March 23, 2023

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Retro Computer Enclosure Without the Sacrifice

Retro Computer Enclosure Without the Sacrifice

Retro Computer Enclosure Without the Sacrifice

The unique look of early desktop computer systems remains popular with a certain segment of geekdom, so it’s no great surprise when we occasionally see a modern hacker or maker unceremoniously chuck 40+ year old electronics from a vintage machine just to reuse its plastic carcass. We try not to pass judgement, but it does sting to see literal museum pieces turned into glorified Raspberry Pi enclosures.

But with a little luck, perhaps the Retro Wedge Computer case designed by [AndyMt] will be able to save a few of those veteran computers from an unnecessary lobotomy. As the name implies, this 3D printable model is designed to resemble “wedge” desktop computers such as the Atari ST, TI-994A, and Commodore 128. But don’t be put off by its considerable size — the model has been chopped up so no piece is larger than what can fit on a fairly standard 230 x 230 mm print bed.

The case is designed around a modern USB mechanical keyboard.

Rather than tailor the design to one specific set of internals, [AndyMt] has wisely left that up to the end-user. There are no dedicated mounting points inside, nor is there a rear-panel. Once you figure out which single-board computer you want to put into this faux-retro box, designing those last parts will be up to you.

That said, the keyboard section is more specific, with the design focusing on a XTRFY K4 TKL RGB RETRO. While it’s not the cheapest mechanical keyboard we’ve ever seen, it does feature an era-appropriate color scheme which makes it uniquely well suited to this project.

Like attempts to recreate other forms of classic computers, it will obviously take more time and effort to print this case out than it would to look around on eBay for a donor Commodore C64 C. But given that those classic machines are only becoming more rare and valuable as time goes on, building it yourself will almost certainly be the cheaper option.