Greener Gadgets
Recompute Brenden Macaluso (United States)  85 Comments
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1.Feb 2nd, 2009Phil Ort

This is an awesome concept, i would love to be contacted with information so i can follow the project if it makes it to production.

2.Feb 2nd, 2009Mitch

I want one!

3.Feb 3rd, 2009aris

Would these pose a fire hazard at all?

4.Feb 3rd, 2009Bitt

You realize that computer cases are made of metal in order to defeat electronic interference, right? And that this is mandated (in the US) by the FCC?

Maybe you could throw some aluminum foil in there. Or, better yet, just make the whole

5.Feb 3rd, 2009Craig

yea, now THATS what we should be doing!

6.Feb 3rd, 2009John

Genius... thats green if I have ever seen anything, plus it looks cool!

7.Feb 3rd, 2009Eleanor

No Fire Hazard - corrugated cardboard catches fire at 800F (427c)!

8.Feb 3rd, 2009Markus W.

Great idea!

9.Feb 3rd, 2009emily

beautiful besign!

10.Feb 3rd, 2009Tom

Digg it!

11.Feb 3rd, 2009LuisaO

Not only is this a fine, green design, but it seems to me that this design holds the core idea of a whole design direction. This is something an exceptionally talented designer like Macaluso should explore further.

12.Feb 3rd, 2009Abel Chang

i must ask you, how the heck is this sustainable? its not sustainable at all, and its not green at all. thats what i think. you're using good cardboard... or you're going to tell me that your product is made out of recycled boxes? do you have a program to collect, separate and recycle it after its lifecycle ends? people really get the wrong idea when it comes to green stuff, just because its made out of cardboard it doesnt make it greener than a aluminum one. now don't get me wrong here, i'm

13.Feb 3rd, 2009Volker

@Bitt I think that would be applied when manufacturing said case. If people did this in their homes, i don't think the FCC would ever find out...

14.Feb 3rd, 2009Jason

Make these for sale ASAP!!

15.Feb 3rd, 2009Idan

How is cardboard more green than aluminium or steel?, both metals can be recycled as many times as need, while cardboard cannot, and degrades with each recycling. There is also the issue that you cannot upgrade your hardware, so this shortens the life span of a computer....I just don't see the benefit over a regular computer.

16.Feb 3rd, 2009Leisa M

This is the coolest design ever, how genius using recycled cardboard and eliminating using more polluting polycarbonates.

17.Feb 3rd, 2009Conrad

Thank you for the design. It looks great!

18.Feb 3rd, 2009MASON BONAR


19.Feb 3rd, 2009Cathy

Great idea

20.Feb 3rd, 2009Anthony

This is so silly, a fifth grader must have come up with the idea. How often do computers need to be recycled anyway. Cases are cheap so there is no cost savings. I would not want this thing sitting in my office unless my desk was in a wherehouse somewhere.

21.Feb 3rd, 2009myan

you're a genius

22.Feb 3rd, 2009George

Great Idea!

23.Feb 4th, 2009V

I've seen the actual computer. It's awesome. Brenden is super-talented.

24.Feb 4th, 2009Samantha M

Idan, the recycling processes of aluminum and steel uses more resources to reproduce. Cardboard is also very economical, compared to that of aluminum or steel. Producing a cardboard computer instead of a metal or plastic computer eliminates several manufacturing processes and is therefore more sustainable. Brenden, this is a genius product. Congrats!

25.Feb 4th, 2009Andrew Minchew

this is one of my favorite projects you've ever done. awesome.

26.Feb 4th, 2009Ruth Miriam

I want two!

27.Feb 4th, 2009brennan

Plastic and metal are more easily recycled than paper, and if planned properly are nearly infinitely recyclable. The problem with computers is the guts, not the shell. Yet another unsustainable design from someone who clearly doesn't do much research. Looks neat though, and that's what impresses Core77.

28.Feb 4th, 2009Keith

I saw this up close, and it's awesome!!! It really works too!

29.Feb 4th, 2009Lee Frank

This is awesome. I want one or five.

30.Feb 4th, 2009coohheo

1. Funny how people want to BUY recycled cardboard from you. 2. Looks like a horrible fire hazard

31.Feb 4th, 2009Matt

@Idan Did you even read the concept? Why couldn't you upgrade the hardware? The case can open, so you can change the hardware

32.Feb 4th, 2009computer guy

loved the idea how did u come up with it

33.Feb 4th, 2009Estrella

This pretty awesome.

34.Feb 4th, 2009Carolyn Hamilton

I am so impressed. Great idea!!!

35.Feb 4th, 2009Janice Alexander

Mr. Macaluso, You're on the right track, as usual.

36.Feb 4th, 2009Erika

Nice work! But... what about durability

37.Feb 4th, 2009mim

great idea!

38.Feb 4th, 2009Leslie R Patterson

Sweeeeet! Long live carboard! Best of luck for this winning and opening doors for a brilliant mind!

39.Feb 4th, 2009Dave McCrae

I'll have one with pepperoni, black olives and onions, and another double cheese/double anchovies.

40.Feb 4th, 2009Mik

Wow -- built-in shipping padding. You could probably drop this baby down a flight of stairs and it would come out Ok. Plus it's probably acoustically quiet. I like the outer design too. All it needs is a built-in handle like the old mac clam-shells and you've got a winning thing.

41.Feb 4th, 2009SirTrentalot

This is definitely not a 'Gamers' hi-end computer. I imagine it to be a glorified emachine. Which, if you think about it, might just be all that some users need. As far as the green aspect, I challenge anyone to reverse engineer a computer case, count all of the parts and then ask yourself just how many tools, people, and NON-RENEWABLE resources are needed?!?!? A consumer can now buy this computer with the idea that they are saving a buck or two and also receive the added benefit of green design

42.Feb 5th, 2009subDOMmain

this has actually been done before. i believe i saw this as early as '03, but just a quick google of "cardboard computer case" and i got this on the 1st results page:

43.Feb 5th, 2009boada

hey mentor. nice computer!

44.Feb 5th, 2009taylor

@Matt The comment about bout upgrading the hardware.... i have been doing this for YEARS with my "old" metal case every time i upgrade i keep the internal parts until i have enough to build a whole computer then i find a used case from the local pc shop(that keeps one of them out of the landfill) and either sell or give away the resulting computer. @ Bitt I completely agree about EM interference .... this is a big problem if you have enough electronics in you office/ workshop then th

45.Feb 5th, 2009George Darrough

It is a great idea. Have you considered making it out of paper mache ? The entire case could be molded much like egg cartons or packing material. mixed-in coloring could make it quite attractive. You could mold in hand holds, feet, and even snap-together sides. You have got me excited just thinking about the posibilities. Thanks and good luck Brenden.

46.Feb 5th, 2009max

I've never seen such a silly idea. They'd do better if they looked elsewhere to downgrade stuff. I'd rather see my computer made from melted down plastic bags.

47.Feb 5th, 2009Miki

I wonder if it would be possible to incorporate the shipping packaging into the design so that you tear of a few perforated pieces of cardboard to reveal the ports and stuff and you have a ready to go PC. I order a lot of computer related equipment for my staff at work and while the durability of this case needs to still be proven, the huge amount of packing material that comes with each printer, scanner, monitor and PC is crazy wasteful. Durability is a concern but aesthetically I think this

48.Feb 5th, 2009Andrew

I think the idea is admirable but the practicality is not there. First of all, there's the issue of Electromagnetic Interference, one of the reasons cases are alum. or have alum. built on/in them, in the first place. Also the metal draws heat out of the case while fans suck in and ventilate. The corrugated box really doesn't serve as any kind of advantage in this this computer probably runs components considerably warmer than a premium built aluminum case. The second problem is the

49.Feb 5th, 2009G.

Basically, the six metal boards enclosing the PC are replaced by some layers of cardboard - all the components inside stay the same?!?! Sorry, but I can not really see the big environmental benefit. Please help me to understand it. Usually, metal is melted anyway and whether you can recycle the inner components, which are the real valuable materials, depends on the design intelligence of the producer and on country specific waste management regulations. hmmm ...

50.Feb 5th, 2009meatwork

Too many issues with this idea. All it takes is one component catching fire to set the whole case ablaze. Electronics doesn't like dust. Cardboard, certainly makes quite a bit of dust. Cardboard also absorbs a decent amount of moisture. Electronics doesn't like moisture.

51.Feb 5th, 2009MikeDC

Mining, manufacturing and shipping of aluminum

52.Feb 5th, 2009FA

LOVE IT!!! This will obviously cut costs... is there anyway you could work with international agencies and help schools in third world countries with this great invention?... Maybe for every 10 sold in the USA one can be donated somewhere else?... Keep it Green peeps!... Keep the love flowing. Peace Out!

53.Feb 5th, 2009Matt

@taylor I don't think the target user for this project is people who upgrade on their own, or require high powered machines. It’s for the users who go to stores and buy computers, then 3 years later throw them in the trash, or recycle them (which is a huge user group). In order to recycle a computer, they must be dismantled, parts separated (plastic, metal, components), melted down, ect…

54.Feb 5th, 2009Vas Obeyesekere

very very cool. there are technical bugs to be worked out maybe, btut the core metaphor is still undeniably strong.

55.Feb 5th, 2009WeaselHoo

Wow! what a cool idea! It would be great if the world's computers could be replaced by cardboard ones, it would save a lot of energy, material and time!

56.Feb 5th, 2009Amanda

Hmm, not sold I'm concerned with durability, static, dust, fires if a part overheats...

57.Feb 5th, 2009Matt

i agree with some of the comments that say EM interference would be an issue. However, recycling is not the be-all, end-all of being "green" or "eco-friendly." yes, metal computer cases can be melted down and re-formed, but this takes a huge amount of energy, and there is a large amount of plastic in most computer cases that can't be recycled. Also, let's assume for a minute that not everyone recycles. i would rather see a cardboard computer case in a landfill than a meta

58.Feb 6th, 2009Eran

Cool, but ...impractical, inherent safety hazards and not realy innovative.

59.Feb 6th, 2009dyzajn

Hey, great. Please make it creative commons a publis your drawings and than it''ll be really green. I love it. Better than "green" MacBook Pro from solid alluminium :))))) I believe it'll work at least for two years what is approximate durability of computers. Send me tutorial how to make it, please

60.Feb 6th, 2009Doneski

what happens when I spill my pina colada on it?

61.Feb 6th, 2009RAHIAJ

Moisture can create problem to corragated boxes... dont think it will last long... however love the idea... unique

62.Feb 6th, 2009David

Very cool concept, but it could never be legally marketed. As Andrew pointed out, the metal casing provides electromagnetic compliance and interference shielding. At a minimum, the interior of the case would need to be lined with a metal foil, wire mesh, or plastic with a conductive magnesium coating. Otherwise, this would certainly fail to meet EU and FCC radiated radio frequency emissions standards.

63.Feb 6th, 2009Tim

Very cool. Love the concept. The ease of disassembly, and reduction of parts/labor sold me. Cardboard is a minimal aspect to the project, the big picture is far more important. Great job Brenden.

64.Feb 7th, 2009Rob Chant

I'd love to buy one! The only drawback I can see if that, if put into production, the cardboard of the box would probably have to be totally soaked with fire retardant.

65.Feb 8th, 2009Fangu37

Fire retardents (e.g. PBDEs) are a far greater threat to the environment than a bit of metal. This reminds me of the cardboard bicycle - total fail.

66.Feb 8th, 2009Kayla

Carboard or perhaps bamboo for durability? Excellent thought process.

67.Feb 8th, 2009A P

I want it as a case only solution, to make some net pc's from used parts . I only need nice designet first and the last plate, all inside plates are easy and fun to do part for children. The resulting computer have very big chances to be made 100% from used parts, because the case is very flexible for non standart parts and for the parts from diferent generations of pc's/servers. The result is exelet gift for the people who need a pc only, not the newest one. Also it is very nice therapy for IT

68.Feb 8th, 2009Veshengro

Bitt You wrote: You realize that computer cases are made of metal in order to defeat electronic interference, right? And that this is mandated (in the US) by the FCC?... I do not know where that idea of yours comes from for cases have been partly metal and partly plastic for many years now and also - laptops are, primarily, plastic, as far as the cases go. No shielding used as far as I can see. However, all computers cause RFI, whether shielded or not. Try turning on a shortwave radio next t

69.Feb 8th, 2009Saul

Isn't this the same concept as "Cardboard Case Computer"? Why does this one have all the votes? Prettier picture? I have issues with this - cardboard also requires a lot of processes to produce, can't be indefinitely recycled, and either would catch fire, or would have to be coated with flame-retardants that would greatly reduce any "green" benefit.

70.Feb 8th, 2009CADshack

I really like this idea. Although paper is not as recycleable as say steel or aluminum, more trees can be planted. More than is needed, which could offset cost and the effects of the energy needed to produce the product. I say it is a great idea!

71.Feb 9th, 2009LLcoolD

Have you thought about all the dust that's going to build up between the corrugations? I'm getting a headache just thinking about cleaning that.

72.Feb 10th, 2009lydia yang

i don't know how i feel about this product. i think its headed in the right direction, but at the same time i would see this computer getting damaged so way quicker. with my experience with cardboard the ends always get bent and such; i don't think this would be sustainable for light damage, if someone was to hit or run into this hard enough there would be damage on the cardboard. i do think this is a interesting idea and a good one, but i think there could be a better usage than cardboard.

73.Feb 10th, 2009ZK

74.Feb 10th, 2009Dan G TECUCI

Good job, Brenden!

75.Feb 11th, 2009T-SAY

Wow, I've neve seen it.

76.Feb 11th, 20091VE

This could burn your house even easier!? Such a bad and dangerous idea!

77.Feb 11th, 20091VE

Will never pass the FCC or CE! It could catch fire easily from a spark from the computer parts! So think always about the safety, otherwise you can harm someone

78.Feb 12th, 2009Steve

Many people, including Andrew (#48) have hit on the limitations of this design. I don't agree that the main reason computer components are not recycled is because it is hard to dismantle metal computers. Companies like Dell and HP have been making it very easy to replace parts in the field, for some time now. The main problem with computers is the motherboards, hard drives, and power supplies themselves are not easy to safely disassemble and recover the component materials...

79.Feb 13th, 2009Mark

Material arguments aside. This does open up the door for quick and cheap creation of customized computer cases. It is just like rapid 3-D prototyping creating things layer by layer and sticking them to create any shape you want to.

80.Feb 13th, 2009Marco

Hmmm, one single cup of coffee spilled onto your pc and you're done.

81.Feb 15th, 2009Lovi

Wouldn't wood, which is the raw material be more sustainable (longer lasting) and stand usage better than cardboard? Imagine how this would look after one year of daily use...

82.Feb 16th, 2009lM ll lL lL S

Very awesome work man! Be sure to check out Sirtified's interview with the designer of the Recompute, Brenden Macaluso.

83.Feb 18th, 2009Randall Puzzitiello

AWESOME...only word i have for it. Ive been working with cardboard a lot lately and its such a versatile material. Takes a really good approach to try and define what a "green" computer should do to be better from cradle to grave. Great idea, great aesthetic, great project...A

84.Feb 19th, 2009Stacey

This is an interesting idea. It will be interesting to see how it works out in the long run.

85.Feb 19th, 2009Ron Carbaugh

Excellent example of removing metal waste and using a product (cardboard) that needs (and is) recycled. I have long wondered why more thought hasn't been given to the actual packaging of the componets of computer hardware. You have done an excellent job and for anyone who looks at the process you went through laying out all the componets on a flat board to arrive at this packaging process will have to agree that this is an excellent concept and I say job well done.

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