Cray-1 by Daryl Brach

Written by Antony Leather

July 28, 2010 | 08:28

Tags: #cray #scratch-build #supercomputer

Companies: #bit-tech #mod

Materials and layout

Cray-1 was a departure from my normal case building materials in that I mainly used plywood, masonite and synthetic leather. I've built systems out of mahogany, cherry, canary wood, maple, walnut and Australian lacewood before but every wood is different to worth with so I knew it would be a new experience.

Cray-1 by Daryl Brach Materials and layout Cray-1 by Daryl Brach Materials and layout
Click to enlarge

Rather than stain, shellac or polyurethane, I was using spray paint and clear coat to colour the wood. I had to build my own paint hood with filters and fans to finish the project too.

Cray-1 by Daryl Brach Materials and layout Cray-1 by Daryl Brach Materials and layout
Click to enlarge

As the original Cray-1 was based on a hexadecagon, a 16-sided polygon, with two and a half sides removed, I had to employ some high school geometry to figure out the internal angles were 22.5°. Which meant each angled cut needed to be 11.25° and the angle for the two half sections was 5.625°. I also wanted to make sure everything would fit, so I laid everything out before hand.

Cray-1 by Daryl Brach Materials and layout Cray-1 by Daryl Brach Materials and layout
Click to enlarge

Cray-1 by Daryl Brach Materials and layout Cray-1 by Daryl Brach Materials and layout
Click to enlarge

Cray-1 by Daryl Brach Materials and layout
Click to enlarge

As there were 12 full sections and two half sections, any inaccuracies were quickly compounded. Each section was assembled and then joined to the next. The original Cray-1 was 77in tall and 103.5in across. My one-third scale model turned out to be 25.6in tall and 34.5in across.
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