It's time to draw attention to the fact that the NVidia logo looks a bit like a green leaf
The industry has been so caught up in a 'more power' attitude that it would have been hypocritical to attach a 'Green' label to a 350W typewriter. For the first time, NVidia has assembled technologies which both satisfiy consumer requirements and at a power draw that can be happily be included in a world powered by the rivers, tides, wind and the sun. 30W under load... there may be hope for us yet. So what kind of a case does a Green computer need?
What is it made of?
Polypropylene sheets. You may know it best as the translucent plastic covers on your uni folders or mabey you've seen it folded and curved into a retro lamp fitting at <your favorite Swedish design store>. Polypropylene is a common recyclable plastic which is both flexible and has rigid strength. 0.6mm sheets are thick enough to provide adequate strength to the case and thin enough to provide fluid curves. Until recently, computer hardware has been both too hot and too heavy for plastics to be a viable maretial. The technology has changed, yet we seem to still be making cases using the same old pressed and folded steel formula.
2 die cut translucent polypropylene sheets. Throw in a baggie of screws and standoffs and yer ready to go.
Why is it green?
Minimal use of material, the majority of which is completely recyclable.
It's low weight, size, and flat pack form takes less energy to manufacture and transport thus helping to minimize it's footprint.
Ease of disassembly to help consumers thoughtfully dispose of the components. Heat sink and case to the recycle bin, the board to the computer recycle depot, and the drives front panel remote unit to your next build.
So what's with that remote thingy?
The wires, switches and LEDs and ports of a typical PC case are actually the least recycleable part of a computer. By combining them into one compact unit it serves a number of purposes. Firstly, all your traditional front panel controls and ports are now incorperated into a convenient unit. If the controls are no longer connected to the case, then you can hide the case anywhere you like and not lose the convenience of the ports. Velcro tape is all that it will take to fix this lightweight unit to the underside or behind your desk, behind your TV or monitor, or the underside of a shelf or to the wall. Nomatter,. you'll still be able to turn it on without having to go on a treasure hunt first. When it comes time to recycle your computer, it's now really easy to separate the least recycleable part and use it with your next build!
Early Design Sketch:
The sliding power/reset switch is a nice feature. Power and activity LEDs just beneath the front surface of the plastic are visable without being distracting. Headphone, mic, and 2 USB jacks cover all your typical port needs.
Size is everything.
The overall dimensions of the case are 240mm x 60mm x 215mm. They are very pleasing dimensions. It is possible to compact it just a little more, but not without pushing the hard drives closer to the heat sink. The front panel remote is 30mm x 20mm x 80mm. It's a tight squeeze to get it all in there, but my ruler says that it can be done that neatly.
Pleasing compact dimensions with adequate space between components
[I]But I want an optical drive![/B][/Size]
So do I. And the most environmentally sound way to do that is by using an external USB drive. The reasoning behind it is that a modular device is far more likely to be migrated to a new system. Modular devices also tend to get used about the house by more than one person, or loaned to a friend once they are no longer useful to you. Reuse is always better than recycle. When accompanied by the remote front panel device, discrete location of the case becomes possible for HTPC setups. Removing the drive when not in use also saves power, not easily done when built into a system.
If I'd change anything...
...it'd be the circular air holes. Unfotunately I only found this competition 2 days ago and didn't have enough time to fully develop the artistic opportunity. If I had more time, I'd redesign the air hole to be more like a tribal tattoo. If you also added a UV LED to the inside of the case, the unnatural light would bleed out of the cut edges of the plastic in a truly surreal way. An organic tribal design would really take advantage of this effect.
CAD Files are available if required.
Andrew Nielsen 2009.
P.S. I could use a job if anyone is interested. ops:
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