Hello fellow Commandos! In my exciting new role as a fan and forum member I've seen many requests directed at @The 8-Bit Guy asking for info about the Phase 1, X16P case, which he has decided to retire so as to simplify the project. Firstly although I was a fan of the case (pun intended) I respect David's decision. The X16 has always been his baby and we're just along for the ride. To be clear, he has stated the Phase 1 official case is now in the past.
Having chatted with David about the questions about the case we agreed it's a good idea for me to present this thread as an unofficial FAQ of sorts, to answer those questions, so the community has access to the same info I had. I'd never want to feel I was withholding useful info as I continue my step back. So in no particular order:
Will there be a "vendor badge" sticker / stick-on badge available?
I shared all assets with the team as part of my handover, so everything is available to them including logos and badge designs. I think it would be wise to give the team at least a few days (or weeks) to adjust to the team member changes. I think if you can be patient, some well formed options will come to light. For any badges I recommend Marco van de Meulenhof aka BadgeMan.
Can we have the case designs to 3D print?
Sadly not, mainly as I don't have them. As stated from the start, the case was a modified existing design and I chose this path to cut the end user cost by a total of about $100,000 compared to designing and tooling our own case & keyboard. This means the X16 project does not have full ownership of the design which partly belongs to Sohoo. Standard copyright law applies. Also the X16 project signed a standard confidentiality agreement with them. They own the design starting point and will not license iterations. They also never released their own design files to us. The renders you’ve seen like the above were made by Mat Recardo & I, and are visuals only based on my own changes (see below). There's no internal structure for mounting and it's not exact size. Refining that for 3D printing would be a huge task, and that’s if the project had the rights to do so, which it does not.
If providing 3D print plans for the case were an easy possibility I would have made sure that was done for you guys a few days ago. I thought long and hard about the options. Unfortunately I had to conclude that it’s a bit of a minefield.
Well give us the model number and we'll model it for 3D printing anyway!
The model number is public knowledge, available on Google, and this is the link to the manufacturer's case info page. However, again, the X16 project cannot legally condone or encourage recreating or cloning another party's intellectual property. To do so may jeopardise the X16 project.
Other important points to keep in mind:
Any price you see quoted on Chinese websites will always increase hugely, and excludes the PSU and modifications.
The last unmodified single unit I ordered from the manufacturer as a testing sample cost me $139.75 landed - paid by wire only (keep in mind the factory have no PayPal, no store, etc.) despite what you may see online.
Some of my mods included the plastic colour, plastic texture, steel texture, removing DVD tray, removing eject button, screen printing 8-Bit logo, butterfly logo badge engraving, 2nd badge creation, button changes, and more. Structural changes inside also. Oh and team autographs were to be embossed inside.
I actually replaced the front panel with a whole new design. The reason is the standard one is designed for modern vertical use and has a big hole (release handle) on one edge. You cannot remove holes in injection moulds, you can only add holes. The hole is largely hidden at the bottom in the vertical photos but looks ghastly on the left side when laid horizontally to suit retro aesthetics. You can see the wires and columns through it. I'd never have wanted to release a product like that. It’s only fair I warn you about that hole in the Sohoo case (don't fall into it!).
But yes, the above linked case was the starting point 2 years ago.
New front panel design:
To help with realistic expectations, if acquiring one unmodified unit at $140, the photo below is about best one could get it to appear without colour and texture mods, and all the other changes. Obviously the retail product would've looked hugely better:
Would it be possible to get the case later as separate purchase?
No. The only real way to get that case as depicted is for the team to follow the normal practice and order 1000 units at a price I negotiated down to about $32/unit inc. PSU & box, and I had to fight hard to stop that going up to 2000 units minimum with COVID. My plan was for that to be achieved via crowdfunding at this website. But again I certainly understand the appeal of simplifying the project in light of other complications and concerns re parts and order assembly etc. and fully respect the change of direction, as should we all.
I believe this case is no longer an option.
What about a different 3D printed case design?
In my experience the case is too large for 3D printers and would need to be printed in 2 or 4 sections then clipped/glued together. A line could be factored into the design to make that less unattractive. David has said 3D printing of that size is cost prohibitive so I'm guessing it's unlikely that would be offered directly by the team as an option.
How about making a case design available at Protocase or similar?
This would be up to the team and community. I had liaised with similar companies before and they actually rejected the project due to some of its specific needs, which always surprised me. Anyone is free to upload their designs anywhere and make them available.
What is the form factor?
The case is a standard Micro ATX "Slim" model, and can house a Micro ATX or Mini ITX motherboard. At the time of writing the X16P motherboard is Micro ATX, and at the time of writing should fit in any Micro ATX case. The team will hopefully update this should that change (unlikely).
What about cases for the other phases?
The modified case designs for these are all on file with the team and they have my permission to use them. The same basic copyright situation applies as above re the manufacturer base designs.
As I conclude my one week handover, I truly hope this extra info and clarity is useful to the community going forward!
Your friend in retro, Perifractic
http://youtube.com/perifractic | http://patreon.com/perifractic