I've been playing around with different designs for the base, and finally settled on what I think will look the best and be functional at the same time. The next step was to figure out what materials to use to make it. The following is my first attempt, making it out of aluminum sheet. It didn't work out too well, so I'm calling this a prototype.
The real deal will be made out of acrylic. To save time (now that the contest deadline is quickly approaching), I sent drawings to Moddersmart
to have cut from 1/4" acrylic.
In the mean time, here is my prototype construction:
I first printed the design out and taped it together, and down to the aluminum sheet.
I scored all the lines through the template, into the sheet.
I had provisions for 1/2" edges on the top and bottom of where the fins will go. (more on fins in a moment)
I also allowed 1/16" for the folds.
A close up shot of the score lines.
The whole thing cut out, ready to be folded.
Got the sides folded, and here I'm bending the front. I cut a piece of mdf to fit inside and run the length of the bend.
And we have a 3-sided box! The back was to be bent upwards to match the curve of the side pieces. This is where I stopped and after close examination of my (not-so) handy work, I decided it wasn't good enough and abandoned it.
This is one of 30 or so fins that will be stacked on either side of the projector (15 on each side). The projector gets extremely hot, and needs adequate ventilation. These fins will help facilitate getting fresh air into and out of the base and projector.
The prototype, however, has been quite useful for testing placement, so it hasn't been a total loss. Here I'm placing the fin to see how it will look.
And with the projector in place. I designed the fin's shape to follow the projector's curves around the lens area.
Speaking of lens, I need some kind of center piece to bridge the gap between both stacks of fins. I wanted to match the curvature of the projector, so I quickly whipped up a jig to bend a piece of acrylic.
The acrylic fits in it like so..
After clamping it down, I stuck the whole thing into the vice and used my heat gun on the acrylic piece while gently pulling it down.
For the second bend, I moved my backing block on the jig.
Clamped it down, stuck it back into the vice and bent away.
Checking my bends, and marking the ends for trimming.
Once trimmed, I knocked out a couple end caps and glued them in.
Looks about right!
Still need to cut an opening in the center where the projector lens is, but I'll wait until I know exactly where they will mate up.
While I'm waiting for the pieces of the base, I will be adding a bit more functionality to this computer. That will be in my next update, so stay tuned!
Ok this brings you up to date. I have less than two weeks to finish this for the contest, so I'll be working on it every day!
If you like this project, and think it deserves to be shown at CES in January at Lenovo's booth, please VOTE FOR THIS MOD!