Author Topic: What are peoples thoughts on printed cases or moulding a new cpc case?  (Read 549 times)

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Offline zhulien

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Seems c64 and amiga have replacement new cases but cpc doesn't. They are professional moulded ones.  Is a cpc one viable? Would 3d printing even look good?

Offline Bryce

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3D printing has come a long way, but still doesn't come close to a molded part and would look terrible. However, my question would be: Why? Are there so many CPC PCBs lying about waiting for a case? In the C64 scene there are, especially as many broke and turned yellow, but the CPC case doesn't yellow and I don't know of many PCBs without cases generally.

Bryce.

Offline MikeSDK

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I wouldn't mind a custom one with the tape deck or disc drive moved (maybe with space for both?) to make it shorter, or to make more internal space, kinda like the Plus line.. but apart from that I doubt there's much need for one.

Offline Kris

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No real needs indeed for all the reasons listed by Bryce.
The only "funny" things would be to produce a crystal clear case as a kit (like for the A500): less expensive as it is lasercut.


Offline Shining

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My 2 cents:


- The Plus does yellow.


- The Keys (especially 464) yellow.


- Getting one CPC back to "mint" condition would be great but I think, that is ways to expensive for small unit numbers..



TGS is back

Download my productions at:
cpc.scifinet.org

Offline rpalmer

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I would like too see something like the Checkmate A1500 case where the CPC motherboard sits on the bottom with the floppy drives all above it and on the front with room for four drives. Maybe even have hard disc mounting points too.
Maybe even an adapter like the MX4 to get card sit at right angles to the motherboard (imagine the MX4 boards are stacked above the CPU with the MX4 acting like a back-plane).

As for the keyboard. Well lets say I have designed and ordered a PCB (see attached) to sit with the 8255 to handle a PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse and has room for a USB interface (keyboard/Mouse only).

My second CPC has been chopped up for prototyping of the keyboard interface, hence my desire for a new case.

rpalmer

Offline zhulien

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I like the shape of the C128 (all models).  It would be nice to have the cards in there instead of hanging out the back.


Likewise, a keyboard, or case for the JustCPC128K would be nice too.

Offline MikeSDK

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That was kind of what I pictured, without even realizing it.. but yes, a C128 or even A500 style case for the CPC would look very nice, with plenty of internal space for mods/expansions and peripherals.

Offline LambdaMikel

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I think for the C64 it largely became possible because the original injection molds had been found / discovered:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1670214687/original-commodore-64c-computer-housing-in-new-coo

AFAIK, the steel-made injection molds are exteremely expensive (couple 10k $'s), so it wouldn't be inexpensive having to create them from scratch for a decent quality case.

Having tall fresh keyboard caps for the 464 (grey german version!) would be nice!

However, a CPC is a CPC, I don't want it to look like anything else or a PC or an Amiga or a CPC in a tower or or or.   ;)

Offline LambdaMikel

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Agreed with 3D-printing looks crap. Would look better in a a case like this:
https://www.cnet.com/news/apple-1-wooden-computer-possibly-hand-built-by-steve-jobs-could-be-yours/

Offline gerald

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which cpc case ? there are many.
- at least 3 464 version, one for each size of motherboard where the port opening are placed differently. The centronics ones may have they own case as well.
- one 6128 version should do, the cost down version can accept a old version. Centronic compative may add one.
so with the plus range (2 cases), we potentially have 6 to 8 versions ???

Offline rpalmer

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You could make a CPC desktop case something like the attached pictures.
A 3D printed version could be made in several pieces put together to make the final case.
I wounder if any one would be tempted to make such an item.
rpalmer

Offline Bryce

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It's a square box. Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to just find a suitable PC desktop case and just replace the front/rear plates if needed?

Bryce.

Offline zhulien

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which cpc case ? there are many.
- at least 3 464 version, one for each size of motherboard where the port opening are placed differently. The centronics ones may have they own case as well.
- one 6128 version should do, the cost down version can accept a old version. Centronic compative may add one.
so with the plus range (2 cases), we potentially have 6 to 8 versions ???


I think physically there really are only 3 keyboard types (664 perhaps we can ignore and we can ignore internal connection to the main board differences) - leaving just CPC464s and CPC6128/CPC+s...  if we have ports already on the back where needed we can run cables from the internal CPC board to those ports.  Unless we want to run all ports and expansion connectors outside again.
« Last Edit: 17:42, 27 September 18 by zhulien »

Offline zhulien

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You could make a CPC desktop case something like the attached pictures.
A 3D printed version could be made in several pieces put together to make the final case.
I wounder if any one would be tempted to make such an item.
rpalmer


I like this design for most part, perhaps it could be done mainly with folded metal and partial 3d printing?  If going to the trouble of adding speakers, might as well add stereo in there.

Offline zhulien

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It's a square box. Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to just find a suitable PC desktop case and just replace the front/rear plates if needed?

Bryce.


This is possible, like some of the Amiga towers - but which case would best suit a CPC?  And... the keyboard as far as I can see for CPC is the biggest issue of using a big box for the guts of the CPC.  I'd rather not the keyboard on top of a big box :D  But... it works for Sam Coupe and Sega SC3000H+SF7000.


Offline gerald

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I think physically there really are only 3 keyboard types (664 perhaps we can ignore and we can ignore internal connection to the main board differences) - leaving just CPC464s and CPC6128/CPC+s...  if we have ports already on the back where needed we can run cables from the internal CPC board to those ports.  Unless we want to run all ports and expansion connectors outside again.
464 version 1 and 2 have all connectors on the back
464 version 3 have the audio and joystick on the left side and all connectors on the back's left
464 version 4 is like version 3 but with a smaller spacing between the audio jack and joystick port
You need the case matching to the motherboard.

Offline rpalmer

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please understand I only took about 10 minutes to draw up such a "box", but the end product would be a more polished version with curves, smooth edges, vents etc.

While folded metal or inject molded product would certainly be a better choice, the cost of such is of the order of $10K to $30K for the injection mold or similar for a metal case. Hence why the C64 cases were cheap as the original mold was found (lucky) and re-used to produce another run. To get an idea of the cost of producing a run of cases using metal or injection molding, just go to youtube and search for "checkmate A1500" by Stephen Jones in the UK. Yes, you could think about a PC-style but it would still need a custom front panel, so why not do the whole thing. There is also the issue of holes to mount the motherboard which are not apparent in the PC cases as well as the back part with the holes for expansion cards, etc.

Given a 3D printed case might look "rough", there is nothing to say it could be "sanded" to a smooth finish and painted in any desired colour (like they did in the eighties with the 464/664 original cases I saw in the Amstrad magazines). The 3D printed item would then end up as a more polished product and could be produced by anyone with a suitable printer. The cost of the 3D printers today is rather affordable for a decent outcome and with some effort could be produce a decent "case". Again, you could search on youtube for "MsMadLemon" who painted her Amiga A1200 in a metallic blue finish (which I must say does look very cool).

Also don't forget I was only thinking about re-housing the CPC internals.
rpalmer
« Last Edit: 23:39, 27 September 18 by rpalmer »

Offline rpalmer

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just to get the imagination flowing here is what might be possible with a desktop case for a rehoused CPC6128. Excuse the fact the all of my buses are all soldered with pin headers, this was to allow for simple cable connection to IDC cables which use pin headers (like PC floppy sockets in PCs).
The foot print of the case would be 30cm deep by 43 cm wide and about 5-6cm high (although it may be higher for possibly larger expansion cards).

The hard drive in the picture is an IDE drive at 20Gig, I do have 128Gig version and is the same dimension as the one shown in the picture (except for the height which is slightly thicker).

The hard drive can be replaced with another expansion board to allow for a total of 10 expansion boards (5 on the left and 5 on the right of the middle board). This could make it a developers dream to create boards as the bus adapter would also include its ability to use the external power supply for its 5V for the bus rather than rely on the CPC to supply such.
I have just installed FreeCAD (v0.17) and it appears to be a good tool for 3D building and best of all its FREE. Youtube also a fairly decent number of tutorials on its usage so I will be using that too.If I were to create a 3D prototype it would have to be in halves as my 3D printer is limited to a 30cm x 30cm x 30.5cm build area. Meaning I would have to "weld" the plastic for a final product, but this looks doable at the outset.

rpalmer

Offline zhulien

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A while ago someone on ebay was selling keyboard adapters to use ps2 keyboard on cpc. Perhaps if we could find a suitable and easily obtainable PC case to adapt with 3d printed internal mounting parts it could give someone an incentive to make a ps2 or better Bluetooth keyboard adapter?

Offline MikeSDK

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I would suggest using a laptop HD to free up even more internal space.. or better yet one of those fancy SD card "hard drives" so popular for the Amigas

Offline zhulien

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Just for sizing, the purple is where a 6128+ or CPC6128 keyboard would fit exactly.  But then there are still those other keys that serve no purpose.

Offline zhulien

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i have tried making a partial case with lego, and it kind could work, but... it looks like lego - and I don't enough lego to make a full case.  Enough lego would make it kinda expensive too unless you can get a huge lot of used lego from ebay or such.


Offline zhulien

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Measuring the 6128 Plus main board, its about 30cm x 17cm x 5cm (with the cart riser).  So, it should fit nicely into an ATX case - perhaps then just needing to 3d print mounting hole adapters, a couple of custom backplates and finding a solution to the keyboard issue... USB or PS2 or wireless