Laptops

Parts People founder creates chunky Raspberry Pi-to-Go portable with 3D-printed case

Parts People founder creates c...
Founder and CEO of Parts-People, Nathan Morgan, has built a feature-packed portable PC around the Raspberry Pi board and packed everything into a colorful 3D-printed case
Founder and CEO of Parts-People, Nathan Morgan, has built a feature-packed portable PC around the Raspberry Pi board and packed everything into a colorful 3D-printed case
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Founder and CEO of Parts-People, Nathan Morgan, has built a feature-packed portable PC around the Raspberry Pi board and packed everything into a colorful 3D-printed case
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Founder and CEO of Parts-People, Nathan Morgan, has built a feature-packed portable PC around the Raspberry Pi board and packed everything into a colorful 3D-printed case
The wireless mini keyboard and trackpad has its own battery, charged via a mini-USB port
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The wireless mini keyboard and trackpad has its own battery, charged via a mini-USB port
A powered USB port is available at the side of the display panel
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A powered USB port is available at the side of the display panel
To the right of the display panel is a power on/off switch and battery status indicator
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To the right of the display panel is a power on/off switch and battery status indicator
The back plate of the Pi-to-Go is the only 3D-printed panel that's screwed in place
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The back plate of the Pi-to-Go is the only 3D-printed panel that's screwed in place
There's a cut-out Raspberry Pi logo on the back panel, through which shines LED backlighting kindly donated from a backlit laptop keyboard
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There's a cut-out Raspberry Pi logo on the back panel, through which shines LED backlighting kindly donated from a backlit laptop keyboard
The 6-cell Li-ion battery pack was donated from a Dell Latitude D600 laptop
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The 6-cell Li-ion battery pack was donated from a Dell Latitude D600 laptop
The wireless keyboard and trackpad lift out to reveal the 6-cell Li-ion battery pack
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The wireless keyboard and trackpad lift out to reveal the 6-cell Li-ion battery pack
Topping up the Pi-to-Go's main battery via the 9-pin charging port
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Topping up the Pi-to-Go's main battery via the 9-pin charging port
The battery is routed to the main board and a modified 7-port USB hub via the monitor's 9 - 13-volt input, ensuring clean regulated power for an 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi dongle, a Bluetooth 3.0 dongle, the SSD, a keyboard/mouse transmitter for the QWERTY wireless keyboard and touchpad mouse combo, and the Pi board itself
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The battery is routed to the main board and a modified 7-port USB hub via the monitor's 9 - 13-volt input, ensuring clean regulated power for an 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi dongle, a Bluetooth 3.0 dongle, the SSD, a keyboard/mouse transmitter for the QWERTY wireless keyboard and touchpad mouse combo, and the Pi board itself
The Pi-to-Go build schematic
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The Pi-to-Go build schematic
The Pi-to-Go's STL files are available for download from Thingiverse, to download and print your own housing on a 3D printer
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The Pi-to-Go's STL files are available for download from Thingiverse, to download and print your own housing on a 3D printer

Since being delivered into the eager hands of hackers, enthusiasts and dabblers, the credit-card-sized Raspberry Pi personal computer has found itself an integral part of a growing list of novel devices and applications. The inexpensive single-board system has been used to power the base station of the Personal Appointment Ticketing service for the homeless that we covered back in November, provided the processing backbone for the intriguing BeetBox instrument, it's been married to the power of Apple's Siri for a voice-controlled garage door, and a bunch of them have been connected together to create a 64-node supercomputer. For his addition to the list, founder and CEO of Parts-People, Nathan Morgan, has built a feature-packed portable PC that brings another Gizmag favorite to the table ... 3D printing.

For his open source Pi-to-Go mobile computer build, Morgan used a revision 1 Model B Pi with 256 MB of RAM – the currently available revision 2 now has 512 MB of RAM, two USB ports and an Ethernet port – which cost just US$35 (Model A, with 256 MB of RAM, one USB port and no Ethernet, will be $10 cheaper when it goes on sale in the near future). A 4 GB SD card is home to the Raspbian flavor of the Linux operating system, and a desire for more system memory and increased storage capacity led him to connect a 64 GB solid state drive to the main board and set up a 1 GB Linux swap partition.

The battery is routed to the main board and a modified 7-port USB hub via the monitor's 9 - 13-volt input, ensuring clean regulated power for an 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi dongle, a Bluetooth 3.0 dongle, the SSD, a keyboard/mouse transmitter for the QWERTY wireless keyboard and touchpad mouse combo, and the Pi board itself
The battery is routed to the main board and a modified 7-port USB hub via the monitor's 9 - 13-volt input, ensuring clean regulated power for an 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi dongle, a Bluetooth 3.0 dongle, the SSD, a keyboard/mouse transmitter for the QWERTY wireless keyboard and touchpad mouse combo, and the Pi board itself

To prove the concept, he chose to install a cheap and cheerful, low resolution (640 x 480 pixels), 3.5-inch color LCD display for use in automobiles. Power from a 6-cell Li-ion battery pack purloined from a Dell Latitude D600 laptop is routed to the main board and a modified 7-port USB hub via the monitor's 9 - 13-volt input. This ensures clean regulated power for an 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi dongle, a Bluetooth 3.0 dongle, the SSD, a keyboard/mouse transmitter for the QWERTY wireless keyboard and touchpad mouse combo, and the Pi board itself.

All of the components, including HDMI and powered USB ports, are encased in a custom-created, 3D-printed outer housing that's been designed to snap together and was printed out on Morgan's PP3DP UP! portable printer. The STL files are available for download from Thingiverse, should you wish to build your own Pi-to-Go.

The final touch is a cut-out Raspberry Pi logo on the back panel, through which shines LED backlighting kindly donated from a backlit laptop keyboard. This panel is the only piece that's secured using screws.

There's a cut-out Raspberry Pi logo on the back panel, through which shines LED backlighting kindly donated from a backlit laptop keyboard
There's a cut-out Raspberry Pi logo on the back panel, through which shines LED backlighting kindly donated from a backlit laptop keyboard

The Pi-to-Go mobile computer weighs in at a nicely portable 1.65 pounds (0.74 kg) but its angled display and base are not hinged, so packing away for travel may take some considered planning.

Source: Parts-People

1 comment
Slowburn
I am still hoping for a smartphone that uses enhanced reality glasses as the display and motion capture for the interface.