TECH

Epic Hackintosh Project Gets 3D Printed Mac Plus Case

Original Macintosh Plus [left], Kevin Knockey' s recreation [right]

One ​​Apple enthusiast managed to create a Hackintosh that looks very similar to the Macintosh Plus, thanks to a significant amount of 3D printing.

Some Hackintosh projects attempt to give users the ability to try earlier versions of the Apple Mac operating system without using the original hardware. While users may be looking for older Macs in question, there is no guarantee that they will be fully functional or at least in any form of usable condition.

Enthusiasts can fix broken Apple hardware to get that experience, but sometimes the efforts take completely different paths. For example, one attempt to upgrade a vintage iMac G4 by adding M1 hardware from a Mac mini.

One project by designer Kevin Nocki, posted on YouTube on Monday, created a Hackintosh that carefully recreated the original Macintosh hardware. The effort required extensive 3D modeling, 3D printing and electronics.

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A few months ago, Noki purchased a Macintosh Plus that was not working due to a power supply failure and a missing floppy drive. Considered a rare find in Germany, it was decided that gutting the Macintosh Plus of hardware and replacing the internals with modern components such as the Raspberry Pi would be a waste.

Instead, the YouTube user decided to wait to purchase a replacement floppy drive in order to properly repair the Macintosh in the future. In the meantime, with the hardware available, it was decided that this was a good opportunity to make a full-fledged standalone Hackintosh that imitated the look of the original.

3D printed case in sections [Youtube/Kevin Noki]

Using the original as a measurement guide, Noki recreated the case dimensions using 3D printing as part of a project that lasted several months. Printed piece by piece, assembled, filled with filler and suitably treated, the final body looked very close to the original.

It also included plenty of detail, including case texture, embossed symbols, and recreations of the decals and badges that adorned the original.

Classic on the outside, modern on the inside

On the inside, Noki added a used HP thin client device purchased for €12 ($13) on eBay, as well as a disassembled 10-inch display from a supermarket cash register purchased for €15 ($16), power supply and other necessary electrical items inside.

The thin client itself runs Linux, but it also has a Mini vMac emulator that runs customized source code.

A USB floppy drive was used for the project, converting it to an auto-eject version using a stepper motor controlled by an Arduino.

Although thin client ports were accessible from the rear, special attention was paid to peripherals. A homemade converter board allowed the original Macintosh mouse and Apple ADB keyboards to be connected without any further modification.

Complete functional version of Macintosh Plus [Youtube/Kevin Noki]

The battery door on the back hides an SD card reader and several usable USB ports for storage expansion and transferring files from another computer. Noki also recreated floppy disks for the project, including a MacPaint image, as well as System 6, which booted from the floppy drive itself.

The end result can best be described as a high-fidelity, full-scale recreation of Apple's own hardware, renamed Brewintosh.

Although Noki has worked hard to create 3D files for printing the case, it is unlikely that they will be made public any time soon. Knocki says a legal expert will need to be consulted before releasing them due to potential legal ramifications and the risk of Apple lawyers pursuing the project.

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