A home for your Apple Watch, inside a two-inch Mac Classic.
Image: Charles Mangin
Early Macintosh computers were a lot of things—heavy, boxy, the color of your grandparents' fridge—but they weren't exactly "cute." These tiny 3D-printed replicas by Charles Mangin, however, are dang adorable.
Mangin made his first 3D model in 2013: A classic Macintosh. "I was trying to learn the software and process of modeling so I could try my hand at 3D printing," he told me in an email. "I chose a Mac Plus to recreate, since I had been collecting and hacking on vintage Macs for several years up to that point. Since then, I've done a few non-Apple miniatures and Raspberry Pi cases as custom orders, but the source for my models come primarily from my own collection, which consists of Apple hardware of various eras."
Uninterested in making another plastic tchotchke to sit on a shelf, Mangin turned that model into a dock for the square sixth-generation iPod Nano. "It was a perfect fit for the screen of the tiny Mac, for displaying album art while playing music or a clock for bedside viewing." When the Apple Watch came out, he modified it to fit the watch and its charger dimensions.
The Apple Watch dock was his most popular design download on Thingiverse, as well as his best-selling item on Etsy—recently, however, Etsy pulled this item from his shop. He said he's currently trying to convince Etsy that other, similar models, like this one from Elago or this from Alibaba, are copies of his creation, and not the other way around. If Elago copies his design, he said he's fine with that—his design is licensed under Creative Commons—the company should add attribution when sharing their own model. Etsy did not immediately respond to Motherboard's request for comment.
He's still working on retro computer and peripheral replicas: Next on his list of to-create models are a phone care based on the Newton MessagePad, possibly for the next iPhone.