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Icrontic's EPIC Duct Tape Case

Icrontic's EPIC Duct Tape Case

Duct tape – an introduction

Duct tape is probably one of the most geeky materials known to man. We have a history of working with duct tape that includes some fairly impressive constructs, as well as several contest victories for creating purpose-built structures in a short timeframe.

In February of 2007, we decided to put our skills working with DuctTape into a long-term, practical project. We wanted to build something that could really be useful. We decided on a computer case.

Our objective was not to create a working computer out of tape and computer parts, but rather to create a case which could be used to house any computer with a small form-factor motherboard.

We picked up a few rolls of each: industrial-grade, grey tape; commercial-grade, grey tape; and decorative, silver tape. All from Duck Brand.


A plan for greatness

Our first task was design. The most difficult part of the design was developing methods of structural support which did not rely upon the computer parts themselves. We finally settled on this plan:

A set of rolled duct-tape ‘poles’ would serve as a hexahedral frame in which the components could rest. Stiff duct-tape panels would be attached to this frame to create the box.

We decided we would place the heaviest component, the PSU, in the bottom of the case. We wanted it to rest on two poles that would serve as ‘rails’ which would keep it off the floor of the case. Next to it, the Hard Drive could rest on the same rails. The Motherboard would hang from two of the horizontal rails along one side. Finally, the Optical drive would sit, on end, on a shelf on the opposite wall. We decided that for this proof-of-concept project we would not need expansion cards or a floppy drive.

Once we had the plan down, we had to craft the basic components. These were essentially the raw building blocks that we would eventually use to create the finished case. We found, after counting, that we would need:

  • 2 15×15″ panels of commercial-grade, grey tape to form the side walls
  • 3 15×7″ panels of commercial-grade, grey tape to form the top, back, and bottom walls
  • 2 7×7″ panels of decorative silver tape for the front vent and door
  • 1 1×7″ panel of decorative silver tape to complete the front wall
  • 16 15″ poles of industrial-grade, grey tape for structural support
  • 8 7″ poles of industrial-grade, grey tape for structural support, including optical drive shelf
  • 1 1.75×8″ board of industrial-grade, grey tape for optical drive shelf
  • 1 hollow tube of commercial-grade, grey tape for the door hinge.


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Comments

  1. primesuspect
    primesuspect That is some serious craftsmanship right there. Kudos to you both.
  2. Kwitko
    Kwitko That case is saweeeet!! Excellent work guys! You're both definitely :life:
  3. Winfrey
    Winfrey The case looks really good. Excellent write-up, I'm sure you guys enjoyed building at least as much as I enjoyed reading about it. :thumbsup:
  4. Zanthian
    Zanthian Great Job Guys... Nice to finally read the article.
    One Typo on the last page... "Me Fortress 2."
  5. GHoosdum
    GHoosdum
    Zanthian wrote:
    Great Job Guys... Nice to finally read the article.
    One Typo on the last page... "Me Fortress 2."

    It's not a typo, actually... CB called it that because I was playing by myself. ;)

    Thanks for the kind words, folks!
  6. Winfrey
    Winfrey
    Zanthian wrote:
    Great Job Guys... Nice to finally read the article.
    One Typo on the last page... "Me Fortress 2."

    I saw that too, but I think it was on purpose. He wasn't playing with anyone thus there couldn't be any "team" just himself or "me".

    Also I wasn't sure how to visualize a duct tape "dart"? is it just a pointed tightly rolled piece of duct tape?
  7. Zanthian
    Zanthian :dunce: Oh that makes sense now.

    Added to reddit btw http://reddit.com/info/6lamx/comments/
  8. mas0n
    mas0n This is awesome in so many ways. Good job guys!
  9. CB
    CB
    FreeC8675 wrote:
    I saw that too, but I think it was on purpose. He wasn't playing with anyone thus there couldn't be any "team" just himself or "me".

    Also I wasn't sure how to visualize a duct tape "dart"? is it just a pointed tightly rolled piece of duct tape?

    So many people have thought the Me Fortress 2 was a typo, that maybe we should change it... :/

    The duct tape 'darts' are just thin strips used as fasteners. The problem was that the word that means what we needed was 'tape'. but we didn't want to say that we were making strips of duct tape 'tape'. 'fasteners would have been equally ridiculous, and we had already used up the word 'strips' elsewhere.

    Trust me. I fretted over using 'darts', knowing that that usage is a bit obscure, but in the end it sounded best... :)
  10. Winfrey
    Winfrey
    CB wrote:
    Trust me. I fretted over using 'darts', knowing that that usage is a bit obscure, but in the end it sounded best... :)

    I can only imagine ;D

    "darts" makes sense to me now thanks.
  11. lemonlime
    lemonlime Fantastic work, guys :D

    I really enjoyed the write-up! Who do we talk to if we'd like to get one in for testing in the IC labs? ;)
  12. Harudath
    Harudath Fricking awesome :wow: Nice :thumbsup:
  13. Zanthian
  14. TBonZ
  15. Snarkasm
    Snarkasm Digg alone has three different links to stories. Congrats all around!
  16. Cyclonite
  17. MAGIC
    MAGIC Think you will have a problem with heat form the pc softening the glue and the tape losing its composure? Thats why we lost the duct tape challenge last year, except it was the sun not a pc melting our tape. nice work though.
  18. BuddyJ
    BuddyJ Your Duct Tape Challenge entry didn't have sweet cooling fans and a stylish air vent, did it? :bigggrin:
  19. Sledgehammer70
    Sledgehammer70 sweet//// awesome to finally see it complete good work guys
  20. UPSWeezer
    UPSWeezer That's flippin sweet.
  21. GHoosdum
    GHoosdum Thanks for the comments, folks!

    Yes, ][][[v[[]]]agic, we were concerned about the heat. If we were going to be housing a PC in the case longer term, we had planned to cut a 120MM exhaust fan hole and possibly include a front intake fan behind the vent.
  22. bothered
    bothered Duct tape, is there nothing it can't do?
  23. GnomeQueen
    GnomeQueen So what's the next big project? :D
  24. UPSWeezer
    UPSWeezer I say... build a working duck-tape rockband drum set. And then give it to me:D
  25. UPSLynx
    UPSLynx Wow, well done guys. That's an impressive feat.

    Also, I didn't think ME FORTRESS 2 was a typo - I believe we've called it that in-game before.
  26. Jokke
  27. sharkydart
  28. primesuspect
    primesuspect Bwahahahah total win!

    We made Gizmodo's Top 10 Ultimate Ghetto Gadgets list!

    Congrats (again!) CB and Rob! :D
  29. GHoosdum
    GHoosdum That's awesome! ;D
  30. Kwitko
    Kwitko Congrats guys!
  31. lemonlime
  32. CB
  33. GHoosdum
    GHoosdum We're in syndication now!

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