STFM case remake

Latest Atari related news.
Post Reply
User avatar
exxos
Site Admin
Posts: 1636
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:19 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

STFM case remake

Post by exxos » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:55 am

As many know I have tried to look into manufacturing replacement Atari ST cases . Before people get excited this is unlikely to happen.

The problem is in order to get a reasonable price per case injection moulding has to be done. This means manufacturing a steel injection mould cast which costs tens of thousands to manufacture.

The alternative is 3-D printing, where I am not sure what the quality will be like. The problem is cost per case ends up being unrealistic also.

I have however funded myself instruction of files for STP moulding. These are the files required for injection moulding. It is probably pointless at this point, but I may look into seeing if these files can be converted to 3-D printed files. I do know a couple of people overseas who have a large 3-D printer capable of this but we are not sure of the results until tried. But of course it is also assuming the files can actually be converted which I am doubtful.

STP files should be finished in about a weeks time. As it cost a lot of money for these to be created I am reluctant to currently placed these as free documents. But I will keep investigating methods of manufacturing these cases. Release these files will be completed should have some point it be possible to manufacture a proper mould.

The initial goal of this project is to create a totally accurate STFM case. It has been discussed before that people would like to have a square cut out the floppy drive, and also a lot of other suggestions. These have all been already discussed elsewhere. Initially a start has to be made somewhere, not everybody wants changes made to the case, some people do some people don't. So it made no sense to make a revised case even before making a accurate replica of the original case.
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - 4MB STE 32MHz - STFM 16MHz - STM - MEGA ST - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - HxC - CosmosEx - Ultrasatan - various clutter

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.

User avatar
DrF
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:18 pm

Re: STFM case remake

Post by DrF » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:03 pm

Recently a new run of Amiga 1200 cases were made in all sorts of colours. I would assume they had the problems as you, see how they managed it.



To be fair they raised 150K Euros though and has taken 2+ years :(

Commodore 64 :



Slight difference they say they used some orig. molds so there's a huge cost cut out already

User avatar
exxos
Site Admin
Posts: 1636
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:19 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: STFM case remake

Post by exxos » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:25 pm

DrF wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:03 pm

To be fair they raised 150K Euros though and has taken 2+ years :(

Commodore 64 :

Slight difference they say they used some orig. molds so there's a huge cost cut out already
I did see a Amiga case some kick start a while ago, I forget how much it was but it was something around that same amount I think. I was talking to the guy who organised all this on Facebook a while ago, I can't remember what was said now though. Really the bottom line is just generating the funds.

Talks I was having on Facebook a while ago people was wanting some kind of reward for a kick start a campaign. Though if I did have some sort of reward that would mean sending something physical which would mean the kick starter campaign costs would be even higher. The problem was that people would be reluctant to put money into this while having absolutely nothing in return.

I did try and sign up with kick starter a couple months ago, but it seemed to be just limited to the USA bank account. Not only that kickstart to have their own fees as well, for sale probably lose some cash in exchange rate conversions etc. So in the end I just gave up.

There was a few talks about trying to raise funds, but realistically I do not think the Atari community will be able to raise £100,000 or thereabouts in order to get the injection moulds manufactured.

I think the injection mould casings could be made for about £50, but this would more likely end up being £100 after having to include shipping costs for the manufacture and to the end-user. It still seems like a lot of money just for a new case.

Any method to raise funds is just simply set up a donation page, and have a script to keep tabs on how much money has been donated for the project. I think that is the only solution, but I am still very sceptical that the Atari community could get anywhere near the required amount.

I have looked into many methods of manufacturing the cases but they all turn out expensive. The only way to get costs down is to bulk manufacture them. This would mean ultimately paying something like 50,000+ to get the mould made, and then paying for a shipping container to ship the cases to me. There is also the slight problem I do not have any storage space to store hundred Atari cases :) but that is the least of the problems currently ;)
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - 4MB STE 32MHz - STFM 16MHz - STM - MEGA ST - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - HxC - CosmosEx - Ultrasatan - various clutter

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.

User avatar
DrF
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:18 pm

Re: STFM case remake

Post by DrF » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:36 am

exxos wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:25 pm
DrF wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:03 pm

To be fair they raised 150K Euros though and has taken 2+ years :(

Commodore 64 :

Slight difference they say they used some orig. molds so there's a huge cost cut out already

I think the injection mould casings could be made for about £50, but this would more likely end up being £100 after having to include shipping costs for the manufacture and to the end-user. It still seems like a lot of money just for a new case.

That Amiga case is not exactly cheap at I think I saw 80Euros on there page and a quite bit more for the specials.
Would people pay that? they seem to think so.

Personally if I really wanted to go the recase route I think I would just get some cheap ATX case and go wild, loads of room for upgrades then, but I can see the appeal of nice new old style case.

As for kickstarter rewards that seems to be there thing cups, stickers, shirts, or what ever seem to be given away for £X in the sidebar so there not getting it totally free.

Still a good thing to talk about who knows might work out in the end, gotta have that dream :D

User avatar
IngoQ
Posts: 429
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:38 am
Location: Germany

Re: STFM case remake

Post by IngoQ » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:06 am

We could take the online petition to realease Geneva as open source as an indicator. It was signed by 164 people so far, we can safely assume, that these are all "serious" atari users. How many of those would want a new case and be willing to pay for it? Maybe 10%? So I guess the potential market is really small...

And I guess I would always prefer old and original, be it board or case. I can see exxos point in wanting to have a "baseline", a known good configuration to test expansions with. But I would surely not buy a "new" Atari ST. And if I need a new case, I ask Exxos girlfriend, she has 50 lying around, I heard :-P
Ingo :geek:

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

User avatar
exxos
Site Admin
Posts: 1636
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:19 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: STFM case remake

Post by exxos » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:33 pm

IngoQ wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:06 am
We could take the online petition to release Geneva as open source as an indicator. It was signed by 164 people so far, we can safely assume, that these are all "serious" atari users. How many of those would want a new case and be willing to pay for it? Maybe 10%? So I guess the potential market is really small...
What is the page that? Not sure if I signed that or not, it could have been something else.

IngoQ wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:06 am
And I guess I would always prefer old and original, be it board or case. I can see exxos point in wanting to have a "baseline", a known good configuration to test expansions with. But I would surely not buy a "new" Atari ST. And if I need a new case, I ask Exxos girlfriend, she has 50 lying around, I heard :-P
Yes there is a lot of cases, but I don't think they are in generally good condition. I mostly brought all these Atari is a while ago spares or repairs machines. Glad I did as the price of them now is just going up and up and getting a bit silly now.

People expressed interest in the new motherboard plus a new case, as it is essentially a new machine totally then. What people say they want, what they actually buy a totally different. I mean there was like 50 people who wanted the PeST cables, so far I think 4 sold.

Obtaining the parts for the motherboard is generally easy, with exception I guess to the connectors and the customer Atari chips. I hope one day clones of the chips will be made so the hardware can be produced in full in the future as well.
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - 4MB STE 32MHz - STFM 16MHz - STM - MEGA ST - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - HxC - CosmosEx - Ultrasatan - various clutter

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.

User avatar
IngoQ
Posts: 429
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:38 am
Location: Germany

Re: STFM case remake

Post by IngoQ » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:50 pm

exxos wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:33 pm
What is the page that? Not sure if I signed that or not, it could have been something else.
https://www.change.org/p/dan-wilga-open ... va-neodesk

Probably does not make sense to sign the petition now, since he already agreed to relase it. But it wouldn't hurt either ;)
exxos wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:33 pm
People expressed interest in the new motherboard plus a new case, as it is essentially a new machine totally then. What people say they want, what they actually buy a totally different.
In addition I guess this won't be cheap either... Let's say 250 for the board, 150 for the case, 60 for PSU and you still have no keyboard. So around 500,- for a STFM clone... too much for many, I guess.

Don't get me wrong, I totally get, why this makes sense to you. But commercially I guess it will only start to get interesting, when it reaches or surpasses the specs of a TT or Falcon, and costs the same or less.
Ingo :geek:

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

User avatar
exxos
Site Admin
Posts: 1636
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:19 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: STFM case remake

Post by exxos » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:59 pm

IngoQ wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:50 pm

In addition I guess this won't be cheap either... Let's say 250 for the board, 150 for the case, 60 for PSU and you still have no keyboard. So around 500,- for a STFM clone... too much for many, I guess.

Don't get me wrong, I totally get, why this makes sense to you. But commercially I guess it will only start to get interesting, when it reaches or surpasses the specs of a TT or Falcon, and costs the same or less.
The PCB for the new motherboard should not actually be too much, I am starting to stock parts for it also in my store, and being bulk buying all connectors and chips as much as possible. The only real problem is obtaining the custom chips. Which can only really be obtained scrap motherboards. While the new motherboard will probably cost more than the whole second-hand machine, if you take the amount of costs involved for upgrading RAM ROM and CPU, the cost quickly adds up and is a lot of work.

The new motherboard ultimately can have inexpensive add-on cards. Or even future motherboards can have it all built on one board. Overall the cost of this solution would be about the same as upgrading one of the original motherboards. With a bonus that upgrades will be plug-in so anyone can do them easily.

Of course this is a bit off topic for this thread, though really anyone who just wants a stock original machine will be better just buying one from somewhere, or if they want upgraded machine it will ultimately be better easier or cheaper to get one of the new motherboards.

Overall, I doubt more than 10 new motherboards would sell anyway, they would probably buy new cases as well, but like with everything else I sell, it is always a huge outlay moneywise and can take years to recover the costs just to break even. Gets I sell now or not exactly expensive, but when you are talking about tens of thousands of pounds for a case to be created, then it's just madness to really go down that route. Plus if I had hundred grand to spare, I would buy my own house and have a lot more storage room :lol:

But back to the point of the case, the breaking the Borders book got a huge amount of people backing it and raise a lot of money. I cannot remember what the total was, but people made the argument of people would fund a ball, they would also fund a new case mould to be made.

Initially I paid for the files to be created myself, which was not cheap, but at least it is a start. Hopefully I will be able to get the STP files towards the end of this week.
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - 4MB STE 32MHz - STFM 16MHz - STM - MEGA ST - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - HxC - CosmosEx - Ultrasatan - various clutter

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.

User avatar
IngoQ
Posts: 429
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:38 am
Location: Germany

Re: STFM case remake

Post by IngoQ » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:23 pm

That's the good thing with opinions: I could be totally wrong ;) And besides anything else: This is a REALLY cool project :)

Regarding cases: I recently stumbled upon vaccum forming with thick materials (3mm). Could that be an option? Maybe not for hundreds of cases, but a couple of them should be possible, or not?
Ingo :geek:

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

User avatar
exxos
Site Admin
Posts: 1636
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:19 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: STFM case remake

Post by exxos » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:34 pm

IngoQ wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:23 pm
Regarding cases: I recently stumbled upon vacuum forming with thick materials (3mm). Could that be an option? Maybe not for hundreds of cases, but a couple of them should be possible, or not?
It sounds like something I got a quote on also, the company wanted one of the original cases where they would make a silicon cast from it. The cast could make about 10 cases from it. Unfortunately this still ended up costing around 2,000. So end price per case would not be any cheaper than 3-D printing.

If I could convert the STP files to STL files, then there is someone I know who has got a large 3-D printer who is willing to try want to see what it turns out like. If the quality is reasonable when 3-D printing is likely the only option.
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - 4MB STE 32MHz - STFM 16MHz - STM - MEGA ST - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - HxC - CosmosEx - Ultrasatan - various clutter

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.

Post Reply