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Published on: September 24, 2013 / Comments: None

Do-It-Yourself Raspberry Pi Tablet

Raspberry Pi CameraIntroducing DukePad. A Do-It-Yourself Raspberry Pi tablet running JavaSE Embedded 8. The DukePad design includes a 10″ LCD Display (1280 x 800), a Raspberry Pi, a Raspberry Pi Camera, WiFi, a motion sensor and more which are all encased in an acrylic enclosure (PDF). The parts to build your own open source Tablet will cost you about $370.

The creators are quick to point out that DukePad is demo quality. So don’t expect any ground breaking features out of the box. However, the beauty of open-source is you can make it your own. If you don’t want to buy everything individually be patient because a kit is in the works.

Who knows… maybe you can add your own fingerprint reader for security!


Published on: September 16, 2013 / Comments: None

NaCade – the Naked Raspberry Pi Arcade runs PiMAME

Everyone loves retro gaming, it makes you wonder why they keep making new video games instead of old ones!  Usually when people do retro gaming on the Raspberry Pi they go the retropie route, so it’s refreshing to see a project supporting PiMAME.  The NaCade is a mini arcade cabinet running on a Raspberry Pi.

The case is made of clear 3mm acrylic which is both cut and bent using heat and practice  For a display it uses a 7″ LCD used for a car backup camera.  Inside is a Raspberry Pi running PiMAME and a 9AH battery charged by a solar controller and 20w solar panel.  Yeah, solar-powered!  The sound comes from an amplified USB speaker.  The joystick and buttons are standard arcade parts, except the buttons are all back-lit.

You know you want to build one (I know I do).  Check out the rest of the details.


Published on: August 19, 2013 / Comments: 2

Making laser cut boxes

This topic recently came up during a conversation with a friend about making laser cut boxes.  If you’ve ever bought a kit that has some laser cut wood or acrylic, or looked at a maker bot or something you’ve seen it.  Those cool ways that the ends join together (with and without screws), the snap in tabs etc.

So how do you design something like that for yourself ?  Well we’ve got a few resources for you.

MakerCase – An online site that allows you to plug in your own dimensions and tab type and it will generate a file you can laser cut to make the box (or edit in another editor)

BoxMaker – Like MakerCase, a few less options in some areas, and some finer settings in other areas.

Tabbed Box Maker – A plugin for InkScape (This is real cool as InkScape is Open Source and you could easily make modifications from within the application)

I also remembered this cool post on Make about different types of joinery that you can laser cut (or CNC).  This goes beyond boxes, we’re talking all types of joints, even flexible ones!  Since this post has been around awhile there’s also more gold hiding in the comments like bookmark lists to books.


Published on: July 24, 2013 / Comments: 1

Give your acrylic project that polished look

Acrylic is a great medium for DIY projects.  From laser cutters to CNC milling, people are making more and more things out of acrylic.  In Ben’s case he is milling custom-made lenses and is looking for the best method to polish them to a glass-like finish.   Ben really does a great job of going through the gamut of acrylic polishing techniques, and mixing and matching to see composite results.

I really thought that the flame technique and the vapor technique would have yielded better results.  Ultimately good ol’ fine grit sandpaper seems to be the best bet.  Well I’m just glad Ben took the guess-work out for the rest of us.  Next time you are milling your acrylic or get some laser cutter splatter, don’t be afraid to hit it with a fine grit sandpaper, then move up to a ultra-fine grit sandpaper (in Ben’s video, he gets up to 2000 grit which is probably the best you’ll find easily).