Skip to main content

Student Designs Cardboard PC Casing

A University of Houston student, Brenden Macaluso, has designed a computer cardboard casing that could be both environmentally safe and extremely unstable at the same time. The cardboard-housed computer is the result of a graduate thesis, and addresses three issues: how are things manufactured, how they are used, and how they are ultimately disposed. Macaluso is now actually talking with manufacturers and retailers to bring the "Recompute" to the market sometime before the holiday season.

The Houston Chronicle reports that the cardboard housing requires less time, labor, and parts to produce. It can be assembled without fasteners and screws, and will feature fewer parts to dump into landfills. Macaluso said that the case takes advantage of the cardboard's corrugated traits, ventilating the entire rig. To reduce the overall amount of heat, the power supply and the motherboard are isolated from each other, and of course the processor has a built-in cooling fan.

As for problems with trapped dust, Macaluso said that the cardboard casing can be sprayed with air for quick cleaning. As for spills, Macaluso assumes that consumers will clean up the mess before the spill gets out of hand; this factor seems the most dangerous in accidental situations, sparking a fire that could possibly consume the PC's paper-based outer shell in mere seconds. According to the Houston Chronicle, there are even questions about the case being sustainable.

But with manufacturers taking notice, this cardboard case may be sturdier than it appears, if not a great conversation piece when friends or family come to visit. "It is controversial," admits EunSook Kwon, the director of the industrial design program at the University of Houston who oversaw Macaluso's thesis project. "I think that's the beauty of this project."