American Metal: The BOXX Chassis Story



By John Vondrak

When I set out to make a short film on the BOXX workstation chassis, it was at the behest of BOXX product marketing manager Chris Morley. Chris wanted the world to know that we design and build our own workstations right here in Austin, Texas. I liked the idea since I, like most BOXX users, appreciate the look of our machines. Our friend Daniel Simon, the noted concept designer (TRON:Legacy, Captain America: The First Avenger, Oblivion), producer and author, (Cosmic Motors, The Timeless Racer) refers to our systems as “industrial, like a real piece of machinery— elegant, heavy-duty machinery.” That sums it up. You don’t buy a BOXX to send emails or play video games. You buy it to go to work.

Animators, VFX artists, filmmakers, video editors, architects, engineers, product designers, and other hard working people go to work with their BOXX every day. They marvel at the speed and performance of their workstation and are grateful that if they ever need them, legendary BOXX Technical Support (also located at our headquarters in Austin) is ready to assist. But what many BOXXers may not always recognize is that some hard working people, just like them, design and build the chassis that accommodates the multiple professional GPUs, liquid cooling, and other innovative features that make a BOXX workstation the unique machine that it is.

And that’s what ended up taking this film in a slightly different direction.

The more I spoke to our engineers in BOXXlabs and the metal fabricators at the shop that stamps, cuts, and assembles the array of metal parts that become the BOXX chassis, I saw this as an American story. It’s no secret that for decades, U.S. industry has taken a hit as manufacturing has moved overseas to produce cheaper goods. Our mass-market, tier one competitors have been part of that trend. But at BOXX, our systems are “Made in the U.S.A.” and that declaration is more than a slogan. In the process of designing our chassis, our expert engineers, like many of you, rely on SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, Creo, and other professional applications. They provide the metal fabricators with precise 3D CAD models in order to produce quality parts necessary to assemble the state-of-the-art chassis. Those chassis then arrive at BOXX HQ where the best production team in the computer industry assembles the components for each custom-configured solution (but that’s a video for another day).

So take a few moments to watch the film, and the next time you boot up your BOXX workstation, we hope you appreciate the design and construction of the chassis. The longer you consider it (and the enterprise-class components inside), we’re confident that you’ll see that it is indeed “a real piece of machinery.”

And just maybe, like those of us at BOXX, you’ll discover that American manufacturing is ready for a comeback.