The Recycled Parts Mac Mini Carton Shell Computer

The Recycled Parts Mac Mini Carton Shell Computer

Gregory Han
Aug 4, 2010

You've been a Mac user for years now and you find yourself with spare parts galore from an old iMac, an out of commission iBook, some G5 Tower parts and odds and ends from an assortment of Mac accessories. What to do with your mini-warehouse of outdated tech? We'd first recommend donating them to a school or someone who can still use the slower but usable technology. But another fun idea is to piece together a whole new computer, like the team at MacCores did using an assortment of parts and the packaging material from a new Mac Mini.

Here's the part list the MacCores Solutions DIY creator, Wei, used:

  • MacBook White 2.16GHz Core2Duo logicboard, this board won't detect or work with battery. It's been sitting in storage for few months. MagSafe connector, heatsink, system fan, HDD cable, white indicator LED speaker are all recycle from other broken MacBook.
  • 60W MacSafe adapter bought with discounts due to broken cable. Later fix it by resoldering the cable.
  • Casing, reusing Mac Mini carton shell that was use for shipping. It's paper based, I can easily cut holes for ports and such. It's light and strong enough. And most important it's free. There is one big "window" at the shell. I've reuse the grille left over from the original iTab project and the PowerBook 12" rear casing left over from iTab Mini project.
  • D-Link 8-ports gigabits switch. The box say it uses less energy.
  • Power button, screws terminal, HDD caddy from faulty iBook G3.
  • 3-pin power plug and screws, stand-off from a faulty PowerMac G5.
  • Blower fan from a faulty iMac G5.
  • Old 12v FireWire charger for old iPod.
  • Hitachi 7K500 2.5" 320GB HDD.

Everything but the kitchen sink is inside this gerry rigged machine, all stuffed inside the recycled cardboard two-piece shell his new Mac Mini came shipped inside. We're not sure how safe this really is in regards to fire safety (he reports is operates between 40-50˚C), but we do admire his ingenuity of reusing all these parts into a usable OS X server, serving as an inspiration for possible similar projects using other more aesthetically pleasing exterior finishes (lacquered vented bento box case, anyone?).

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