By Chris Johnson, TechCrunch EditorA little over a year ago, we covered how we designed and built a pair of switch plate cases for our MacBook Pro 15.5 Ultrabook.
We had built a prototype that looked very similar to the original design, but didn’t quite work.
Since then, we’ve updated our MacBook to the new 12-inch MacBook Pro and the new 15-inch model.
But, like all things Apple, the new MacBook Pro design is subject to change.
The new design allows for better ventilation in the bottom, which is particularly important for people who are prone to allergies.
We’re also introducing a new, larger case to accommodate both the new and the previous models.
We’ve updated the design to better fit the new machine, and we’re also offering a $25 upgrade to get the new design with the case and additional features.
Read moreHere’s how we did it:1.
Build the new case.
We sourced an original design that we felt was perfect for our new MacBook, and it’s available on Amazon.
The original design was made for a MacBook Pro 13.3, but it’s also available for many other Macs, and for those who want a more rugged design, we recommend that you check out our review of the MacBook Pro 14-inch.2.
Create a new cover for the case.
Here’s how:1) Cut off a piece of aluminum foil, a sheet of aluminum, or a piece from a plastic or aluminum case.
It doesn’t have to be the same thickness as the original case.
The thinner the aluminum, the better.2) Cut the foil off, then use your fingers to create a template on a flat surface.3) Create the template by using a sharpie pen to draw lines and shapes in the aluminum foil.4) Using the template, cut out a section of aluminum with a 1/4″ or less gap.
You can also use a piece measuring a few inches long, if you have more space.
We didn’t do this with the aluminum we sourced, so it might take some practice to figure out exactly where you need to cut off the aluminum.5) We made a template for each side of the aluminum piece, but you can use a ruler to draw out a rectangle on the template and then use a pencil to cut the rectangle in half.6) Once you have a rectangle cut out, use a small ruler to create the template.7) Now, draw a line across the piece of foil and mark the location of the line with a marker.8) Next, mark the spot where you will use the aluminum strip, so you can cut out the strips later.9) Using a ruler, cut a rectangular shape out of the template (or, for thinner aluminum, a piece you cut off earlier).10) Using an X-Acto knife, cut the aluminum strips in half and place them on the aluminum template.11) Using scissors, cut away the excess aluminum from the template until you can remove the strips.12) You’ll have two strips of aluminum: one with the line cut out and one without.13) Use a large screwdriver to carefully remove the two strips.14) Repeat with the other two strips, leaving the template with the two excess strips.15) Cut away the strips, then reassemble the case, making sure to cover the aluminum with the new aluminum strip.16) If you don’t want the aluminum pieces to go together, you can mark where the template will be and mark a space where the strips will go.
If you do not want to have to mark a separate space, you should reasume using the template to mark the strip’s location.17) Use the aluminum to create your new cover.18) Now you have two covers for your new MacBook: one for the original and one for a thinner aluminum.19) The aluminum cover for our thinner aluminum case looks better than the original cover.
We tested this out on a few different MacBooks, including a 13-inch, 13-incher, and 13-in-1.20) For the thin aluminum cover, we used a template to cut out strips that matched the dimensions of the original aluminum.21) For a thinner case, we created a template using the original template, but then cut out some extra strips of thin aluminum.22) We didn (or didn’t) use the new template to make the new cover, but we’ll update this post once we get the case to work on all models.