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Re: STFM case remake

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:39 pm
by IngoQ
exxos wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:34 pm
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.
Ouch... Maybe a little bit more professional, than a pizza oven and a vaccuum cleaner, I guess ;)

So end price per case would not be any cheaper than 3-D printing.
exxos wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:34 pm
If I could convert the STP files to STL files
First hit on Google: https://www.makexyz.com/convert/stp-to-stl ;)

Re: STFM case remake

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:51 pm
by exxos
IngoQ wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:39 pm
First hit on Google: https://www.makexyz.com/convert/stp-to-stl ;)
cool, 3-D printing does leave the better the mottled finish, but the original Atari cases a little like that anyway. I think 3-D printing with a quality printer might look pretty good. Though of course, it comes down to the final cost per case.

The good thing about 3-D printing is that the files can be altered reasonably easily. So in the case of the motherboard remake, connectors could be placed more conveniently on the motherboard and the case could be recreated to suit.

This would mean the floppy drive bezel could be made square to fit the MPF 920 floppy drives for example, actually just like the cutout on the Falcon is. Also later in the future the Jaguar joystick ports like on the STE could be added to the new motherboard. It is also possible in the future LAN could be added as a rear connector on the motherboard and case. Realistically in order to do all such changes 3-D printing is the only suitable option, at least in terms of moving forward with design and specifications with the hardware.

One guy did actually suggest making the rear of the case modular. Kind of similar to the back of PCs, we can change the backplate to suit various motherboards and connectors. Idea being the rear of the Atari case would be its own backplate which could be interchangeable. This would mean the cases overall would not really need to be changed, only the backplate. And of course printing the backplate is a lot cheaper to produce and stock.

Of course these are just ideas at the moment, but these are very plausible ideas.

Re: STFM case remake

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:29 pm
by IngoQ
exxos wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:51 pm
One guy did actually suggest making the rear of the case modular. Kind of similar to the back of PCs, we can change the backplate to suit various motherboards and connectors. Idea being the rear of the Atari case would be its own backplate which could be interchangeable. This would mean the cases overall would not really need to be changed, only the backplate. And of course printing the backplate is a lot cheaper to produce and stock.
I like that idea... after having drilled lots of holes and cutouts in computers rear side, this would be a huge benefit...

Re: STFM case remake

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:22 pm
by rpineau
Another option is laser cutting.
You see a lot of custom made box using laser cut wood or acrylic with tabs to snap the sides together.

3d printing is fine.. if you have a huge printer.. most won't be able to print the regular size Atari STF/M/E case in one print as the print bed is not big enough (I have one.. the bed is a 15cm x 15cm and a height of 15 xm max for the print volume).

Of course a laser cut case will not look like the Atari case, but it allows us to design it to fit whatever will need to be fitted in the long run.

A good example : http://www.vintageisthenewold.com/commo ... ng-update/

Just an idea ...

Also if you only want the back with the ports, Front Panel Express might be a good option : http://www.frontpanelexpress.com/
Rodolphe

Re: STFM case remake

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:07 am
by exxos
Today I received the 3-D design files...

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Re: STFM case remake

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:15 pm
by Atarian Computing
3D printing at home would indeed require a huge printer. Print dimensions that are needed to print a STFM case are not found in consumer 3D printers. It’s cheaper and fairly trivial to build a 3D printer big enough for the task instead of getting a ready made one of that size. There are tons of detailed instructions to do that.

3D printing complex parts as an STFM case requires a lot of support to prevent sagging. These leave lots of marks when removed. Even the best printers’ print quality is not good enough without post-processing. If left untouched, the characteristic 3D print finish is in stark contrast to what what we’re used to.

In my case where I restore cases, it’s much easier to fix original cases and then spray them to get perfect results.

But I understand the need for a new case if the layout is changed significantly enough.

Re: STFM case remake

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:52 pm
by Maeke
Sometimes you can't restore the case, because you received the computer without enough parts of the top (this happened to me).

Re: STFM case remake

Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:37 pm
by exxos
The quotation I got for the casting to be made is $39,000. So about £30,000 UKP.

The cases themselves production wise do not really cost that much. The problem is quotation was for 1,000. Problem being here aside from the cost, there would be no way for me to store that many cases. Not only that but I will probably need a shipping container and that will probably cost a fair amount as well. I think with all other expenses you will probably end up costing £20,000 more for £50,000 total.

But this is as known before already that moulds would be very expensive. I mean if someone gave me that amount I could get the project sorted, and probably would have to rent a lock-up store them in and future productions of the cases would be pretty reasonable cost wise. But even as a fundraiser project again as I said before I do not realistically think the Atari community could raise that amount of money.

I was talking to some people about 3-D printing them, the finish I get my cheap self-made printer the texture wise is pretty good really. You get a slight mottled finish, but the original Atari case had that anyway, so I do not think it would really be a problem.

I am totally swamped with work for the next month easily, when I stop getting more free time, I may see if I can scale down the size of the case so that I can actually print it out with my 3-D printer here. Of course it would be of little use being may be quarter of the size, but at least I could see how well it would print out on what the overall finish would be like.

Professional 3-D printer large enough to print these cases, I only had a quick look but they seem to be £20,000. I mean it is possible the community could raise this money for me to be able to purchase the printer and produce the cases for people. At least then any sort of changes could be easily be made to the 3-D files. Changing the design with old then cost £30,000 a mould. This just isn't realistic considering the amount of variations on the cases.

I may start asking around again for companies in the UK to see if I can find one-off prototypes costs of something realistic. Even if its just the top part of the case. A professional 3-D printer should be able to manage better quality the my home built one. Overall I think 3-D printing is the only viable option.

Re: STFM case remake

Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:46 pm
by rpineau
I agree that 3D printing or laser cutting are the only viable options for small runs.
A "big" 3D printer can be made for fairly cheap (use your existing one to print the part, get longer rods and cables...you know the drill).
Laser cutting would allow the case to be made in multiple smaller part that then locks together (puzzle like).
I think anything more that that is going to cost an arm and a leg.

Rodolphe

Re: STFM case remake

Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:36 am
by Maeke
Agreed. As for the printer did you see the printtable sl? https://www.3dhubs.com/talk/thread/just ... ack-tables

can be adapted to our needs.