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3d printing a Frankenpad, (Warning: small image)

Old(er) Thinkpads with New(er) Intestines: X62 / T50 / T70 / etc.
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portsample
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3d printing a Frankenpad, (Warning: small image)

#1 Post by portsample » Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:26 am

Checking around on www.yeggi.com, www.makexyz.com, etc. I see a lot of 3d printing projects
to create a variety of replacement parts as well as minor external mods for Thinkpads.

I have been wondering about the possibility of 3d printing a base and midboard, (Figure 1)

Image

that would fit a modern laptop mother board and have the mounts for a classic TP upper case
(T61, 600s, 770, A30/A31, etc.) that would include palmrest, keypad, lid, and bezel as well as cutouts for usb ports, ultrabay, etc. Cutouts would be defined by mobo ports and not the historic machine. Clearly bios mods for the LCD would be required or a screen upgrade.

Disclaimer: I'm not a 3d printer guy, but I do see their potential to engineer innovative tech.

This is my three beer fantasy for this Saturday night.
Last edited by portsample on Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
T61, 14.1", X9000 2.8ghz, Intel GM965, 8gb RAM, 250gb SSD, 1tb SATA Ubay, openSuse 15.1/Win8
(2) T61, 14.1", T9500 2.6ghz, Intel GM965, 4gb RAM, 250gb SSD, openSuse 15.1/Win8 (spares)

xytech
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Re: 3d printing a Frankenpad, (Warning: small image)

#2 Post by xytech » Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:39 am

There has been 3D printed parts for frankenpad before. I think the one that I remember would be the T25p, a T480 mobo with T25 kb and 4K display. Some internal parts were 3D printed. Imo, it wouldn't look particularly good with 3D printed parts though.

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axur-delmeria
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Re: 3d printing a Frankenpad, (Warning: small image)

#3 Post by axur-delmeria » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:34 am

My main concern with 3D printing is structural rigidity. The T60/61 series has a AZ91 magnesium alloy inner frame, is there a 3D printed material that has similar properties and weight?
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

Thinkpad4by3
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Re: 3d printing a Frankenpad, (Warning: small image)

#4 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:05 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:34 am
My main concern with 3D printing is structural rigidity. The T60/61 series has a AZ91 magnesium alloy inner frame, is there a 3D printed material that has similar properties and weight?
The markforged printer had embedded carbon fiber strands which I know has properties superior to aluminum but I do not know about magnesium.
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

portsample
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Re: 3d printing a Frankenpad, (Warning: small image)

#5 Post by portsample » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:00 pm

Roger on the rigidity concerns. Might need to be a taller profile with added material to account for this. Final machine will likely not be confused w/a stock unit.
This is an idea that has been bubbling up in my monkey brain for several years now. Other details like bios in a modern motherboard not properly recognizing an old IBM stock TP keyboard is another concern I have.
T61, 14.1", X9000 2.8ghz, Intel GM965, 8gb RAM, 250gb SSD, 1tb SATA Ubay, openSuse 15.1/Win8
(2) T61, 14.1", T9500 2.6ghz, Intel GM965, 4gb RAM, 250gb SSD, openSuse 15.1/Win8 (spares)

axur-delmeria
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Re: 3d printing a Frankenpad, (Warning: small image)

#6 Post by axur-delmeria » Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:30 pm

portsample wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:00 pm
Other details like bios in a modern motherboard not properly recognizing an old IBM stock TP keyboard is another concern I have.
Unfortunately, newer Thinkpads use a different keyboard connector.

AFAIK the T60 up to the T430 (including the X60 up to X230) used a single type of connector, but even then they're not 100% compatible with each other (which I can attest to, having tested an X61 keyboard on an X220).

T410 keyboard connector http://www.kawakami-ca.com/images/t410_ ... wer_up.jpg
I dunno what it's called, but it's a high-density dual-inline connector.

For comparison, a T440 keyboard has a bog standard flex cable that mates with a ZIF connector. Note that the keyboard doesn't include the Trackpoint buttons.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

L29Ah
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Re: 3d printing a Frankenpad, (Warning: small image)

#7 Post by L29Ah » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:42 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:34 am
My main concern with 3D printing is structural rigidity. The T60/61 series has a AZ91 magnesium alloy inner frame, is there a 3D printed material that has similar properties and weight?
No.
51nb X210 with vladisslav2011's EC mod; X230 with coreboot and nitrocaster's FHD mod as a backup; R500 for guests; T60 just for the looks.

flyingfishfinger
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Re: 3d printing a Frankenpad, (Warning: small image)

#8 Post by flyingfishfinger » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:56 am

We 3D print a bunch of stuff at work with a Form2 printer. It's one of the better liquid printers that do plastic-type materials so we've got a decent bit of experience with it.

I'm currently looking at a 1/2" thick plate of their "tough" engineering resin that's about 4"-4", and it's visibly warped. That will be the major problem with most resins, they'll bend / warp as they dry.

Nylon from Fictiv prints pretty well and hasn't warped for me yet but I haven't printed large parts.

Sintered aluminum (https://www.shapeways.com/materials/aluminum) may work, but one would still need some innovative ribbing to print something as large as a screen bezel / base.

There are people who do their PhDs on this stuff, it might be worth asking someone and then do some experimentation. I'm guessing this could be done eventually but would require a lot of designwork, tweaking and $$$.

R

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