i was messing around modeling the new vs old macPro a while ago and used geometry for the front of the current tower instead of a texture… (haven’t finished them yet… real work reared it’s ugly head )
dunno, i’d kind of recommend against going that route unless absolutely necessary… it’s not the file size to be concerned with so much (this one is around 45MB)… it’s the time it takes for the booleans to complete…
what i did was array a bunch (8500ish) of cylinders then boolean difference from the panel… i did it in smaller stages (maybe 1000 at a time) and the process still took a few hours to finish… if you want to do it in one shot, i’d suggest starting the boolean at night and it should be ready by morning
i tried a few different things such as arrayHole and different types of intersecting but none of them seemed any faster than the others.
but yeah, i’d basically do the same thing with the panel you describe… make the 3/8" cylinders then array them… then boolean difference (though in your case, it sounds as if they’ll be on a grid as opposed to the offset layout such as on the mac… so ArrayHole might be better?)