It all started with a neoprene laptop cover that failed to perform as advertised, leaving Lance Atkin’s MacBook a wreck. And that was all it took to send Atkin, a mechanical engineering student at the Colorado School of Mines, back to the drawing board with friend Greg Hydle, a Mines computer science graduate.
The first MacBook hardshell was made from durable oak. That was so successful the enterprise moved to an official woodshop. In November 2010, with the shipment of Blackbox Case #001 (enclosed in a burlap sack labeled “Welcome to the Family”), the Blackbox Case company became official.
With almost 700 cases under their belts, the Atkin/Hydle team now wanted to move into sustainable wood production using bamboo. The choice was perfect, in terms of a wood that is readily renewable. Bamboo, when cut down, reemerges from the roots and grows rapidly, replenishing itself in as little as five years. It does not require a lot of water or light, and grows well even in marginal soils. In spite of the fact that it is a very light and malleable wood, bamboo is durable enough for kitchen flooring.
First posted as a Kickstarter project, the team aimed to create a totally homegrown, made in the USA, product. As an incentive to pledges, the bamboo cases were numbered, beginning with #K001. Now that the entire manufacturing process has been vetted, and the use of bamboo confirmed as a the wood of choice for case-making, Hydle and Atkin invite consumers to fall in love with their Blackbox Cases, and that won’t be hard to do, as bamboo is one of the most beautifully grained woods in existence. The cases can also be laser engraved with a name or a company logo, which makes them even more unique.
As Hydle says, “Life is simply too short not to make something amazing.” At $119 the iPad case is eminently affordable, as is the MacBook Air case at $10 more. It certainly beats the $179.00 price tag for the Silva bamboo electronics case.