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Student Designs Cardboard Computer Case

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the hope-it-burns-clean dept.

Hardware 329

SpaceGhost writes "The Houston Chronicle has a story on a Grad student at the University of Houston who has designed a cardboard case for a computer. This is not a new concept, but this one is meant to be used in manufacture. The idea is that it will be faster and easier to produce (no fasteners for example) and dramatically easier to recycle."

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FIST SPORT (0, Troll)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455457)

Perfect for a Linux PC then.

Seems like a cool idea... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29455471)

But its probably not recyclable after it catches on fire from my overclocked processor

Re:Seems like a cool idea... (2, Funny)

carolfromoz (1552209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455523)

..after it catches on fire ..

Still cool?

Re:Seems like a cool idea... (2, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455675)

Not to mention the lack of Faraday cage-like effect a traditional metal case provides.

Re:Seems like a cool idea... (1)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455735)

That could easily be solve by... well... a Faraday cage.

Re:Seems like a cool idea... (3, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455763)

You could probably glue a thin sheet of aluminum foil to the inside of the case, so I wouldn't worry about the Faraday cage.

At least now the ultra-low-end Dells will look on the outside just as crappy as they are on the inside :)

Re:Seems like a cool idea... (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456125)

You could probably glue a thin sheet of aluminum foil to the inside of the case, so I wouldn't worry about the Faraday cage.

So now my cardboard computer case needs a tinfoil hat?

Re:Seems like a cool idea... (5, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455701)

Actually, the ashes from this case will make an excellent soil supplement for your garden... pity about the rest of your house, however.

Re:Seems like a cool idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29456133)

Different cases for different folks. This isn't for your quad quad-cored overclocked Xeons; it's for your VIA Nano mini-itx box.

hard drives would have problems (1)

suso (153703) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456277)

I think modern hard drives rely on transferring some of their heat through the metal of a case. I remember Seagate back when they introduced the 10k drives where saying that they could reduce the heat of these drives by 5-10 degrees by using better case mounting that ensured the heat was transfered to the case.

*sniff sniff* (4, Funny)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455475)

What's that burning smell?

First! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29455481)

Not to mention, it's enviromentally friendly!

Could they have included (1)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455483)

Some pictures?

My imagination is running wild.

Re:Could they have included (2, Funny)

carolfromoz (1552209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455547)

Don't make me imagine what you might be imagining >

What happens (5, Funny)

maroberts (15852) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455491)

When I spray coke over it like I normally do when reading Slashdot?

Re:What happens (5, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455533)

You're not fooling us for a second - that's not coke and you're not reading slashdot.

Re:What happens (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29455839)

My God. I hope he's not reading slashdot.

Better description and pictures (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29455495)

http://www.engadget.com/2009/02/05/recompute-a-closer-look-at-the-sustainable-cardboard-pc/ for a better description and better pictures

Re:Better description and pictures (1)

carolfromoz (1552209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455655)

Nice! I commented and blew my mod points, but yes this link is much better.

I'm still not entirely convinced by his arguments about how high a temp you need to burn cardboard. Seriously - 258C??

here ya go (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456203)

Bradbury tells all [amazon.com]

Re:Better description and pictures (1)

jbengt (874751) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456235)

I'm still not entirely convinced by his arguments about how high a temp you need to burn cardboard. Seriously - 258C??

Might be a little high, but not much. After all, doesn't paper burn at 451F?

Re:Better description and pictures (1)

dollargonzo (519030) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456251)

Fahrenheit 451 = 233 C. It makes sense that cardboard is a little higher

Re:Better description and pictures (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29456023)

It's like the Prius of computers. Only smug, trendy assholes will buy it.

Must-have accessory (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455501)

MUJI speakers!

Works for me (0, Redundant)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455505)

I'm not one to worry about shiny panels, glowing lights, etc. that are just going to sit unseen under a desktop. So long as it provides adequate cooling and airflow, and it's reasonably quiet, I'm in.

grounding? (4, Insightful)

virmaior (1186271) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455513)

is grounding no longer a problem? I haven't built a computer in a while, but I'm not sure if cardboard makes a good ground.

Re:grounding? (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455607)

At least yourself makes a good ground.

Re:grounding? (1)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455683)

Is environmental grounding required? I thought that most components made use of the power supply's ground wire directly. Otherwise, it's pretty pointless to have a case that doesn't have a direct conductive circuit to the power supply, which many don't.

Re:grounding? (2, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455987)

Almost all of them do. In fact I am unaware of any case that doesn't.

devices(CD-Rom. hard dirve, etc) use their case for grounding, and you attach metal screws to old them onto the case, and most likely have other contact. You do not want to start having different 'ground points' in a case. That will casue drift and multiple different potentials.

This is why you should leave the computer plugged IN, but turned off at the power supply when working on them, also maintain contact with them usually via a strap.

That said, the risk of damage in normal conditions is real, but low.

Re:grounding? (3, Informative)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455693)

Grounding has always been via the power supply primarily, the power supply always has a ground plug for that reason. The case was just a handy secondary ground when working on the computers. I imagine that lame grounding strap will be more important for this case, but really grounding isn't a big risk unless you are in a very dry area and producing a large static buildup in your body.

Re:grounding? (2, Informative)

wsanders (114993) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455723)

What needs to be grounded? There are ground return paths in all component connections, and that is desirable over having random ground currents circulate in the case.

Having debugged a few interference problems on PCs myself, as far as RFI is concerned, radiation is primarily from external cables. The main problems with PCs are 1) Reradiation from the external power, peripheral, and network cables, 2) Pickup of stray radiation on cables inside the case itself.

Re:grounding? (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455905)

Your case shouldn't be your primary ground circuit. Plastic computer cases exist and aren't grounded either. The fact that it isn't grounded isn't what makes this a stupid idea. The fact that cardboard doesn't handle dampness, dirt, insects, etc is what makes this a stupid idea. Coating it with something to protect it, would make it no more recyclable than a plastic case.

Re:grounding? (0)

kencurry (471519) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456081)

exactly. Maybe his design school doesn't teach material analysis, but if they do his project is FAIL.

THANKS BUT NO THANKS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29455527)

im glad my chasis is waterproof (and stain proof...)

the case is the easy part (4, Informative)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455529)

The case is either Al or steel sheet metal, easily recyclable. The toxic sludge and heavy metals in the PCB, capacitors and solder are the problem. Call me when they invent cardboard solder.

Re:the case is the easy part (0, Troll)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455817)

Call me when they invent cardboard solder.

Call me when anybody gives a rat's ass enought to call you.

Seriously, I hate that meme, it's such a dick of a thing to say that it makes me grumpy and causes me to jeer an otherwise good post.

Re:the case is the easy part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29456035)

you do know they use lead free solder now.. right? The stuff sucks for working with, but it's what they use

Re:the case is the easy part (0)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456151)

Lots of cases have various plastic pieces. Those still might be recyclable, but maybe not as easily recyclable as aluminum or steel.

Silverfish (3, Interesting)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455543)

I bet the case will be all eaten in a year or so.

EMC Nightmere (4, Insightful)

distilate (1037896) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455549)

Not again.

This is not the first time we have seen this idea

cardboard does not act as a Farady cage and the computer will leak large amounts of radio frequency interference so will not be legal in most countries.

Re:EMC Nightmere (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455653)

cardboard does not act as a Farady [sic] cage. Neither does the plastic most computers are now made of. I assume the solution for cardboard is the same as the solution for plastic: spray a metallic coating on the inside and ground it.

Re:EMC Nightmere (1)

Quothz (683368) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455733)

cardboard does not act as a Farady cage and the computer will leak large amounts of radio frequency interference so will not be legal in most countries.

That's pretty easy to solve with a few cents worth of aluminum.

Re:EMC Nightmere (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455949)

I saw we split open soda cans and beer cans! When we open these babies up for a RAM upgrade we can get and advertisement from Budweiser and Mountain Dew.

I think a better use for grad students... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29455561)

...would be a cardboard case for a house.

Re: (5, Funny)

coolmoose25 (1057210) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455569)

Call me when they invent cardboard solder.

They did. It's called "Duct Tape"

I've been recycling computer cases for YEARS. (2, Interesting)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455575)

I've used very early AT cases all the way into the socket 7 era - I even built an ultra rare P-II era system into an early AT case once. Then, when I went to ATX I kept reusing cases. Hurricane Ex Wife stealing everything followed by Hurricane Ike put a stop to that reuse chain, but I do intend to start reusing cases again.

The biggest "need" for a cardboard case comes from big name manufacturers that insist on making proprietary boards and cases instead of sticking with industry standards. I understand why, you don't want people gutting an HP, putting an ECS main board in it and reselling it as an HP at a flea market, but I'm sure there's other ways to deal with that particular issue.

Re:I've been recycling computer cases for YEARS. (1, Insightful)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455965)

The biggest "need" for a cardboard case comes from big name manufacturers that insist on making proprietary boards and cases instead of sticking with industry standards.

I've got a newsflash for you, but the big name manufacturers are the ones who created the inudstry standards, and they certainly stick to them. That you (and most hobby computer builders) prefer an old, outdated standard like ATX is not something to hold against the industry, which has been trying to move on for years.

One of the best case formats out there is BTX, the layout greatly improves airflow while at the same time reducing case size in most applciations significantly, all without sacrificing power like other designs. Yet the only people who make boards for it are the big name manufacturers, because hobbyists aren't interested, for some reason.

The same with ITX, its applications are not those that most hobbyists are into, yet big manufactuers are to a small degree, and they have some useful applications.

These are all industry standards and allow for new applciations that ATX just doesn't work at all for. For example, there will never be an ATX case small enough to clip to your belt, but there are other form factors that will.

Re:I've been recycling computer cases for YEARS. (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456085)

Right, and since you build your own machines you'll probably pony up a few more bucks and want a metal case.

But the average computer consumers of the world aren't going to reuse a case. They are going to buy a machine that costs as little as possible to fulfill their computer needs for 5 years or so, then when it gets too slow or no longer supports the titles they want to buy on the shelf they will throw it away or give it to a charity, and go out and buy a new one.

Plus, have you seen the cases that the likes of HP, Dell, and other mass manufacturers are putting out? Most require specialized power supplies because the power supply bay is tiny or oddly-shaped, or have other serious issues that ensure you can't really do much in the way of upgrading, much less doing a motherboard replacement. These cases are made to be as cheap as possible for one-time use. Replacing the metal with cardboard and lining the inside of the cardboard with a vanishingly-thin coating of spray-on aluminum would probably cut a precious few bucks off manufacturing costs, save some weight, and put a little more biodegradable stuff in the trash when the box is obsolete.

Hell, they could save some extra cash by molding the case around the assembled computer - no screws, no fasteners, no frame. Need to maintain it? Forget it! It's not going to be done anyway - if something goes wrong these people are going to take it to Best Buy so the Geek Squad can charge $150 to tell them their hard drive is toast and is unrecoverable, and the user will buy a new one. Then the Geek Squad guy's gonna make some money selling the Quicken files he found on the hard drive on the Internet. There's no need to be able to reassemble the case once it's taken apart for maintenance, because the only reason to take a machine like that apart is (maybe) to salvage a few parts.

Re:I've been recycling computer cases for YEARS. (3, Insightful)

British (51765) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456211)

I remember playing Tribes 2 on my AMD system many moons ago. It kept locking up about 12 minutes in due to overheating. Finally switched over to an AMD-approved case, and the overheating problems went away. While it would have been nice to keep an old case & keep putting better systems inside, I had no choice on that one.

I don't miss the old AT cases where to access anything inside meant having to unbolt the side-top-side u-shaped cover. The switch to individual removable sides was a good one.

I ordered one... (5, Funny)

coolmoose25 (1057210) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455577)

... and the cardboard box came in metal shipping crate.

Let me count the ways... (1)

t00le (136364) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455583)

I think its a good idea, but it will require a good fireproof coating to pass UL certification, along with being rigid enough to hold a beer or computer books. Just at a glance the idea does have some flaws though, mainly heat will make it brittle over time since it's still paper /w a coating, it poses a fire risk, it will not dampen much noise and vibrations will probably cause it to wear out much quicker, than say METAL that is already recyclable.

Re:Let me count the ways... (3, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456187)

I don't have a quibble with most of your post, but cardboard is a MUCH better dampener of noise and vibrations than metal, especially thin sheet metal. Metal can easily become a sounding board for vibrations. Cardboard, not so much...

Also, cardboard is pretty structurally strong. Stronger than very thin metal. The only reason cases hold any weight is the internal frame, not the thin sheet metal and plastic most "disposable computer-grade" cases are made out of. That frame could either be retained, or replaced with some triangular corner cardboard reinforcements. It doesn't really get brittle if treated properly (seal it so the humidity remains constant and it can last FAR longer than the 5-year lifespan of the computer inside.

I see your point on the fireproof thing, though. Once you start effectively fireproofing the cardboard you'll likely undo a lot of the cost savings and environmental benefits.

Interference? (1)

raddan (519638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455587)

TFA is light on details, but I wonder: how does this deal with interference? For consumer electronics, that's a big deal. Aluminum foil? What about flammability?

I think this is a neat way of thinking about a case. The "spill" issue unfortunately makes it a non-starter where I work... let's just say that many of the people I work with are idiots. For my own personal projects, I prefer a nice case that I reuse for a long time (like a Lian-Li).

Re:Interference? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456095)

If you spill something on your computer, the case is the least of your worries.

Re:Interference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29456247)

Ignition point for paper is 451 degrees F. Cardboard shouldnt be lower then that. If your processor is running that hot, you need to apply a heatsink and fan to your processor, and maybe add a first and second case fan, just in case.

The case is least important (4, Insightful)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455595)

As others have pointed out, the case is not difficult to recycle or toxic.

And who the hell throws away a case? It's the part that goes obsolete slowest, and several computers might occupy a case before it needs to be replaced.

Re:The case is least important (4, Insightful)

tick_and_bash (1256006) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455801)

The people most likely to throw away a case are those who don't build their own computers. Not everyone has the know how or desire to do so. It's much easier to just order already made.

Re:The case is least important (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455975)

I would hope they don't landfill their computers. Here in the UK that would probably be illegal. You take it to a council dump, and they send it for recycling. In Oxford at least, some parts may go for re-use if they still work. I would hope cases would be recovered at this point.

Re:The case is least important (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456047)

They do for the most part. They also toss their cell phones.

Re:The case is least important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29456051)

The people most likely to throw away a case are those who don't build their own computers.

Which is all the more reason why this is a dumb idea. It's being targeted at people who do build their own computers.

Re:The case is least important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29455861)

case? if it weren't for my Christmas present last year, my parents would still be using a 14" lcd with 7 year old components. Although that could have something to do with the Ubuntu install I put on their computer..

Re:The case is least important (1)

Radish03 (248960) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456143)

It's the part that goes obsolete slowest, and several computers might occupy a case before it needs to be replaced.

That depends on the case. My parents gave me their old Gateway a few years ago, which I used as a media center PC. When I decided to upgrade it, I was frustrated to discover that instead of the standard rectangular hole with removable motherboard-specific rear panel cover, the back was a solid piece of steel with holes machined out specifically for that computer's motherboard's port arrangement. That pretty much rendered the case as obsolete as the motherboard that went with it.

Other than that, it was a solid, mostly tool-free case that I would have liked to keep using.

Here is an off topic case question (3, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455613)

why the hell are desktop cases so damn expensive?

I used to have up right computer cases becasue glass monitors were getting so damn big, and thus heavy. Now with LCD monitors, I would think the desktop would come back.

It saves more space then the tiny uprights Dell sell that stand next to the monitor, and makes room on the floor.

Obviously, the people on slashdot that get in and out of there case is probably a higher proportion then most people so I can see why some of you wouldn't want one.

Re:Here is an off topic case question (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455837)

Hear hear. I don't know why desktops became so unfashionable either, because from what I saw most people didn't have a big enough monitor to cause problems before they switched over to flat panel.

Re:Here is an off topic case question (2, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455847)

Obviously, the people on slashdot that get in and out of there case is probably a higher proportion then most people so I can see why some of you wouldn't want one.

Out? What do you mean by out?

The case has a transparent side and ventilation for a reason.

Re:Here is an off topic case question (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455907)

The expensive ones are expensive because they're aimed at people who will pay that much for them. You can get cheap cases for $50 or less if you're willing to use a plain beige box.

Re:Here is an off topic case question (2, Insightful)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456055)

Hell most of the $40-$50 dollar cases I find are far MORE attractive then the $300 dollar cases that get sold to the morons with more dollars then sense.

Re:Here is an off topic case question (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455995)

I used to have up right computer cases becasue glass monitors were getting so damn big, and thus heavy. Now with LCD monitors, I would think the desktop would come back.

Then put the upright behind the monitor. Hey, it works for Apple (iMac) and HP (TouchSmart).

Edible housing for termites and cockroaches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29455621)

as if they're not attracted by the heat alone, now you're gonna provide them with an edible house ?!?!?

Obligatory (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455641)

carry your iPhone 3G in style [case-mate.com] ... recession style.

Why this case is a fail: The metal is an RF shield, it helps ensure proper operation of both computer and surrounding equipment.

Grounding is NOT an issue here; the power supply is grounded, there are grounds (usually multiple!) running to disks and whatnot. RF is very much an issue, however. The grounding is way secondary to the shielding.

Re:Obligatory (2, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455821)

They could easily add a thin layer of foil to the cardboard for RF shielding, without it being a metal case (where the metal is also structural and thus much thicker than you need for shielding). However, I imagine this would scupper the ability to recycle the thing

Anecdotally, I have run many computers without a case (normally when I have been modifying something, or for brief periods when my existing case has insufficient ventilation for new components but I haven't been able to change it. I've not noticed any problems that I did not notice with the case on. Many of the components (the drives for instance) have their own shielding anyway.

The ScreenSavers built one over a decade ago (1)

Maarek Stele (7770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455657)

Nothing new. On the ScreenSavers G4TechTV they built one that lasts. With cardboard Power and Reset buttons.

Once again, BeOS was ahead of its time (3, Funny)

int69h (60728) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455719)

Finally a use for is_computer_on_fire()

http://www.eeggs.com/items/15121.html [eeggs.com]

Compostable Platstic? (1)

Chad Lester (1263024) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455729)

I wonder if making parts of out compostable plastic (http://worldcentric.org/biocompostables/bioplastics) makes even more sense. I'm curious how far you could go with that. For example - could the cooling fan blades and body be made out of that stuff too?

Not a fire risk (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455765)

I seem to have got some notion somewhere that paper products such as cardboard burns at around 451 Fahrenheit (thats about 232 centigrade in proper units). If any part of your computer in contact with the case is anywhere close to that temperature, there is plenty of stuff that has already failed.

In any case, your current computer likely has a thin, metal case, which will conduct heat very nicely. If it is heated to 232 centigrade, then it will likely heat the floor/desk beneath it to almost the same temperatureï. What do you think happens to wood/carpet? There would be thousands of cases of red hot computers setting peoples homes on fire.

Re:Not a fire risk (5, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456045)

One of my favorite books is 'Centigrade 232'

Re:Not a fire risk (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456317)

Well don't heat it up any more, wouldn't want to lose your favourite book :)

The throw away computer (3, Interesting)

tetsukaze (1635797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455775)

The price of computers coming down is definitely a good thing and making them easier to recycle is great. Unfortunately there is growing trend of waste due to these cheap computers. As a consumer desktop technician I would see people replacing perfectly good hardware due to software issues. They are just so cheap and labor can be be pretty expensive, that it would be stupid to do anything else. The con is that a lot of cheap computers are going to the dump. Things would be perfect if people could learn the basics. Something as basic as backing up files and reinstalling the OS is beyond the scope of most consumers.

EMI issues (1)

Zeelan (533372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455811)

A cardboard case sounds good in principle but probable isn't practical for computers due to EMI issues and noise line interference. Hell, I take a look at the 'plastic' cases that some do and already think that they are not all that well shielded.

One advantage of a card board case is it would be easier to read what is happening in the computer with remote sensors. Or to just it down with a microwave with a hole cut in the door.

Re:EMI issues (1)

jpstanle (1604059) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455853)

Just line it with Mylar or embossed foil (Think those really shiny golf ball boxes).

FCC Part 15 class B (3, Interesting)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455823)

Pretty sure a cardboard box with a modern motherboard inside doesn't quite meet the FCC Part 15 class B regulations for unintentional radio emissions needed for residential use. That's why computer cases are usually metal instead of plastic.

Re:FCC Part 15 class B (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456065)

SImple fix: Coat it in aluminum~

Re:FCC Part 15 class B (1)

DomNF15 (1529309) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456071)

Line the inside with aluminum foil - also easy to recycle and very inexpensive.

A can or two of this... (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455863)

magic elixir [minwax.com] and that case will hold up to a lot more.

Won't replace shielding though. Maybe snip some tinfoil from your hats?

almost there... (1)

hAckz0r (989977) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455893)

Now we can just print the electronics http://www.gizmag.com/go/4749/ [gizmag.com] directly on the cardboard box and just re-use the shipping crate for the computer and capacitive touch sensing keyboard. Now if we could just invent a switching power supply and power cord made entirely of paper it would be almost completely recyclable. Maybe Organic LED printed solar panels instead? Hmmmm, it better not rain much...

I'm confused... (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455917)

FTA:

âoeWe already know that the computer will be thrown out, so I designed an object that does just that,â he said. âoeIf we were already reusing cases and replacing hardware (and software) at a mass scale, we would not have nearly the problems that we have now.â

...wait, so does his cardboard object actually do the throwing out, or does it alleviate the problems of the mass scale? I wish he was less vague about these problems that we have now. Hopefully that replacing hardware (and software) at a mass scale will provide a solution, with cardboard, to these problems.

Rackmount (1)

Steve Baker (3504) | more than 4 years ago | (#29455927)

Let me know when they have 5U 24 hot-swap drive cardboard rackmount cases. :-) Seriously though, this might be a good idea, I don't know. I do know no one reuses their cases anymore, but maybe a handful of people who know how to put a machine together, and only then if the machine isn't destined to be hand-me-down or somesuch. Just thinking of all the worthless-when-they-were-new E-machines out there makes me think it might just be a really good idea. As far as getting it wet goes, just paint it, which you'd probably want to do anyway just to make it presentable.

huh? (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456053)

This dude does know that cases are normally made of aluminum and recycling them is profitable and kills no trees like his cardboard does right?

So can my 4 year old nephew. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29456093)

Wow, this is so unimpressive that I don't know what to say. The fact that this guy got away with this for his THESIS illustrates the decline of education in our society.

My 4 year old nephew did just this, does he qualify for the degree, too?

Why not corrugated plastic? (2, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456129)

I've seen cat carriers made of corrugated plastic (just like cardboard, but with flexible plastic sheeting, it's a good bit stronger than cardboard) and that would seem like a much better choice of material. Liquids aren't an issue and it's still fairly easy to recycle, plus the plastic can be made with different colors and opacities so it would look nicer too.

Disposable is sustainable (1)

Jessta (666101) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456137)

"expects arguments about whether the case is really sustainable, given that it seems designed to be easily disposable."

Disposable is sustainable. The problem is not that things are disposable, it's that they aren't disposable enough.
I get a disposable coffee cup, I drink my coffee in 15 minutes and the plastic lid is going last 1000 years, that's hardly disposable.
My coffee cup should last only as long as I need it too. A disposable coffee cup that would start degrading with in 2 days would be a fine timeframe.

Mass manufacturing means that it's usually cheaper to get something new than to fix something old, just like it's easier to pick new fruit than to fix rotten fruit.

Durability (1)

Kirys (662749) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456141)

What about Humidity, dirt, paper-eating bugs etc...
Aluminum and steel are already easily recyclable enough and are highly durable, I used my old steel AT case for 8 years till the ATX era and I think my current steel ATX case will last at least for the same time ;)
No cardboard box can last the same ;)

I do believe that cardboard could be a good replacement for plastic and metal in all situations where you don't need durability (I've seen cardboard chairs at a festival), but I want my pc to last ;)
Cya

Use plastic you dope! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29456155)

Plastic used in cases sequester carbon from the atmosphere helping to combat global warming! Paper just rots and releases more of it.

Recycle... (1)

Carl_Stawicki (1274996) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456283)

You can recycle the case by giving it to a really short homeless person to live in.

What about wood? (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 4 years ago | (#29456323)

Is anybody familiar with what it takes to make a good wood case?

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