While waiting for my order to get assembled and shipped, I'm thinking of how I want to expand. I have a desk with 19" rack space in it, so obviously it might be a good space to put an AE system.
AE doesn't conform to rack units, but its a little over 2 units, so I have to go up to 3 rack units. 16 units will fit well within the width and a lot of my dimensions were just lifted off of the standard width case. I don't know where the screw holes are or anything since I don't have any dimensions.
Option one is to put a standard 1x16 case in there. Option two is to mount the modules directly to the rack frame.
Now we have some space on top of the rack and I have to figure out what to do. I'm thinking of making a couple things...one idea is to make my own RACKLINK with some multis along the top that route signals across the width of the rack. This would then also allow for expanding to more 19" racks easily.
I think it would be relatively easy to have this kind of thing made, but I'd have to find it out.
You might even be better off prototyping the basic design in coreflute or even cardboard.
Coreflute is quite strong, if folded. For a year or so, my while rig was on a sheet of coreflute held with cable ties.
... but I digress, as usual. My point is that quickly trying a few variations in a disposable material is a great way to not get too precious about a design and to easily change it until you get it right.
I like 19" racks and, two decades ago, much of my creative life was moved around in black SKB rack cases. I only have a couple of 19" items now (awaiting repair, deep in the garage). I'd love to see some 19" AE systems out there. I imagine it would be cool to see something like those mixing desks that slide out of a rack mount then flip up ready to use. (although, the one in the picture probably costs as much as my synth)