IMac Cat Bed

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Introduction: IMac Cat Bed

About: My name is Travis and I like to build cool stuff!

I previously made a touchscreen Macintosh by replacing the guts with an iPad mini. I was showing that off to my friends and someone offered to give me their old iMac G3! It wasn't working but he still had all of the peripherals and even the original box! I couldn't turn it down even though I didn't have an idea of what to do with it.

Three years later I finally got my inspiration: my cat, Abby! I've seen some of these online before but a gutted iMac makes a great cat bed!

It's really not a very difficult project, just takes some time and fitting. Let's get to it!

Supplies

  • iMac G3
  • Foam padding
  • Fabric or pillow case
  • Wooden dowel

Step 1: Disassemble the IMac

I could go through and give you a step-by-step to disassemble the iMac G3 but I've only done it once, I'm no expert! Instead I'm going to share the video I used to help me disassemble my iMac step-by-step.

Find that video by TheMacintoshBuyer on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/vOhHJAxlMUA

Step 2: Clean Up the IMac Shell

My Mac was a bit dirty and had some weird residue left on places. If yours is the same, clean it!

I used a solution of vinegar and water to get most of the stuff off. Goo Gone got rid of the tough stuff.

Step 3: Modify the Mac Shell a Bit

The Mac case has some weird extrusions that are helpful for a heavy CRT screen but not for a cat bed.

So we need to get rid of them. An oscillating multitool seemed to work the best.

Cut off the two tall extrusions on the bottom white plastic piece (see photos).

Step 4: Reassemble Your IMac

Now it's time to reassemble your iMac shell. Just go in reverse of what you just did. It's a bit tedious but it's doable.

Some pieces won't be attachable because the internal components are missing like the CD slot cover. So we have to hot glue them on!

For the front CD slot cover, line it up and tape it in place. Then hot glue it from the back side.

I used tape and hot glue in the same method for the side door that used to house the USB ports.

Step 5: Make the Interior Cushion

Now let's make a custom cushion to fill the inside for your cat to relax on.

I just used a roll of leftover foam that I had lying around. It was quite thin so I had to use multiple layers but that ended up working great because I could custom fit each layer to lay flat in the bottom of the Mac. So it'll take a bit of fitting because the bottom of the iMac isn't uniform but just take your time and you'll get there.

I just covered the cushion with a gray pillowcase so it'll be easy to wash in the future. Just tuck the extra material under the cushion so it's not visible. Simple and easy.

Step 6: Stabilize the IMac

Because we took out that massively heavy CRT monitor, the iMac balances differently. It's a bit tough to explain but if your cat climbs in the back of the iMac bed, they'll tip it backwards. So we need to stabilize it with a extra leg.

I found a dowel that fit into the back screw location right within the iMac handle (see photo). I cut that to length and added a nonslip foot to act as a sort of kickstand on the back. This extra leg ensured that the iMac was stable and wouldn't tip no matter where Abby put her weight inside the iMac on the bed.

Step 7: Introduce Your Cat to Their New Bed!

Abby was a bit hesitant of her new bed at first, I was afraid it might've been too small for her. But after some convincing using treats she warmed up to it and it's nice and cozy for her to curl up in..

She started going in there herself once a day for the first week for just a minute or two. But now she uses it as her normal bed! She lays in there for hours at a time!

Please let me know your thoughts on this project, if you try it yourself, along with any ways to improve this design.

Oh and I'd be so grateful if you voted for me in this Instructable contest if you feel I deserve it.

– Travis

P.S. I also host a podcast called Curiosityness! Every week I conduct a podcast interview with an expert about the most fascinating history, things, & people of our world. If that interests you, I encourage you to check out the Curiosityness podcast available for free at https://www.curiosityness.com/

And find me on Instagram @travderose: https://www.instagram.com/travderose/

Trash to Treasure Contest

Runner Up in the
Trash to Treasure Contest

1 Person Made This Project!

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55 Comments

0
CMyers33
CMyers33

1 year ago

I made one of these before I knew it was a thing, so, I didn't modify anything other than to take out the guts and reassemble. One thing I did differently was to buy a matching iMac mouse to hang in the front as a toy, more closely approximating a cat bed. There is a little socket right in the top of the frame where the cable can snap right in. The ball inside makes the pendulum a bit heavy and potentially injurious, thus, should be removed before use, but, blue side out, it just looks better in pictures.

20220119_163122.jpg
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ChrisJPF
ChrisJPF

1 year ago

Sorry, thumbs way down. I am a member of a vintage computer organization. We preserve computer history and artifacts. This, in my honest opinion, is senseless destruction. Not trying to be mean, please consider my position. There are many people out there who could have used this for spare parts to get another computer running, or it might have been repairable. Just food for thought. I do appreciate the creativity, just not when it includes permanent destruction of an irreplaceable, historical item. Again, sorry, I just need to be honest on this.

I checked out your other projects. They look very nice and creative. Keep up the good work on stuff like that.

0
rpjn59
rpjn59

Reply 1 year ago

Who on earth really going to 'need' this device. When any smart phone has more computing power than this relic. Hmm.

1
camryn.rosenbarker
camryn.rosenbarker

Reply 1 year ago

Yeah man that is pretty harsh. It was probably a broken iMac and it being a cat bed will probably get more use out of the iMac than it being a normal iMac.

3
b.j.heliotrope
b.j.heliotrope

Reply 1 year ago

I think that's being rather harsh on Travis, it's a broken old iMac and there are literally tonnes of these rotting away in cupboards around the world. Far better to have that fantastic case on display, even as a cat-bed.

I checked Ebay UK to see whether these were rare, and saw dozens for sale. Working examples go for around £50 ($70 US) and a broken one near me recently went for as little as £1.24 ($1.75) so I wouldn't count it as an 'irreplaceable, historical item'.

That said, there are plenty of machines I wouldn't want to see hacked about with. It chills my heart when I see perfectly serviceable 80s home computers gutted.

1
GonzoCooper
GonzoCooper

Reply 1 year ago

Maybe you could provide a resource or link suggestion to organization(s) that could use the leftover iMac parts for preserving other computers. Just food for thought.

0
BigAndRed
BigAndRed

Reply 1 year ago

I have some dynamite left and will be happy to dispose of any old macs for you.

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travderose
travderose

Reply 1 year ago

No I get you, for me, this will get more use than a functional iMac G3.

I still have all of the parts I didn't use. Can I donate those somewhere so the parts can be used as spares?

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royharper
royharper

Question 1 year ago on Step 5

Great project!
I noticed your glue gun appears to be suitably powerful and also cordless. Can you please let me know what brand/model glue gun you used. Thanks!

0
Creeper yeet
Creeper yeet

1 year ago

እርስዎ ሱስ ነዎት። Exuse my Amharic. lol

0
XYZ Create
XYZ Create

1 year ago

I just wanted to say that your cat, Abby, is adorable!

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cirena
cirena

1 year ago

Happy for Abby!

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DamoTGO
DamoTGO

1 year ago on Introduction

The 8 bit guy did this same thing years ago on youtube. Were you inspired or was this something many folks have decided to do with these old iMacs?

imac cat.png
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travderose
travderose

Reply 1 year ago

I think I saw his beforehand but there a few different people who’ve made these on the internet

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sasha_emami
sasha_emami

Reply 1 year ago

Yes, I have seen something similar

1
ioannissv2dku
ioannissv2dku

1 year ago

A different approach for our four-legged friends.
In our yard, lives a small, orphaned kitten. In view of the coming
winter, I wanted to provide him with a safe and warm place. In the context of
reusing materials, a torque that all of us radio amateurs have to the maximum,
I thought of taking advantage of an old computer monitor, crt technology, which
was in prolonged disuse and which under other circumstances should have long ago been placed in a
recycling bin. I opened the screen cover and removed all the internal
electronic circuit. With particular care, I removed the high voltage
"suction cup" from the cathode ray tube, which I grounded on the
chassis (board), and then cut off the rest of the board.


At this point I would like to emphasize the extremely high voltage that we
will encounter in such constructions, which in fact remains active even after
months of inactivity of the device. I kept the board because it had a lot of
interesting components to peel off and then use. Do not tell me, how many times
we look for a capacitor, a resistor, a diode, a transistor to complete our homebrew construction and either we do not have it or it is available at a specific price. So, here is a free way to renew the stock of our junk box. After this, Elena (sy2bok) carefully washed the empty screen shell, she dried it, while collecting various non-useful scarves, old towels, T-shirts,
etc. As you will see, I covered the large gap left by the cathode ray tube with
a piece of plastic pvc. The inside area of the screen shell was filled with towels, which were fixed with
thermal glue. Then, at the back of the screen shell, I created a door with the
help of an electric jigsaw, where afterwards, I placed fabric strips, so that on the one hand, they
retain any internal heat, on the other hand they offer a visual coverage and a
sense of security to the cat, compared to the others that circulate in the
yard.

I attached two wooden rods to the base of the screen, because I wanted it
to be as stable as possible and not to "balance" in the incoming and outcoming of its resident. The next step was to lay the fabrics in such a way as to
create a soft and at the same time warm pillow, where the cat would sleep.
Since the temperatures - evening and morning - have already gone downhill
in single digits, I thought I should increase the internal temperature of the
cat house. So I got an old, non-functional central processing unit (cpu), type
Intel Celeron, the pins of which I started to check with the ohmmeter, in order to to find continuity and some electrical resistance. On some of her legs (pin), I found that I had an
indication of 18.70 kohms. This was done by trial and error.

The central processing unit, after the whole circuit was energized, connecting a 5 volt d.c. voltage accross the specific pins, within
about 5 minutes began to heat up. But the temperature he developed was
unbearable, and it would probably be too much for the cat. I could not hold it
in my hand, not even for seconds. Remembering Ohm's law, where the current is
proportional to the voltage under constant resistance, I found a 3 volt 1000
mA power supply from the (magic) junk box. When I connected it to the familiar
legs of the central processing unit, I found that I could now hold it in my
bare hand without getting burned.

With thermal glue, I covered the central processing unit on the side of its
terminals (pins), attaching a piece of insulated board (yes, from the junk
box), so that it is not possible to detach the cpu power cables, after some
mechanical stress. I tried the whole design in the workshop for 24 hours and I
was happy, because neither the central processing unit burned, nor the power supply
and (most of all) it did not smell (let us not forget that our four-legged
friends have a very sharp sense of smell). I threw this electric
"stove" into the shell of the screen, towards its depth and in a
random position, taking care to pass the wiring through a hole, that already
existed by construction.

Later, I thought that the space of the "nest" is quite small, so
with constant use of the "stove", there might be a case of
overheating of the whole space. For this reason, I inserted a mechanical timer between the 220 volt socket
and the power supply, which would "open" and "close" the circuit every half hour, starting at 18:00
and ending at 08:00, which are the hours when the coldest cold prevails, in
combination with the humidity.
The next day, with great joy, I found out that the young kitten, came out of
his new house proud, answering to my call for food.
To satisfy my curiosity, while he was enjoying his breakfast, I put my hand inside his house, approximately in the center of the space
and I found a pleasant warmth to prevail !!!
I would like to transfer the responsibility of controlling the internal (or
external, why not) temperature to an arduino sensor, so that the ignition and
shutdown of the circuit is adjusted based on the cold and not based on time,
but the whole thing would change level, as my dear colleague Michalis (sv2sap) told me, whose opinion I strictly respect.
For better visual coverage, but also for the fear of (any) lateral rain,
the whole construction, after being placed in the semi-covered area, was
additionally covered with a garbage bag.


Thank you for your time and we wish all colleagues first of all safety,
health and a good winter, by providing a little, minimal care to our likeable
four-legged friends.


73 de sv2dku Ioannis and 73 de sy2bok Elena from Kastoria, Greece.

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0
laconle2
laconle2

Reply 1 year ago

Casaaaaaaaats

3
laconle2
laconle2

Question 1 year ago on Step 6

What about dogs why don’t you use a tv for dogs?