I have just finished making a classic Mac style, tiny, Kobo based Linux machine. It’s made from acrylic sheet and a Kobo ereader and you can read about it here…
Now I like the Classic Mac look as much as the next man, possibly more, but seeing that this is only a concept there’s no way that I can have one.
Or is there?
You will know from reading this site that I like retro computing (really? you hadn’t spotted that?) and I’m not averse to a bit of making.
I recently bought a not-quite-working Kobo Mini ereader with the intention of putting it to use in some future project. I wiped its memory and re-brained it with the standard Flash image and it burst into life. I’m a real fan of epaper, I think it’s great to look and and doesn’t use any power once its display has been set.
The Kobo screen is about half the size of the original Mac and the same aspect ratio. It does look to be an interesting choice. That’s the back end sorted. Kobo it is.
How am I going to do that?
I have a small CNC milling machine. It’s a bit light to cut aluminium but it eats through acrylic sheet with ease and so the obvious choice is to cut out a shape similar to the CURVED concept out of acrylic sheet and heat and fold it.
The next thing to do was mount some acrylic sheet on the CNC machine and let it do its stuff. I had some black 3mm sheet in my stock bin and so I used that. There is a protective white plastic sheet on top.
The normal route for bending acrylic sheet is to use a strip heater but as I don’t have one, I had to improvise. I have a bending “machine” that I use for thin sheet metal and so I used that with a heat gun to warm the plastic and bend it. I got two of the three bends done well but the third wasn’t hot enough and cracked a little.
I fixed it later with filler.
The next job was to lightly sand the Flatmac, prime it and paint with a silver car spray. I then masked the Kobo’s screen and sprayed the case with the same paint.
Double sided tape was used to hold it to the back of the acrylic.
The Kobo is very hackable and so there are lots of options but for now I just have a PNG file with the happy mac on it. Nice though 🙂