Modern Retro Computer Terminals

The goal for this project is to design, 3D-print and assemble the enclosures for several small desktop computers. This series was created during the covid19 pandemic, to get familiar with modern parametric 3D design tools, the limits of 3D printing and fabrication.

A screen size is chosen first, together with the desired components, and then an enclosure is designed around all the constrains (including FDM 3D printing limitations).

All of these have been designed in Autodesk Fusion360 and printed at home on an inexpensive Creality Ender 3.

Designed around an ultrawide 8.8″ 1920 x 480 LCD, with a rather exotic 4:1 aspect ratio. As this exceeds my 3D printer bed size, I had to figure out a way to split the design in two parts, and how to assemble them effectively. This one is powered by an Nvidia Jetson Nano 2GB, allowing it to run OpenGL natively. Ducky One 2 SF keyboard. Printed on “copper” PLA. I wrote a post about the process of making in CreativeStack.

4:3 8″ LCD Terminal

Designed around a 8″ 1024 x 768 IPS LCD. Raspberry PI 4, Ducky One 2 SF Keyboard, black PLA.

16:9 5″ LCD Terminal

Designed around a 5″ 800 x 480 LCD. Raspberry Pi 3, Official Raspberry Pi keyboard, black PLA.

16:9 5″ LCD Terminal v2

Revised for a more modern look and a smaller footprint. It runs a Raspberry Pi 4, printed on orange PLA. Wireless USB keyboard from ali-express.

Minimal 4:3 8″ Terminal

1024 x 768 8″ IPS LCD. Designed with the goal of the smallest possible footprint, leaving the components out in plain sight. Raspberry pi 4, official Raspberry Pi Keyboard. Printed on neon yellow transparent PLA.

PhoneBooth Inspired 4:3 8″ Terminal

This one is still in progress…

Parametric Models

As building models is quite time consuming, I tried to setup easy ways to explore lots of shapes quickly. After a bit of digging, I found a way to create models in Autodesk Fusion360 by just specifying a few high level parameters.

Exploring a single parameter space
Parametric design allows exploring computer shapes quickly
Exploring multiple parameters on a two-circle-intersection-based model

Other Concepts

Some rejects I produced along the way…

Retro TV

Macintosh Classic inspired design

Faceted design exploration