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I want to make a laptop case from scratch. How can I get the dimensions of my laptop? Answered


Hi instructables!

I recently bought an expensive laptop and want to protect it, but all the protective covers on the market for this particular model are terrible (damaging to the laptop over time or ill-fitting).

I want to build a case from scratch by CAD modelling the design, then running it through something like a wood cnc. The only problem is, I need the exact dimensions/form of the laptop to create a skin-tight fit.

Any ideas on how I can get this data? Can you think of a better process than the one I've outlined? I'm open to working with new materials!

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Some inspiration: http://design-milk.com/images/2010/09/macbook-cutting-board.jpg

Discussions

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Lorddrake

2 years ago

What I would recommend instead of making a skin-tight fit, take the dimensions that the manufacturer supply (just google the model of laptop and you will get the measurements if you don't have the paperwork) and make the opening larger than those dimensions.

Then you can add padding (i recommend firm foam) around the laptop that will make the laptop fit snuggly and will protect your equipment from any bump and bangs that occur during your travels.

If you want to take it to the next level of aesthetic you can use spray adhesive to attach soft fabric over the foam padding lining the interior of your case

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orangejuicediscoLorddrake

Reply 2 years ago

Thanks for your response, lorddrake.

I want to clarify that I want a case that will adhere to the laptop while in use, a skin if you will, that would protect the laptop's base and aluminum cover. I already have a carrying case.

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Lorddrakeorangejuicedisco

Reply 2 years ago

gotcha. depending on how extreme you want to get (and what brand laptop you have) you can strip the guts out and then take the empty shell of the laptop and spray it with rhino liner. then you need to clean up all the vent ports and screw holes and reassemble all the parts back into the shell.

I know HP and DELL are fairly easy to disassemble. If you have a MAC of any sort kindly disregard this answer.

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Kiteman

2 years ago

You could 3d scan it (123D catch), make a digital model of your laptop, then turn that object into a void within your model of the case.

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orangejuicediscoKiteman

Reply 2 years ago

Thanks for your response kiteman.

I think you're right about the 3d scanner as a method.

I'm curious how accurate the 123D is.

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Kitemanorangejuicedisco

Reply 2 years ago

Sorry, I can't answer that one. You could try asking on Autodesk forums...?

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caitlinsdad

2 years ago

If there is no model available for the shell(3d models, thingiverse, sketchup, cad cam repositories, etc) you have to break out the ruler, calipers and micrometer. Get a hold of an existing skin to measure off of and improve it. Be aware that 3D modeling and CNC is an iterative process. Once you actually make it, you have to test fit and adjust since you will have to factor in some tolerance for the materials. You could veneer a plastic skin with real wood veneer. Good luck.