And, no, I don't mean build a computer tower, that's easy, that's for any middleschooler/highschooler chump with money.
I mean actually designing the whole computer from scratch.
The two biggest problems with doing this are:
- Case Design
- Circuit board design
And then a bevy of issues regarding having free/open source drivers, chipsets, etc., most of which are privately owned at the moment. Biggest chipset issues revolve around Intel, so I think if you want to build your own computer you are pretty much not going to touch Intel at all (AMD ftw?).
There are a number of reasons to want to do this:
- Ultimate control over design
- Ultimate control over components
- The ability to keep your system up to date far beyond what even 'building a desktop' would allow.
Anyways, that was really all just a leadup to the topic of this post - materials - does anyone know of a good, easy to manipulate material for doing this sort of stuff?
3D printing sounds like the wave of the future, until you do a simple calculation on the price:
For a 2"x13"x9" sized laptop, that's 3834 cm^3 of material, shapeways lets you custom build something at
0.28 $/cm^3, so that comes out to be a price tag of 1073$ for just the chassis. I've not even bought any parts yet.
So, what I'm estimating the cost to be for e.g. a custom build laptop:
1k$ in chassis
1k$ for board
100$ for hard drive
100$ for RAM
300$ for CPU
200$ other expenses...
2.5k$ at least.
Hmm. That number needs work. And a lot of implementation.