Summer project - Luxury Wooden Macbook Case

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by LERsince1991, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. macrumors 65816

    LERsince1991

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #1
    [​IMG]

    Intro:

    To skip to the current progress visit www.LukeRiggall.co.uk/Design/Mobile-Workstation/

    Well, I’m just about to finish my exams and have 3.5 months off before starting uni. I have plans to spontaneously travel for a month in Europe, develop my ‘Novanta’ desk design and work full time at 2 jobs. I still feel like it's time for a new project :p

    When I was thinking of ideas for my A level product design course’s project I was thinking about something to do with wood and laptops as I think it’s not used enough and it would be very luxurious if done well. So here I'm going to show the development of my thoughts, ideas and then finally the build.

    I also want to look into the possibilities of customizing my macbook or building some sort of case for it.


    Resources:

    Carbon Fiber Macbook Imitation
    http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/laptops/diy-carbon-fiber-macbook-221147.php

    Oak + Leather Macbook Case
    http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/20/wooden-macbook-case-for-would-be-amish-road-warriors/

    Curvy plywood macbook case
    http://www.engadget.com/2008/10/17/diyer-gets-crafty-with-plywood-laptop-case/

    Laser Etched Macbook
    http://smartech.blogetery.com/2008/02/24/macbook-air-gets-laser-engraving/

    ‘Pimp my macbook’ flickr pool
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/pimpmymacbook/pool/

    Macbook Stickers
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/shuffle-art/sets/72157600119157310/

    Macbook Case - ‘Kawaii’
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/shuffle-art/391880217/


    Possible Ideas:

    Work on Macbook case for 13” aluminium Macbook, develop ideas from plywood and oak cases and treat as a proper product. Make functional to a few hold books/papers, drawing equipment, iPod, laptop, mouse, earphones or maybe headphones. Possible materials; Metal, wood, leather, plastic.

    Use old Acer laptop’s components and develop a new case/shell for them; redesigning the laptop. Possible materials; wood, plastic.


    Notes:

    I have a 5 year old Acer laptop lying on my floor and has been for the last 2 months, I want to do something with it. I can take it to bits totally and rebuild it in under an hour because I have done it so many times.
    I have 2 large blocks of very attractive and dense walnut left over from when my house’s kitchen was redone a year ago. I’d like to use these ... (the rest of the left over is my current desk)
    I have some resources available such as; (white) plastic, the finest Italian leather used on £5000 furniture, vacuum forming, CNC machinery and possibly laser cutting/etching.

    Your Part

    I'd be very interested if anyone reading this could add their thoughts and maybe some resources/articles that you have came across before.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #2
    Hi.

    I really don't know what to say. You will be stepping into a very deep pool of existing products. A Google search on "Mac laptop skins" gave me something like 680,000 links. Cases are all over the place, also. Pimping the Mac has been a hobby of many ever since the company put out the plastic sided towers. G3 and G4 era. Folks were custom airbrushing macs before laser etching became economically feasible.

    You have a unique eye for design and you firmly believe in yourself, so maybe taking something that has become ordinary and making is extraordinary would suit you as a challenge.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

    Dale
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #3
    Heeyy Luke,

    I'm not educatated with wooden materials, but just a few thoughts... read what you will into them and by all means take it with a grain of salt !

    The Macbook's can actually become quite warm from time to time ( especially when running ArchiCAD and PS ). Say you have just closed your laptop and it's still warm ( and possibly still turned on ), the heat generated from that could cause the wood to split slightly over a period of time ? I have a wooden desk, and after having a laptop on it for a long periods has resulted in slight splitting...

    Most laptop bags and cases are made from ultra soft material, the reason for this is that if you bang your laptop into a desk for example, the soft material disperses the pressure of the impact, thus resulting in no damage to the laptop. If you had a solid piece of wood, that received the same impact, the pressure from that would not spread as quickly and as far which could have consequences...

    I use a crumpler messenger bag and a incase neoprene sleeve which are great for my 17" MBP, they are also waterproof, and given that England probably has more wet days that sunny, the chances are you are likley to be caught out in the rain at some point. If you had a wooden case, how would the Laptop be protected from such elements ? Sure you can treat the wood but there is still a chance of water damage either through the joints or the nature of wood and water.

    There you go, I'm sure others will have better opinions, but that the first things that came to mind at 10.40PM :p

    NStocks
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    adamvk

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #4
    I agree with the Wood splitting. Using Archicad for long periods of time on my desk is not a good idea.
     
  5. macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #5
    i have casted molten lead in a wooden cast many a time with no issue lol

    i wouldnt worry about heat
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #6
    Hi, again, Luke.

    The market for home laptop trays is thin. They are either plastic cool pads or overpriced dinner trays. This is what I would like to have for sitting on the couch working with my computer.

    Wood construction with some sort of soft form-fitting bottom to keep it still.

    A fold-out mouse tray that is solid when locked in place and has reasonable room.

    Locking braces at the front and back to secure the computer from sliding. Maybe elevated at the back to lift the laptop and give it breathing room. Fan?

    Padded wrist rests.

    All for under 29.99 US!:D

    This is more constructive that my first reply. Have fun.

    Dale
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 65816

    LERsince1991

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #7
    Thanks for the really good replies, I have read them all properly and wrote a quick brief with them all in mind!

    I've had some ideas and made a mock up of one of them so far.
    Had about 2-3 hours on the project so far.

    I'm probably going to go down the sort of 'portable workstation' route but I am open to trying other things out.

    The idea is to make a 'Portable workstation' for designers. There could be different versions for each size macbook, obviously the bigger the laptop, the bigger the case and the more equipment that could be carried around.

    I'm conscious of the weight at the moment but I'm sure it will be alright. Hardwoods are stronger than people think so it would not need to be that chunky, could also be supported with some light aluminium if needed.

    In this idea at the moment I was able to create a useful 'portable workstation' which is tailored to holding a 13" Macbook (dimensions need tweaking but its just a mock up) as well as paper, iPod/iPhone, drawing equipment such as pens, pencils etc...

    The macbook slot is lined with thick white leather for a snug fit and really good protection.

    There is space on the open part of the case for more things, I am looking into how I can store the paper more securely, a good way to hold earphones (maybe DJ headphones with the 17" version), this would probably be some sort of quick access and simple pouch. The same goes for the mouse.

    I also have an idea that the mouse 'pad' can slide out on the right (maybe left as well) as a piece of thin wood and then slot back in when not in use. This would slot back inside the separation between the macbook and paper/worktop.

    The separation between the macbook and worktop may be made thicker to accommodate this mouse pad and also probably have a thin (5mm?) slot to slide papers inside and out. 5mm would be able to hold quite a few pieces of paper.

    It's mainly a matter of jiggling all the different areas and components around to best fit them in to a small space.

    The separations on the outside of the case would be made smaller with small tolerances, (about 0.5mm?). That gap would then need to be made watertight. This could be done with some rubber which can compress quite a bit to make a very tight seal. It would be so that the gaps would be completely filled on the outside and completely flush with the wood so that it would be a stylish black strip :)

    The handle would need very good padding and ergonomics but I like the shape so maybe there could be a metal frame thats very ergonomic then padding and leather can be added. The finish would match the macbook's as near as possible.

    Oh and also the handle is slightly off center =) This is because the center of balance is also off center. The weight of the macbook would be heavier than the weight of the iPod, pencils and paper. This offset should help equalize the balance and be more comfy.

    The wood used in these visualizations is Cedar simply because it was the only nice material I have on my software but I will track down some other woods soon.

    Think thats about it
    Luke.

    Edit: I know, I need to get the new iPod's in the visuals but i did it quickly and couldn't find an anodized iPod classic quickly.
    Also I'm thinking I could be sneaky and if I make this I could put make a nice white apple from plastic and embed it into the case, the side that flips out. Perfect :p ... Maybe a little metal name tag embedded too so no one can steal it easily.
    ALSO, Take a look at the first images I supplied above. just look at how bad the plywood compares to the oak case (looks like Oak). A quality hardwood is the way to go.
    oh and the images below are fairly hi-res so its worth a look properly by clicking on them.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. macrumors 65816

    adamvk

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #8
    Looks very impressive. I look forward to seeing updates.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 65816

    LERsince1991

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #9
    Thanks for the comments!

    Ok so heres a more complete visualization. I think the next step would be to tweak to dimensions and make it all fit perfectly. I am quite happy with this design.

    Added some features and the mouse tray.

    I like the opening method (looks cool and unique) and how quickly someone can set up a workstation to draw on with everything at the ready.

    Also added the design to my website.

    Luke.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    #10
    So when using the laptop you would simply place it on the little tray where the paper is? No interference with the lid?? I really like the slide out mousepad - very handy if it's sturdy enough to deal with my heavy wrists :eek:

    Great design! A nice cherry wood with a little more padding here and there and I would like it even more :)
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 65816

    LERsince1991

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #11
    Exactly, open and everythings at the ready then simply close when you want to move.

    It's sort of what a laptop is for a computer I suppose.

    When you want to use the laptop just slide it out of the leather padded area and place onto the 'worktop' (where the paper is). Open up, get your mouse out, slide open the mouse tray and then play on your Mac haha.

    In reply to your comment about the strength, the wood would need to be as thin as possible to reduce weight and size, and increase the usable area inside. Therefore the wood may need bracing with some other material, most likely a steel or aluminium plate.
    The mouse tray is actually twice the size shown in the render but I would say it would only allow to be pulled out that far, therefore there is a good amount of strength in it. This is instead of having it pull out as far as possible then putting massive strain on the tray and the case itself.

    Actually I've just thought! I could make a tray slide out of both sides. This would accommodate both left and right handed users and would offer a secondary tray so that a notepad or a drink could be placed on it.

    I've got my design exams tomorrow which finish at 12:30 so I am going to make a quick mock-up prototype out of MDF to check the sizes and some mechanisms... Can't wait :D

    Oh and yeh... I need to work on the ergonomics which may be hard with such an angular design but the prototype will help with this.

    I would also make the design come in some options of woods and finishes. Personally I would like Oak, Cedar, Walnut variant but others may prefer cherry or teak.

    Luke.

    Edit: Added the Apple logo... Not sure if I like it with or without. Obviously its very eye catching and iconic with it but without it has its own identity and looks more minimal and professional?

    I have a possible name for it; 'Lavoro'

    Edit 2: added an Oak Variant
     

    Attached Files:

  12. thread starter macrumors 65816

    LERsince1991

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #12
    Update:
    Ok so found some time to wack together a prototype. I've attached some photos below.

    It's just out of MDF and the dimensions are rough. I'm going to attach some hinges, get the separator glued in, give it a quick paint job, sort out a handle and possibly throw some cheap leather into it depending on how it comes out.
    The size is good, I realized this morning its pretty similar to the box the Macbook comes in... I suppose it would be if its for that laptop... this prototype also fits a 15" laptop. I think I will make one version instead of 3. for the 13" there can be an extra insert so its snug, the 15" fits perfectly and the 17' won't be supported yet :)

    Luke.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. thread starter macrumors 65816

    LERsince1991

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #13
    Heres some new visualisations.
    Added the second slide out tray.
    Tried in white.
    Tried to make it more ergonomics but making the sides that get in the way of the wrists go up with the lid (attached to it). But I don't like the shape of it now so I'm still thinking about it.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    #14
    Um why are you making a product (ie a case) thats supposed to be lightweight out of wood. Your current idea must weigh somewhere in the region of 1.5-2kg before putting anything in it. Even with bracing (as you mention) it will still get heavy as you would need atleast 2mm to avoid flex, plus what 5-10mm of wood to allow for a joint etc.

    As to the design - can't see the point personally but....
    • the lips on the side would probably get in the way for anyone who wants to use it for artwork.
    • You don't appear to have included anywhere for the powerpack, for a case of the size and weight of this it should atleast hold the charger.
    • Your slide out shelf (assume coming from inside middle shelf and still being done) would cause rigidity issues with the shelf and could break. How do these stay in during transit.
    • How do you get the pencils and rulers out, the render looks to be too close to the top.
    • All the weight will be applied to the edge of the lid at the furthest point from the joint meaning it has more potential to break the joint, not sure I'd want that with 2k laptop in the box. With the current construction it would break under the strain, a true woodworker wouldn't be using straight edges for joints on something like this, they would probably use dovetails.
    • What are you going to do about the lid, as it stands its just going to keep going until its flat on the table.
    • What happens with the paper when its not in use, its currently just loose, meaning its all going to slide about and could get damaged. Do you have to switch it with the laptop if you want to work on the laptop as that kind of seems like a lot of effort for something that is supposed to make it easier
    This design is kind of suffering the same problem as the other case you designed, its overly complicated. A case just needs to be simple (look at the huge amount of 'slip' cases out there) with a pocket for a pad and pen(s), so it can all just slide in and out.

    A laptop doesn't need a work surface, thats why its called a laptop and most people I know who have paper in their laptop bags have a hardbacked pad so it can be on their laps etc.

    If the intention of this case is to use it on a hardsurface such as a table, its kind of redundant and also lifts everything up a further 1.5 inches which could cause ergonomic issues.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 65816

    LERsince1991

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #15
    Well I wanted to make it out of wood because I wanted to do something that hadn't really been done before. I felt using wood would be really luxurious and different.
    I do agree completely that theres are quite a lot of issues that need to be worked out first though.

    - The 'lips' will get in the way and its something I am working on (look at one of the previous pictures in my last post)
    - I forgot about the power pack; knew there was something missing! I will have space for it if I make the earphone clips smaller and get rid of the little 'black box' in the center at the bottom.
    - I was thinking of very small magnets to hold the snug fit panels for the shelves in and different spaces apart to snap it in place. I will also need a small indent below the trays to grip them and slide them out
    - I had not looked into the pen/pencil holders properly yet. There probably won't be enough space unless there is another hinge for the front lip but that would cause more strength issues. I will probably go down the sort of rubber clip-in/push-in holders for pens/pencils. they would also not fall out when in transit
    - I realized the weight and strength issues. Also if the mechanism that holds the lid closed fails it will rotate and the macbook would fall out... I was going to use a solid block of hard wood and machine out the insides to make it a unibody, seamless finish which will be stronger. The MDF model is very strong.
    - I'm sure it won't be hard to find a way to stop the lid from opening fully. I don't know yet but something like; special hinges, some sort of block or lip on the outside, bits of wire connecting to the inside of the case... they probably won't work. I need to think about it as you know I've only started this project 4 days ago now so its a work in progress.
    - I'm sure the paper won't get damaged but I was thinking about making the separation between the macbook and top thicker then on the front side it would have a slot for about 20 odd sheets of paper to go in. a 5mm slot would allow for 50 sheets of paper in theory.

    4 Days ago I wanted to make an entirely wooden product that hasn't been done really. It does need a lot more work but I'm enjoying it and its another project to add to my website and portfolio as a pre-uni student. Thanks for the comments though; I always seem to get slated by you :D even though I know some of the issues you raise, they are helpful and a reality check.

    I want a case thats extremely easy to organise and use. This should be at the ready all the time with all the equipment available. NOT in pencil cases and a variety of other sleeves.

    Luke.

    Edit: I also want something thats extremely stylish; like the design I have came up with (in my eyes)

    Oh and to help ease the weight of the case I was going to make it have a strap as well which are removable and just clip into the sides of the case
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    #16
    I might seem as though I'm slating your work but these are the sort of things I've been trained to look for in my own designs. Like I said with the table, you will realise just how much you don't know yet about design when you get to uni, the difference between a-level and even 1st year uni design is staggering.

    You also mention about the unibody approach to the case, I would actually think that might be weaker than joined parts as you are having to 'break' some of what makes wood strong. But you would need to do a proper test on that to confirm.

    You could also use a velcro strapping to hold things to the top lid, rather than wood boxes + magnets etc, it would both reduce weight and allow you to choose what you want to carry rather than have it dictated. Too many magnets in a box that will hold a laptop with hardware that can be affected by the magnetic fields might not be a good idea.
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 65816

    LERsince1991

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #17
    In that case I can't wait for uni :D

    Yes it may make it weaker but it would create a seamless look that looks beautify :) I will have to do test on the strength though. it may or may not work, will see.

    Velcro could work but I don't like it that velcro wears down and wouldn't be reliable. I think it's likely that I will have a couple of clips in the same finish as the handle. There is an oak MB sleeve on the first post that uses magnets... Personally I wouldn't like magnets near my MB so I think its a no go although it would be perfect if I had some small neodymium magnets (very strong magnets) but they would affect the hardware. (they would make a strong invisible and removable bond.

    I'm halfway through a quick prototype (undercoated today). Will allow me to get a proper feel for the size and what should be where. i can also test the interaction with the lips on the sides with the user.

    Thanks for the feedback.
    Luke.

    Edit: Oh and the fact that you analyze my designs and feedback (or slate me) prepares me for uni as apparently thats what happens to architects designs badly. I heard of grown men coming out a presentation crying lol :eek: Guess they took it personally
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    #18
    Having your work critiqued is all part of design, you have to accept it and nobody is going to do a design that everyone likes. You've also got to remember this is MY field so I'm going to be more clued up on things and be able to rip a design to pieces if it isn't any good :D

    I've had work which I thought was perfect for a client rejected by them as its not what they envisaged, that's part of the job and you just move on to the next design or job, no point crying over it.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 65816

    LERsince1991

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #19
    Very true. i'm yet to have an unhappy client... Not had much obviously but the ones I have had have all underestimated me I guess so they have been pleased with the results... i.e. friends parents, principle of my school etc..

    Definitely no point crying, best think to do is just try to solve every issue thats pointed out. otherwise it won't get better. As long as the client or market is happy I guess.
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #20
    Is this designed to be used on a desk/flat surface or on someone's lap?
    I use my laptop... as a laptop on my lap quite a bit. I typically have it on a book to keep it from scorching my legs — I have a G4 Powerbook — and my legs generally have a very slight downslope to them. Friction keeps the book on my legs, and the pressure of my wrists on the top case/pressure of my hands on the keys keep the laptop on top of the book.
    The lid looks like it would completely change the weigh distribution, and make the whole assembly much more likely to tip backwards. Off my lap. Spilling everything. And the combination of an open screen + hard corner is a very bad one.
    And I know I tend to shift around/move when I'm using my laptop on the couch or wherever that's not my desk. I'll be sitting normal, and then want to sit indian-style, and then tuck a leg up under me, and then go back to sitting normal. A lot of times I'll shift because the book is biting into my legs, especially if it's not perfectly flat (say resting on one leg, stabilized on the edge by another).
    Like LeviG said, I don't quite see the point, ergonomics aside. It's a cool concept, but it seems to defeat the point of having such a small, lightweight laptop.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 65816

    LERsince1991

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #21
    Well to be honest I started the project not really knowing the use. All I knew is that I hated setting myself up to design and do work wherever I go. Say on the train it would be near impossible to get your 'pencil cases' out with everything else. I also find it annoying that even then its a right pain to find anything in a pencil case. This design speeds all that up so if you like a change of scene keeps your tools organised.

    Scenario:
    I pack my bag the night before or the morning with what I might need for the day. Go out to class/lecture, open my bag, get my macbook sleeve out my bag, get my macbook out the sleeve and place the sleeve back in the back or under the macbook. Then I get a few pens/pencils out with some scrappy pieces of paper. Then I prefer to get my mouse out to work my way around the 3D model I'm working on. Then I get my iPod out and fid the earphones if they aren't in my pocket, (or use the earphones with the laptop).

    I do what I do in that place then I have to pack it all away quickly because I've worked till the end of class and have to be at the next place. (reverse everything I've just said).

    A lot of wasted time yes?

    My current bag is very organised (OCD) books in height order, macbook always in sleeve at the back, pens etc.. always in the inside pocket, charger (if needed) in a netting in the bag with other things (mouse?) etc.. you get the point

    With this design the concept needs working on but the idea is to quickly and easily have everything set up for you wherever you need to be. No time wasted setting up. The scenario can be changed from class to conference, train journey, park bench, maybe at the studio but if you own it then your likely to be organise there. It probably wouldn't be suited for a lap.

    Add on the fact that most bags are normal; even if they are leather or some new designer bag (mines a wicked Diesel bag ;) )
    This design brings back the luxury of proper padded thick leather, hardwoods that are never seen in public and details that won't age. Who wants plastic :/
    It lasts long. My bag has some holes in after 2.5 years of use... This should last a lifetime if built well.

    I guess I just did a little mental brain-storm and discovered why I want this :)

    Does that answer your question properly? Thanks for the comment!

    Luke.
     
  22. macrumors 68020

    niuniu

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    #22
    I think the design is looking really ace. Especially the birch with the Apple logo - that looks really upmarket when it's closed up. I could see that going way over 100GBP easily in a London boutique. Only things I would comment on are, and I'm sure you've thought about these already, but they sprung to mind:

    (forgive me if they've been mentioned in the thread already, I kinda just skimmed thru)

    Lining - needs a nice cushioning lining

    Security - I would consider using layers so that you can have something impenetrable inside the case.

    Weight - I'd probably solve that by using layers as well - very thin outer layer with real wood, then faux whatever for the rest of it.

    I really think you can pull off the design you want And have it lightweight as well. Good luck with it! You're very talented for your age, maybe you'll be working in Apple's design dept some day haha :apple:
     
  23. thread starter macrumors 65816

    LERsince1991

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #23
    :) Thanks for the very good comments!
    I don't expect everyone to read through threads so I don't mind if you repeat some issues that have been discussed. I think all the issues you have raised have been, if not I'll go into a bit more detail, otherwise its brief :)

    Lining - The Macbook slot has thick, padded white leather. No point in lining the surface that the paper is on :) Is that what you meant?

    Security - Using layers? As in an engineered wood structure? Similar technology to plywood and other engineered woods (floorboards), the grain of each layer is the opposite way etc... If this can be pulled off then it would probably be the best way to go. I want the grain on the outside to line up at each corner so that it doesn't look veneered which would downgrade the style and visual quality. I will look into this way to create it, thanks.

    Weight - Yup commented on in nearly every post ;) Thats the first thing that comes to mind for a lot of people. It would be heavy, I'm guessing around 1.5Kg? (+contents) But this wouldn't be any heavier than a good metal case or similar. The ergonomics, additional, removable strap and padding will help the user forget about the weight. The handle will have a metal structure down the center beam but then be padded (I'm testing memory foam atm), and then wrapped in a very soft, thick white leather to match the lining. The strap will some how snap into 2 minimal holes on the 2 sides of the case and the user can use the strap and handle or just the handle.

    Thanks again for the comments; I love the design, especially closed as I feel its very luxurious, eye catching, detailed and very modern.
    Well I hope so! I will work hard on it when I can and hopefully comes out well, if not, oh well its another thing I tried and added to my portfolio.
    Apple wouldn't take me on in retail :p They look for the people that want a job for more than a few months (off to uni). I would love to be part of Apple's design team at one stage in my life though. :D

    Luke.
     
  24. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas City
    #24
    Ok, my 2 cents in design is probably worth about .001 of a cent but from the pictures and thoughts on the topic so far here goes :p.

    First the all in one, holds everything case does have it's place and people like them from my recent search for such a case. Custom to Apple computers will always be a plus when looking for a case that is designed around the Macbook line's dimensions.

    While the "wood" case is tricky for several reasons (weight, durability) it has one feature in that each case can look different due to the natural grain of the product. Apple's PR has been pushing "Green" wood fits into this thinking very well, possibly even Bamboo wood or other light weight types of wood. Oak and Cherry are great woods, look dark and rich (see expensive) but the weight factor will be the downside. Bamboo is a popular flooring that everyone is raving about it's durability and the fact it's fairly lightweight could be an option.

    I'm not sure how much you follow the various forums but the outrage about the latest Unibody Macbook/MBP's was it's "sharp edges". I'd say look for a design with maybe not a rounded edge, but a bevel or something to knock off the 90 degree edges. The mouse tray will have people complaining the edge is sharp and uncomfortable. Also their seem to be several "sharp" corners exposed when the case is open that could be cause for concern as people are using this as a workstation of sorts.

    Finally looking at the lid, while taking note of the edges there as well, another possible feature would be some sort of built in light or place to clip a light source too as with any work space, lighting to see papers or supplies would be nice.

    I ended up with a soft-side briefcase to carry my 17 UMBP, plans, papers and various supplies. It's ideal for the Macbook Pro, secure, padded etc.. but does not have the best organization for other things I carry. The hard case offers better protection, assuming some padding keeps the laptop secure in in it's place. Overall I like the concept, and lord knows I've looked for days for the "right" case, settled on one that will work for now.
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    bluetooth

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto
    #25
    Compliments to the design, it is a nice clean, contemporary, piece.

    With that being said, I think you need to design with function first and style or appearance second. It would seem that you have reversed these fundamentals.

    Durability of finish. It would need to be Engineered Wood (MDF, not particleboard). Engineered Wood provides consistent, uniform strength. It is highly resistant to warping, cracking and splitting, whereas solid wood can have voids, knots, and other imperfections. Engineered wood is the superior choice for most furniture, cabinet and architectural applications but it is not light and I honestly think that this could be your biggest challenge. On top of this engineered wood you would need to do a wood veneer or a laminate. Laminates are normally made of Melamine or engraved to look like real wood.

    Even if you were somehow able to put together a frame consisting of Engineered Wood and a wood veneer or laminate that was not overly heavy (this will in itself be a challenge), what happens in the rain? snow? sleet? humidity? What about surface durability? I can only imagine what this nice clean, veneer or laminate surface is going to look like after a month or two of being bounced around on buses, subways, in and out of cars, on and off of surfaces, the finish will likely be scattered with scratches, knicks, marks and blemishes. The sharp corners that the wood or MDF creates is another issue all on its own, especially in regards to highly populated areas ie. busy airports, subways, bus stations, school campuses etc.

    I dig the design and concept but I ask myself about the practicality. All designs must serve their function first...whether it be a sleek looking website with all the bells and whistles that is lacking the fundamentals of basic navigation OR a sleek looking MBP case that is lacking the fundamentals of practicality (weight and durability).

    Who is your Target Market? What are the demographics? Is this something you could see a 5'2" 115lbs young professional women or college student carrying along with a backpack on the bus or subway? What about a middle aged design professional trekking through a busy metropolitan airport who is already carrying/pulling a suitcase (with a messenger bag over one shoulder)?

    My concerns are with the function and practicality.

    Take these comments with a gran of salt, I know you are young and I do commend you for the visual design, initiative and overall creativity.
     

Share This Page