Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Heatpipe Bonsai

coating a Bonsai in copper and using it as a heatpipe
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Passive CPU coolers are usually heatpipes connected to vanes. Considering they consist entirely of copper, aluminium and water, they are very expensive. Often they are built to have a certain aesthetic appeal as well.

I propose to make the construction much more expensive, but also much more beautiful.

Users can choose from a wide arrange of bonsais. The bonsais are cut off at the thickest section of their trunk, and electroplated with copper to a thickness of about 2 mm. The wood bonsai is removed, and the inside of the hollow copper bonsai is filled with sinter and water, then depressurized to 10e-5 bar. The bonsai can now be mounted on the CPU, providing a branching heatpipe with integrated vanes, and beauty.

The avid modder will of course have a forest of bonsais she cares for, trying to coax them to grow into ever more fractal shapes. Forums will host huge threads of modders/growers discussing the pros and cons of monocotyledones versus dicotyledones and the like.

loonquawl, Apr 29 2009


       Excellent idea. I don't think you can directly electroplate wood, but I will assume for now that that is an easily fixed detail.
Srimech, Apr 29 2009

       Bamboo might be easier.   

       Would this be possible with leafing foil?
phoenix, Apr 29 2009

       [Srimech]: I never tried electroplating wood, but i guess first coating it with something conductive might do the trick (it does for other non-conductive materials like stone) - as the bonsai is not recoverable anyways, the caustic electroplating fluid would be no problem, though the dissolving wood might be a problem for the fluid...   

       [21 Quest]: The fad would bring a net increase in the number of bonsai, is my guess. And [bigsleep] got the removal method right.   

       [phoenix]: Bamboo is not fractal enough for cooling purposes, i guess; and leafing foil is probably not applicable to the desired strength (vacuum on the inside, so ~1bar pressure from the outside - not the wickedest of stresses to so small a tube, but a tube made from leafing foil might fail nonetheless..)
loonquawl, May 13 2009

       CPU could be a large miniature weeping willow, etc. right down to the RAM heat-spreaders which could be small hedgerows. Opportunities for movement using delicately placed bimetal strips...could be modelled instead of requiring the death of a small tree, and in glass for lighting effects.
FlyingToaster, Aug 01 2009

       I read in a book ages ago about Aquadag, it's supposed to make a conductive layer and then you can use electrolysis to plate non-conductive stuff.   

       Actually, in the Victorian times there was "a plate your dead relatives" service like this make a very cheap statue...do the plating, drill holes in the soles of the feet, burn out the content...not many takers I think. Maybe a departed goldfish, lots of area on those fins..   


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