Raise your hand if you love the Mac Pro and G5 cases. We've definitely seen a lot of great mods based around these cases, as difficult as they may be to work with. But what if you didn't have to fix one, and could instead have the style and design without the headaches?
Forumite projectW thought of exactly that—as well as the factors he didn't like about the case—when he decided that he'd create one himself. It saves a lot of hassle – no ports in the back, no weird power supplies. And at the same time, he could do something he always wanted to see – make the case crystal clear.
And so, MPi-L (aka Mac Pro inspired – Lumina) was born. The idea is simple – build a Mac Pro case entirely out of acrylic. It's not half as easy as it sounds – particularly when your total budget allows for little more than money for a knock-off dremel, a few dust masks and cutting discs, tin snips, a tape measure, and a tremendously oversized, mis-cut sheet of acrylic.
Good tools, good tools. That's what makes a good mod, right? Not at all – it's all in how you choose to use them. projectW was able to attach a flexshaft to his makeshift rig, making cutting the huge piece of acrylic far easier.
The first step was applying a measure of engineering mind – acrylic bends just like aluminium, so projectW visualised the exterior of the Mac Pro case "unwrapped." By doing so, he could more easily see the shape was simply a couple rounded rectangles that were taken out of the outsides of a much longer rectangle. A few dremel cutting discs later, and the sheet was ready to bend.
Maybe saying "bends just like" aluminium is a bit incorrect. After all, I've never seen an iron used to bend aluminium. However, for those of you who shy away from heat guns or strip heaters because of their unitask nature, your good old household iron can apparently make a pretty good alternative. You can even put the iron directly on the acrylic, which prevents the paper and its adhesive from bonding to it. The things I learn while I'm browsing...
The final outer shell of MPi-L is now complete, though a little hard to see in the last photo, just like projectW wanted.
Will it look like a G5 when it's finished, though? Only time and projectW's worklog
will tell. If it does, it will be a pretty big accomplishment – most people spend their time trying to find the cases and hack them into service.
In the meantime, if projectW and his iron have just the stuff you want to see moving forward, make sure that you vote for MPi-L
as January's Mod of the Month!