Jan 22, 2016 | By Alec

Though 3D printing is about as futuristic as it gets, we just love to see it being used to recreate “outdated” technologies. Remember these 3D printed Gameboy tributes? After all, it’s always good to be reminded of where our technologies has come from. Swiss designer Erich Styger has just shared a project that absolutely captures that mindset, but is fun and functional as well. He has designed a 3D printable charging station for his cool Apple Watch that is exactly shaped like the classic Apple Macintosh computer from decades ago. A fantastic tech tribute that even serves a purpose, what more could you need?

Erich Styger is a veteran engineer with a love for tinkering who shares his designs on a blog called MC on Eclipse. As he explains, engineering has been in soul for more than twenty years. “I started my professional career as a compiler engineer and  I always loved to get down to the bits and bytes. When I had to decide about what I should study at the ETH Zürich, I was bouncing back and forward between Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. While finally I ended up doing Computer Science, I always had one foot in the domain of Electrical Engineering,” he says.

He thus has plenty of experience with technological progress, and Styger even remembers the classic Apple Mac from all those years ago. “One of the first machines I used for development many years ago was a classic Apple Macintosh computer. My days of development with Pascal and Modula-2 are long gone. But, with the availability of 3D printers I can print a Classic Mac!,” he says of his latest project. But more than just a cool desk-filling tribute, this is actually functional as an Apple Watch charging station as well. “The watch display is used as the display of the Mac computer. With the Apple watch charging sideways it turns the clock mode and shows the date and time. And, you gotta love that retro-green color!” he says of his 3D printed Apple Watch charger.

As he explains, he actually based this design on an existing Thingiverse model. This version comes with two parts, an inner one to hold the charger, and an outer shell that gives it the classic Mac shape. 3D printing is relatively easy, and Styger used an Ultimaker 2 3D printer. It 3D prints without rafts, but with supports, and he used a resolution of 0.1 mm and a 10% infill. “I printed it from the bottom to the top which required a lot of "supports" to be printed. For the next one, I'd be better off printing from the top to the bottom of the computer (I’m learning as I go),” he says of the result.

If you want, you could sand down the surface of the 3D print and paint it in a color of your choosing, but Styger was happy to keep the existing surface the way it is. “Other than that, it looks cool and works great!” he says. If you’re interested in building one yourself, you can find the downloadable designs for the 3D printed Apple Watch Charger on Thingiverse here.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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