Design Loop: Cardboard laptop case

Idea change!

My last post was about the creation of a cardboard lamp. Since then, I saw that a few other students had started their projects in the same topic, and I’m not that interested in it anymore, so I’ve decided to go in a new direction. This new idea was actually the first one I had, then I went to lamp, and now I’m back. Anyway, it’s a cardboard laptop case instead.

I’m excited about this project because I think it will be easier than the lamp, and I might actually use it. I like it when art is functional.

Design Steps so Far

So I’ve started the design process with a mock up in CAD

laptop case design in CAD

the black pieces are styrofoam inserts that come in the packaging when the laptop is shipped.

The body of the box consists of a back, 10 inside layer pieces of cardboard, a front, a top flap to close it, and a handle.

I’m planning on making the top flap close with a magnet, and the handle our of some scrap fabric. Originally, for the handle I was thinking of gluing a piece of fabric between the layers, but that would create problems.I got the idea for the new handle attachment to the case to be hole from a photo like this:

Idea for laptop case handle attachment. At:

So far I’ve selected my materials from the plethora of cardboard available in bins around the engineering center.

I also learned that the ITLL does not allow us to cut cardboard in the laser cutter, so I cut out a paper trace of my pieces to transfer to the cardboard and cut with a box knife.

laptop case cut-outs for cardboard


This is how my design loop has gone so far:

Cardboard laptop case design loop

Still to do

  • cut out all the pieces
  • find a proper kind of glue to get them all together
  • make a scrap fabric handle
  • do some decorating in steam-punk style. I like the steampunk because to me it represents both engineering and art. When I look at gears, I feel proud that I know something about how they work that other people don’t.

Things I could use Your Suggestions on:

  • what kind of glue should I use?
  • any suggestions as to how to make it a little bit water repellent?


cardboard, laptop case, laser cutter, Steampunk
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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Great idea! Laptop cases are expensive and it’s so hard to find one that fits nicely , my project also uses cardboard and cutting them is quite time consuming, hope to see your final product!

  • Turned out really nice! I like the originality of this design and how you worked with the resources we have around campus. The laser cutter would have been perfect for this project– totally a bummer that we can’t cut cardboard in it. I think you should still try out the lamp idea 🙂 Especially because you can sell it for a lot!


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