Dilbert Carbicle

Scott adam's Carbicle from the comic strip Dilbert
Carbicle overhead view Carbicle desktop detail Carbicle input devices Carbicle computer monitor Carbicle desk drawers Carbicle recharge cord

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Cool Fact
The Carbicle was introduced to the world in the Sunday, 26 October 2008 Dilbert strip. You can view a full-sized version of that strip at Dilbert.com
The original Carbicle Strip, Dilbert created by Scott Adams


As soon as I saw the Carbicle, I knew I was going to have to make one. It's just too perfect an idea to not include it with the rest of my TV/movie/comic cars. Not surprisingly, most of this project was scratchbuilt from sheet styrene.

The floor is a square of 0.080" styrene, and the walls are all 0.060" styrene. The metal bands at the four corners and around the top are 0.080" square stock, so that the overall result is that the four walls are recessed 0.010" from the frame rails. The whole thing was then painted gloss brown, and textured paper was cut to create the "fabric wall" look of a 1:1 cubicle. It was tough to find wheels that were just the right size: the Carbicle is small enough and open enough that a slightly wrong size looks much worse than it would on a more full-bodied car. I ended up using the optional tires from Revell's '64 Impala mounted on modified wheels from MPC's Cannonball Run Ambulance. These wheels also worked well with my idea for the Carbicle's mechanics. My claim is that there are a pair of electric motors mounted in each wheel: one mounted horizontally for propulsion and one mounted vertically for steering (thus negating the need for a centralized motor or intricate steering components). The finned wheels should help provide cool air to these motors. Power is stored in batteries in the floor, and a built-in extension cord allows for easy recharging.

Inside, a sheet of thin small-pore foam was applied to the floor to both bulk it up and to simulate the standard industrial gray carpeting found in most offices. The desk is based loosely on a 1:1 desk I was using when I started this project, and is made from 0.040" and 0.020" sheet styrene with 0.060" square stock for the legs. I painted the whole thing Rustoleum Ivory, then brush painted the top and used colored pencils to create the fake woodgrain look. The drawer handles are made from flattened wires bent into "U"s, and the legs were covered with Bare Metal Foil. The chair is a modified piece from Fujimi's Garage accessory kit.

Last but not least: the desk accessories. I considered making a bunch of different things to go in Dilbert's mini office on wheels, like a calendar, wastebasket, coffee mug(s), a filing cabinet, etc. In the end, I realized that most of those would be inappropriate here. First, because the cube is new: it hasn't had a chance to collect all of the usual office debris yet. Second, Dilbert is likely going to have a paperless office: so things like a printer, filing cabinet, or wastebasket would be useless to him. His mentality also negates most regular automotive interior requirements. Vehicle control, feedback, and general system management are all handled by the computer, so there is no need for separate gauges, pedals, or switches. The mouse, keyboard, monitor, and steering wheel would give him all the input and output devices he needs. These items were all scratchbuilt and wired together to create the ultimate work/transportation environment. Just in case he still wants to call the office via traditional means, I also added the telephone from Fujimi's Garage accessory kit.


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