Acrylic Hackintosh Housing

[Rui Gato] needed a powerful yet portable machine for his performances. If it’s on stage shouldn’t it look good too? We loved watching him construct an acrylic case for his setup. He’s skilled with a rotary tool and the work he put into the case fan grill alone is impressive. Video after the break.


47 thoughts on “Acrylic Hackintosh Housing

  1. Not to bad for just playing around with acrylic to put together a computer case. I think he spent too long recording / drilling the fan holes. I used to work at an acrylic shop and they used a lot of templates and a trim router to quickly cut out holes and slots. You just tape the template on with double sided scotch tape and use the router to cut the hole. I would of used a cnc machine to cut the grid for the fan. Nice finished product.

  2. Nice, I have been looking into doing a full custom acrylic or plexy case for my future rig. I just dont have the skill or time to do so.

    @James Costello whats your definition of a “hack”? Just because it doesnt involve soldering, blinking leds, arduinos and other mods its not a hack?

  3. @James Costello

    sure theres a hackintosh in there (for those who dont know that is a PC that is modded to use OSx, for those too poor to buy a real mac, and too pussy to use a real OS)

  4. How many nights ,,, 10mins work on my laser , yep not everyone has a co2 laser system but someone like me would have cut all that out fairly cheap.
    Not worth the manual effort. well done job tho no taking away from that.

  5. @osgeld – Pray tell, what is your definition of a real OS?

    If it boots and does what I want it to it’s real enough for me. MacOS (X and 9.2)fits that bill on my 7 Macs; everything else at home is running Linux (5), DOS (2), WinXP (2) or WinCE/PocketPC2000 (3).

    Most of these systems are cobbled together from other people’s castoffs. My wife is still Using Windows 7 even though Linux can handle everything she wants to throw at it.

    That being said; what have you built lately? Submit it for inclusion here at HAD and let us see what a real operating system can do.

    Most of my hacks are of the baling-wire and chewing gum to hold it together until a new part can be installed/fabricated variety. Usually on my car on the way to or from work.

  6. Rotary tool skills? All I saw him do was drill holes with it. Sure, they were some nice holes but it doesn’t get more basic than that.

    I’m glad he at least powered the router off the main power supply, but it doesn’t appear as though he powered his audio interface internally. Aside from that, I do like the way he used the interface screws to hold some of the case together.

  7. whoa there aged cheddar, didn’t mean to offend you so dearly

    AS for the real OS comment, I dunno just poking some fun, I had no idea that one of Steve’s children would be highly offended

    and no I will not be posting my pc builds, I don’t think it is amazing to plug in some components and install a CD, that being said I am not bashing this cause the computer is not the focus, its the case, and its a well made case

    As far as me submitting something on HAD, well sorry bud, but I have been on the front page 4 times this year, so while that IS usually a good comeback you choose poorly

    And finally, I am glad your hacks use unusual material and methods, that shows wisdom, and is instantly nullified after saying something like “I own 7 mac’s”. shows you might have your priorities out of order


  8. @ osgeld – I wasn’t offended and I’m sorry I came across that way. I’ll look up your HAD posts in the spirit of being a good sport.

    I’m pretty much an OS agnostic. Yes, MacOS is usually easy enough for anyone to set up and use, however, I’m not thrilled with being tied into the hardware Jobs and Co. pick for me. That’s why my Macs except one are all FrankenMacs.

    BTW – 06/11/2010 – Awesome work doesn’t even come close to describing that. I thought your name sounded familiar.

  9. ARGH, that soundtrack in the background was sooo annoying with its constant ‘pickles?’. Programmed music and overdone so-cal complexity… nah, that’s just annoying.

    Music has to be handmade (pluck an instrument… or play a keyboard, what ever), but it should be genuine. The reason why I don’t listen to the radio.

  10. I liked the background music.

    Was sort of Sci-Fi alien type music

    but at 2:12 it was kind of “Indian Type” music.

    And with the “Pickles” thing maybe his name is Stu, or he likes the cartoon “Rugrats”

  11. shuttle used one of my cases at CES a while back that was acrylic. when you start working with that stuff you soon realize that making that type of enclosure is not really that impressive, when you start doing heavy machining on it and doing fun bends with the stuff while keeping it clean is when it start to be a nice build.

    sorry for the negativity but really this is just average at best

  12. @Xeracy
    My cnc’s hombuilt off of the site / I’m currently upgrading to a joes hybrid machine. I just thought he would of used a single hole or less holes if it wasn’t on the front of the cube. If you have the time to drill 90 holes – go for it. He had the time to drill them and then make them all bigger. I thought the finished case looked good.

  13. ROFL @ AK77

    Btw, the audio track behind this video completely sucked. I’m not negative very often, but this was just the worst. They put the same crap on their other vids too.

  14. Really nice build , but if hes going to use it to make music similar to the background music playing the movie it would go to complete waste, how can any one call that music?

    Anyway great build but mute the “non-music” when watching, simply repeating random sounds doesnt make music.

  15. thanks for the comments guys, just to make a correction, the drilling and cutting etc are made by my friend Paulo Carocinho and not me, has said in the titles. I just did the drawings and helped him assemble.

    @Schell, Moogle and Mike, the aluminum parts are from , i sent them the drawing with the parts i needed, they sent me everything cutted and ready for assembly, pretty handy

    Has for the music taste, i’ve never had so much fun reading musical comments before ahah!

    this machine is now 2 years old, it has iOS 10.6.2 and Windows 7 running happily together on SSD, and never failed on me (live or studio work).


  16. @3-R4Z0R

    actually the music is not programmed, but played live… On a real guitar and some real wii remotes and a real lemur (not the animal) eheh

    It is 100% improvised, as opposed to most of the electronic production dance mambo that floats around.. And it is incredibly fun to play. I tottaly get if it is difficult or painful to listen to some unready ears!


  17. Agh!

    Two issues with this build:

    1) Threading standoffs into straight lexan/plexi is stupid. If that ever gets overtightened, it’ll strip the threads or possibly crack the plastic. If you /really/ want to mount something to a plexi surface, use proper standoffs with a longer thread, some nice chrome cap nuts underneath and some loctite to secure it all.

    2) ESD city. I’ve never had luck with systems installed in plastic cases of *any* kind. Most of the cheap Dell systems you see with the plastic exterior still have a grounded interior made out of cheap metal. I doubt that system will last more then a year with absolutely no chassis ground. It’s only a matter of time until a static discharge goes through the motherboard standoffs and fries something.


  18. @Singchao & therian

    I have a in-desk case mod that uses wood, plexi, & lexan. the motherboard is on a metal tray that was removable from my old pc case. do you have any advice on the best way to ground a setup like that? would connecting the mobo tray to a ground be sufficient? i didn’t think of that when i built it….dohhh

  19. wow all that moaning about the music and when I finally watched the vid it wasn’t actually bad. Have you lot never heard any of the weirder aphex twin, amon tobin or squarepusher sort of stuff?

  20. @McSquid
    Maybe start by strapping the motherboard mounting plate to the power supply enclosure. The latter should already be grounded (internally) via the earth ground on the power connector. Use as short a wire as possible, and as thick a wire. Braided ground strap is probably the best. Hams like to make their own braided ground straps by harvesting the woven shield out of old coax.

    More likely than not, all of the standoff pad areas on the motherboard are already tied together by a ground plane on the board itself, so I’m not exactly sure how what you describe is going to benefit anyone.

    A conductive enclosure is a Faraday cage. Besides convenient grounding, it reduces RF emissions from the computer, and protects the computer from the effects of external signals. It doesn’t look as cool as a clear plastic case, but for me a computer is a tool, and I prefer tools that work to tools that look cool.

    Barring that, a metallic mounting plate provides a ground plane. Mount everything on the plate. This is not nearly as effective as the Faraday cage, but provides good grounding. The partial shielding benefit is probably good enough to at least justify the implementation.

    Barring that, you can strap all the various pieces together, but this provides grounding only, no shielding. Do not “daisy-chain” your items. Grounds should be distributed in a “star” fashion— a single common ground point distributed to all components.

  21. @strider_mt2k

    as i said in my first reply post in the thread, this machine is now 2 years old, it has iOS 10.6.2 and Windows 7 running happily together on SSD, and never failed on me (live or studio work).

    i’ve made some improvements during the last 2 years, like adding water cooling (corsair H50) and some small stuff, related to having access to the audio ports of the fireface 400 device (witch is bus powered by the way).

    i still want to implement some nice physical data sensors on it, just haven’t got the time to work it out yet… but the behavior has been perfect, and the build is very solid. sometimes i leave it running for days on the studio, and it have been used and abused under severe temperature conditions on difficult venues! I’ve made the dimensions ready to move it inside a case with wheels, no problems so far.

    @Singchao & therian

    is is grounded, by connection between the motherboard, the metal case parts, and the power supply. if you want i can give some more detail, but for sure there’s a lot of better case mods and designs floating around with good documentation and detail


    thank you for raising my hopes on open aesthetic perspective associated with tech orientated heads!

    anyone who electronic freak jazz experimental improv isn’t he’s piece of cake, please try some other musical flavors made with this type of hardware (some of them really project based and logic oriented) @


  22. My complaint would be that he’s using the stock Intel CPU cooler/heatsink instead of an aftermarket one which provides much better cooling.

    The case and everything integrated certainly is interesting tho!

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