dinged and smashed my case up thicker is better.
It occurred to me that the screen *could* be bumped up to a larger size even. ( 19"? ). The extra room could house some killer speakers, more batteries or something, not complaining about the existing ones though.
The key thing is to get the mounting points for the original case and translate them to CNC codes. Once you have an acceptable case template you could do just about anything. This sounds like a group/open source candidate.
I think the best way To get the interior layout would be to use a 3d scanner of a gutted book... not an easy thing to come by yet, but give it a coupla years and there will be rapid prototyping shops as frequent as Kinko's. As for the screen swap... I'm pretty sure this can be done. I've got some bookmarks on my old system that have some info on this. I haven't had any time to dig it up for you yet though!
Loc: Florida, USA
Building a case is easy as long as you know the basics like measurements and tinsel strength. I use to build media evil 16th century armor and have built a few cases from scratch so if you need any tips let me know.
As for the 3D scanner you could try and build a cheap-o milk scanner or just do it the good-ole fashion way and pull out some drafting paper and a few rulers.
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