How I modified Mac mini IO 3D Object.

Jun 13, 2017
i3 7100
RX 560
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook Pro
  3. Mac mini
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS

Using my sphere grid, I selected and copied these into a new scene. I roughly know that I can fit five of Apples holes at the size I want.


This how they're aligned to the print area, the lower spheres go below the print area equal to the radius of the spheres. The ones above sit just above the surface. Ive noticed in Tinker that objects can move sometimes, so I check in orthographic view to make sure everything is lined up.


Now I can add a block thats slightly larger than the area of the spheres. The height will have to be adjusted, but essentially you want to expose the sphere radius above and below the block.


Here is the view from the side exposing the spheres.


Check that everything lines up underneath.


The view from the top, the block is slightly bigger than the holes were going to cut. Good idea to have a bit of overlap for grouping later on.


I set all the spheres to 'Hole", this creates a cut out, that when grouped with the block will remove the area occupied by the spheres.


Looks good from above, equal distance between Apples holes.


In this scene I've added @phunguss original file that he created for his Mac mini mod. Above it you can see the piece I'm going to combine to replace the vents.


Using a block hole thats equal in area to the space occupied by the vents. This will be used as my cutting piece.


Checking underneath, to see if the angled vents are covered.


And cut, or group. The piece of grill is a little smaller but it can be scaled to fit.


Moving it into position you can see the overlap, the gap will be filled in with another block. In this layout the gap is underneath, I changed it to above so that another 3D printed shroud can rest on the overlap behind.


Back view.


Front View.

Some advice involving Tinkercad. It has a habit of un-aligning objects in a grid, so it's always worth checking everything in orthographic view. That way you can easily see which objects need aligning. Another thing it likes to do is cut pieces you didn't intend to be cut. In this post when I cut the block from phungess's Mac mini IO it would also cut the extensions so that they were separated. It's an easy fix but its another thing to watch out for. Tinkercad is awesome if you want to get something done quickly, it's approachable, intuitive and doesn't intimidate. What I like is that you can download your creations and view them in Quick Look and Preview as 3D objects. Blender has a much steeper learning curve and to a novice like me, it's difficult to know where to start. SketchUp looks good but its more stricter with file formats and I just don't seem to enjoy using it as much as Tinker, where you can just dive in and get something done. Below I have attached the zipped 3D object for viewing.


missing pieces.png

Here are the missing pieces, in red, that mysteriously get cut.


I created a 6 hole grid by adding an individual hole, I filled in the holes that were for antenna and released more space.

Screen Shot 2020-04-14 at 3.26.41 PM.png

I cut a hole in the IO, slightly smaller than the grid I was going to add. There was enough overlap to create a clean join when grouping. Another Tinker centric oddity, that line bottom left is a left over from filling in one of the antenna holes.

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