Custom Case for Zenith ZKB-7 aka Eazy PC

User avatar
Lalaland124

29 Mar 2021, 20:50

I recently ordered a Zenith Eazy PC and to my surprising DHL (my local post service) managed to not only destroy the glorious keyboard, but also completely wreck the PC itself. (Both of them were extraordinarily well packaged)..

Spoiler:
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Anyways, I figured I could try to replace the top plastic case of the keyboard with a new one, since it would almost be impossible (correct me if I'm wrong) to glue those tiny pieces together again.

The first thing that came to my mind was a wooden case, but I don't think that it would fit the Zenith aesthetics very well..
So naturally my second thought was to weld my own metal case, which imo would look really nice.

Has anyone ever tried this, I can't really find a build log like this..

I'm open to suggestions for a metal case design or maybe techniques to glue the old plastic together again, as I really want to make something special out of this broken beauty.

Thanks! :)

User avatar
ddrfraser1

29 Mar 2021, 20:53

That sucks. Unfortunately making a full size case from scratch is very hard but not impossible. Trickiest thing for me is getting the cutout not to rub up against the keys. Tolerances are super tight. Check you my still in progress Xerox build for my method.

viewtopic.php?t=23751

You could always build out of wood and paint. That would look and sound nice.

User avatar
ddrfraser1

29 Mar 2021, 21:06

Another option instead of the sheet metal option is to get it CNC milled.

I drew this up in CAD and took it to Nashville CNC and they milled this for me for $25.

https://youtu.be/7dtQqpjKWZA

Bear in mind, even doing this, it’s still super tricky not to have at least one side/row of keys rub.

Last option would be to run a group buy for a CNCd Alu case, in which case, I’d totally be in! Totally 💯🙋🏻‍♂️

User avatar
Lalaland124

29 Mar 2021, 21:31

Thanks for the input guys! Yeah considering the precision that would be necessary I think CNC machining is the way to go.. Thing is that I have 0 experience with that and although I am somewhat good in CAD software I have no clue how to achieve the shape the Zenith has by CNC machining.. Especially the unibody design - how do manufacturers even do that lol... If I am able to succeed with this thing I will definitely upload the files etc :) (and maybe run a gb :D )

User avatar
ddrfraser1

29 Mar 2021, 21:36

Easiest thing to do would be to go to Keyboard layout editor, put in your layout, upload the Json file into http://builder.swillkb.com/ which will output plate and case files. Take the top case file and import it into CAD and then adjust the outer dimensions to what you need. That’ll work for the top plate at least. As far as the three dimensional unibody, good luck! :D

User avatar
Lalaland124

29 Mar 2021, 21:45

I will definitely try this thanks! I will also try to talk to some companies if they can help me out and see what they would suggest doing (maybe I can get the exact dimensions of the keyboard somewhere online who knows)
Thanks I will keep you updated :D

User avatar
Lalaland124

29 Mar 2021, 22:46

I think letting someone laser cut the metal and then welding it myself is the best option there is, because CNC milling will most likely cost way too much and with the laser cutter I would be able to get very precise pieces so I'm gonna try that for now.

User avatar
ddrfraser1

29 Mar 2021, 23:54

If you go the metal route, yes. Looking forward to seeing the end result!

User avatar
Lalaland124

30 Mar 2021, 09:13

Would you do it all shiny or make it have a rather rough industrial metal look :)?

User avatar
Lalaland124

30 Mar 2021, 09:24

I also had the idea to 3d print a big a** case + cut some sheet metal for each side, that I can attach to the flat pieces of the plastic case. That way I don't have to worry about tight tolerances when cutting the metal myself and 3d printing shouldn't be too expensive I guess..

User avatar
ddrfraser1

30 Mar 2021, 10:41

Lalaland124 wrote:
30 Mar 2021, 09:13
Would you do it all shiny or make it have a rather rough industrial metal look :)?
Industrial might look better IMO, but it really depends on your vision and what you think will look good with those keycaps.
Lalaland124 wrote:
30 Mar 2021, 09:24
I also had the idea to 3d print a big a** case + cut some sheet metal for each side, that I can attach to the flat pieces of the plastic case. That way I don't have to worry about tight tolerances when cutting the metal myself and 3d printing shouldn't be too expensive I guess..
Yep, that would probably be easier and look cool. If you can print some thing that big then great.

User avatar
Go-Kart

30 Mar 2021, 11:44

Lalaland124 wrote:
29 Mar 2021, 20:50
Spoiler:
I recently ordered a Zenith Eazy PC and to my surprising DHL (my local post service) managed to not only destroy the glorious keyboard, but also completely wreck the PC itself. (Both of them were extraordinarily well packaged)..



IMG_20210325_121105.jpg
IMG-20210320-WA0007.jpg



Anyways, I figured I could try to replace the top plastic case of the keyboard with a new one, since it would almost be impossible (correct me if I'm wrong) to glue those tiny pieces together again.

The first thing that came to my mind was a wooden case, but I don't think that it would fit the Zenith aesthetics very well..
So naturally my second thought was to weld my own metal case, which imo would look really nice.

Has anyone ever tried this, I can't really find a build log like this..

I'm open to suggestions for a metal case design or maybe techniques to glue the old plastic together again, as I really want to make something special out of this broken beauty.

Thanks! :)
Those animals! Such a shame. Although, I too am interested to see the results if you go down the metal route.

User avatar
TNT

30 Mar 2021, 18:14

My Z-150's case had a tiny piece chipped off of one edge and I had no problems glueing it back together. Just used normal "Sekundenkleber" and I can hardly notice the spot now.

However, this is an entirely different beast here. But why not try it out at least, given you still have all of the shards?

Man, this sucks so much :( Have you reported the issue? Normally, DHL packages are insured up to 500€, maybe you can at least get your money back.

User avatar
Lalaland124

30 Mar 2021, 18:27

I will try my best putting that thing back together, and I did bring the package back to DHL. I really hope they give some sort of refund...(and that they don't brake it completely when I receive it again..) Maybe Sekundenkleber will do the trick who knows :)
But I got some early renders of a few design ideas (rough sketches) which I'm gonna upload in the next few days :D

User avatar
ddrfraser1

30 Mar 2021, 18:51

Lalaland124 wrote:
30 Mar 2021, 18:27
Sekundenkleber
German is an awesome language

User avatar
Lalaland124

30 Mar 2021, 22:46

It is :D

So here are a few veryyyy rough renders of how I imagined the 3d printed case design. Please keep in mind that I didn't have the dimensions of the Zenith board, hence it's just a rough model.

Let me know what you think, I believe that this option could be done rather easier than the full metal welded one.

Spoiler:
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User avatar
Lalaland124

30 Mar 2021, 22:55

I just noticed some things aren't placed symmetrical - will fix that :)

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ddrfraser1

30 Mar 2021, 23:30

Heilige Scheiße! Das ist wunderbar! :o :D I think you better start a group buy.

User avatar
TNT

31 Mar 2021, 03:25

Looks awesome! How will the different rectangular pieces be fitted together? I just realized you can even choose to use a different badge, like the ultra-rare one on the INTEQ Z-150 :D

headphone_jack

31 Mar 2021, 06:21

Lalaland124 wrote:
30 Mar 2021, 22:46
It is :D

So here are a few veryyyy rough renders of how I imagined the 3d printed case design. Please keep in mind that I didn't have the dimensions of the Zenith board, hence it's just a rough model.

Let me know what you think, I believe that this option could be done rather easier than the full metal welded one.

Spoiler:
a3.jpg
a2.jpg
a1.jpg
Make one for the ZKB2 and I think you've got a solid few people willing to pay a kidney for one. Consider me sold!

User avatar
Lalaland124

31 Mar 2021, 08:31

TNT wrote:
31 Mar 2021, 03:25
How will the different rectangular pieces be fitted together?
"Sekundenkleber" 8-)

All jokes aside, thanks for the feedback, I didn't expect people would like it so much :D
I will render an all black version as well, I think this could even look better.

TNT do you mean how the metal pieces will fit on the plastic? Well I have a few ideas, first one is indeed some sort of bombastic glue, which would hold them in place. Second one would be some sort of screw system, but I'm trying to avoid that because it could ruin the looks. Im hoping that the cable cutout which I will have to make will fit the overall design as well (and that the beige colour matches with the metal).

If all works out, maybe I will start a group buy, would be interesting :) I guess I just have to find someone now that can print such a big case. Cool thing is that the metal pieces in theory can be really thin and therefore cut with easy to get tools and high precision.

I'll keep you updated :D

User avatar
Lalaland124

31 Mar 2021, 09:10

Well isn't that something :D

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User avatar
TNT

31 Mar 2021, 12:30

That looks amazing! Misunderstood your design at first, that's why I asked about the "rectangular pieces".

So the all-black one is just without the metal sheets?

User avatar
Muirium
µ

31 Mar 2021, 12:48

Nice renders. I've a Z-150 100-1860 in good shape that could either use one of these, or be your backup if it falls through! :lol:

User avatar
Lalaland124

31 Mar 2021, 12:54

TNT wrote:
31 Mar 2021, 12:30
So the all-black one is just without the metal sheets?
You can't really see it on the renders but the idea is the same with the silver one: The base is a 3d printed plastic case and on every flat side you attach a piece of metal which can basically have every colour.

I will do more renders and I think then it's easier to get the design :)
Muirium wrote:
31 Mar 2021, 12:48
Nice renders. I've a Z-150 100-1860 in good shape that could either use one of these, or be your backup if it falls through! :lol:
Well I just got my broken one back from the DHL check up and they managed to break it even more, so maybe (depends if I can glue it back together) I will contact you later because I need some dimensions of the real thing that I currently can't really measure because it's just tiny pieces of plastic :lol:

User avatar
TNT

31 Mar 2021, 13:06

Ahhhhhh, what the hell are these guys doing? Did you at least get a refund? Just hearing this makes me physically recoil.

Is the eaZy-pc board any different from the black label Z-150? If not, I can also help out with dimensions or pictures and so on if needed.

User avatar
Lalaland124

31 Mar 2021, 13:18

TNT wrote:
31 Mar 2021, 13:06
Ahhhhhh, what the hell are these guys doing? Did you at least get a refund? Just hearing this makes me physically recoil.
Well now you can imagine my face when I opened the box... :oops:
As of right now I don't really know, they will contact the person who shipped it first and then we will see.
TNT wrote:
31 Mar 2021, 13:06
Is the eaZy-pc board any different from the black label Z-150? If not, I can also help out with dimensions or pictures and so on if needed.
I thought about this, but I am not so sure. I will look into it and if yes that would be awesome, I would pm you then as well :)

User avatar
Muirium
µ

31 Mar 2021, 13:34

I pulled it out, so feel free to PM me for any measurements you need. I want to see this Darth Vader upgrade come to fruition!

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ddrfraser1

31 Mar 2021, 15:35

I'm actually swooning. Once you're done can you at least make the files available so I can take this to my local Noldo smith?

User avatar
Lalaland124

31 Mar 2021, 16:04

Of course I will try to provide you with the files, maybe I can really start a group buy depends on the quality of the case :)
Muirium wrote:
31 Mar 2021, 13:34
I pulled it out, so feel free to PM me for any measurements you need.
Thanks I will!
Muirium wrote:
31 Mar 2021, 13:34
I want to see this Darth Vader upgrade come to fruition!
It would indeed be cool to have a "Skywalker" and "Vader" edition :D

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