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A Cardboard Computer: The Recompute PC

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 31 comments

Green technology is more important today than it has ever been. Companies are constantly striving toward a more environmentally friendly way of running things each one is eager to broadcast the fact that their search for greener solutions is a priority.

Today the blogs are a-buzz with the news of a cardboard PC. The Recompute PC comes from Brenden Macaluso and is the designer’s entry for the Greener Gadgets Design Competition in New York.

The Recompute PC is a working machine that uses just three major electrical components; a motherboard (with processor and memory), a PSU and a hard drive. Word on the grapevine is the Recompute packs 2 GB of RAM, a 2.5-inch hard drive, four USB ports and a micro ATX motherboard. Electronics aside, the Recompute case is made of corrugated cardboard and its manufacturing process involves four simple steps: cutting, gluing (with non toxic adhesive), printing and electronic assembly.


Simplicity and renewable materials are all well and good but we had a couple of questions when we saw it, like, “how do you cool that thing?” Brenden Macaluso talked to Engadget about his product and mentioned that there's been some concern over the safety of using cardboard. He reasoned that cardboard is more heat-resistant than many plastics, with a much higher fire and ignition point -- 258°C and 427°C, respectively -- where plastics begin to melt at about 120°C.

Click here to check out some of the other designs in the Greener Gadgets Design Competition in New York.

Discuss
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  • -5 Hide
    Tekkamanraiden , February 5, 2009 4:57 PM
    Now what happens if it gets too hot?
  • 1 Hide
    lightfoot__ , February 5, 2009 5:03 PM
    Did you even read the article? I could see how this would work. I would want a slow speed 80mm fan to help with a little cooling though. Simple a laptop disguised as a cardboard desktop.
  • -1 Hide
    Tekkamanraiden , February 5, 2009 5:34 PM
    I meant in the case of a harware failure such as a cpu fan.
  • 4 Hide
    Richeemxx , February 5, 2009 5:43 PM
    Lame! Modders have been doing cardboard cases for years.
  • 1 Hide
    EntropyMu , February 5, 2009 6:03 PM
    What temperature does the white glue start to melt/catch fire?

    It doesn't look all that green to me, looks like lots of custom cardboard production. Metal can be recycled too, I thought.
  • -2 Hide
    cruiseoveride , February 5, 2009 6:11 PM
    fire hazard
  • 2 Hide
    StupidRabbit , February 5, 2009 6:25 PM
    i dont think even Apple would be able to sell this junk. only if they overpriced it and justin long said it was uber-cool
  • 2 Hide
    T-Bone , February 5, 2009 6:33 PM
    What is happening to our world? What idiot comes up with this stuff? It's like bizzaro world...when is this over-exaggerated environmental nonsense going to end?!?!?!
  • 2 Hide
    IronRyan21 , February 5, 2009 6:35 PM
    I seriously doubt its gaming properties. Does it come standard with a fire extinguisher?
  • -1 Hide
    A Stoner , February 5, 2009 6:41 PM
    I always figured it was good to have some metal around the PC components to prevent electromagnetic damage and corruption.

    I find it hard to see the "green" in this. I thought saving the planet was using one sheet of toilet paper, two if it is a really bad crap. This is why I never believe anyone who must proclaim they love nature. If it takes a proclamation to assuage one's guilt, they likely know they are lacking. Cardboard comes from some place, I seriously doubt the people getting this cardboard, even if it is recycled, are reducing the amount of tree's the paper industry is going to use. Thus, the environment is not any greener from the use of it.
  • 2 Hide
    krashnicki , February 5, 2009 7:14 PM
    They should make a cardboard case like they make paper counter tops. Something like this http://www.richlite.com/countertop/

    I am sure it could be molded to any shape desired and have a very finished look. They would be scratch and heat resistant. Also it could contain recycled material.
  • -1 Hide
    hurbt , February 5, 2009 7:17 PM
    Boring...
  • -1 Hide
    kelfen , February 5, 2009 7:23 PM
    lol.. nice try but this contraption will be an epic fail! what! your house is on fire! what did this hmm?
  • 1 Hide
    whiz , February 5, 2009 7:30 PM
    Now that would be one of the best ideas i've ever seen recently. If it was readily available, I'd get one today.
  • -1 Hide
    bone squat , February 5, 2009 7:37 PM
    Retarded. As far as I know, metal can be recycled just as much if not moreso than cardboard. (probably equal). Metal is more durable, more heat resistant; you can discharge yourself on a metal case before working on said computer. Metal cases won't as easily burn in a house fire. Cardboard looks stupid, is a stupid idea, will burn more easily, won't last long, if it happened to be knocked over your computer could easily be trashed. Cardboard computer sounds like it IS for the stupid Mac community for the idiots who like that smug young douche with the gay youthful face. This cardboard PC is not green. It is a dull brownish color. I hate the whole green scene. It ticks me off. Whatever happened to man dominating the planet in any means necessary? Why all about efficiency and stupid power savings? So you save $20 a year? That's stupid. Anyone who likes this cardboard PC should live in a cardboard box.
  • 1 Hide
    nottheking , February 5, 2009 7:38 PM
    I honestly cannot see exactly how one could proclaim this sort of case as "green." If this was marketed as an artistic case, I could've accepted that. But as trying to be environmentally-friendly, this is likely anything but.

    While it might not burn at a temperature that plastics melt, I'm pretty sure it'll still wear out far quicker, and be far more susceptible to water damage, such as even just damp air. Plus, it'd be impossible to keep clean; invariably, I can see this case being more likely to be thrown away rather than recycled compared to a metal case, which is equally as recyclable, if not more given that metal tends to cost more to produce new than paper products, yet both cost much closer to each other to recycle.

    Basically, I see this just as a novelty case made to fleece some naive people of their money and nothing more.
  • -1 Hide
    nottheking , February 5, 2009 7:41 PM
    I honestly cannot see exactly how one could proclaim this sort of case as "green." If this was marketed as an artistic case, I could've accepted that. But as trying to be environmentally-friendly, this is likely anything but.

    While it might not burn at a temperature that plastics melt, I'm pretty sure it'll still wear out far quicker, and be far more susceptible to water damage, such as even just damp air. Plus, it'd be impossible to keep clean; invariably, I can see this case being more likely to be thrown away rather than recycled compared to a metal case, which is equally as recyclable, if not more given that metal tends to cost more to produce new than paper products, yet both cost much closer to each other to recycle.

    Basically, I see this just as a novelty case made to fleece some naive people of their money and nothing more.
  • 0 Hide
    bone squat , February 5, 2009 7:52 PM
    ^ Nice double post King. Impressive.
  • 0 Hide
    Blessedman , February 5, 2009 8:09 PM
    It is a good post though :D  well thought out and said eloquently.
  • -1 Hide
    Cwize1 , February 5, 2009 8:27 PM
    It is not just heat which is a problem, what about static electricity? Cases are made out of metal as they don't build up static electricity. One tiny little spark of static and you can royally screw your computer. Let alone the massive sparks cardboard could create. Metal cases also provide a common ground for motherboard, PSU and every other component in the computer. Some components may be expecting this and could be damaged in some circumstances without it.

    In short, say goodbye to your warranty!
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