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Printing a handheld PC

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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2021-04-29 9:43 AM
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After years of (careful) planning, I finally took the plunge and bought a small 3D printer by XYZ Printing. My first 3D model was a chess knight. I took a photo of it with my Sigmarion 1. The 3D printer I bought prints only up to 12cm x 12cm x 12cm, but I hope to make a good use out of it and learn 3D CAD as well.

I hope I can share some of my adventures with printing a h/pc here on this thread.

-stingraze

Edited by stingraze 2021-04-29 9:44 AM




(sigmarion-knight.jpg)



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Attachments sigmarion-knight.jpg (88KB - 1 downloads)
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HPC:Fan Page Icon Posted 2021-04-29 12:52 PM
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That's really neat, congrats on the acquisition. Looking forward to the neat prints you'll do.
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2021-04-29 6:18 PM
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Nice piece of photographic art there, stingraze. And the title is perfect (Sigmarion Knight). When will you be going on tour with it?
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2021-04-29 10:51 PM
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HPC:Fan - 2021-04-29 9:52 PM

That's really neat, congrats on the acquisition. Looking forward to the neat prints you'll do.

Thank you!

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CE Geek - 2021-04-30 3:18 AM

Nice piece of photographic art there, stingraze. And the title is perfect (Sigmarion Knight). When will you be going on tour with it?

Haha! Maybe someday soon

Edited by stingraze 2021-04-29 10:51 PM
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mikeschn Page Icon Posted 2021-04-30 10:57 PM
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Hey Stingraze,

Congrats on the printer! You could have fun with that...

Is this the one you got? The Nano

https://www.xyzprinting.com/en-GB/product/da-vinci-nano



What CAD package are you going to try?

Are you planning on printing a small Handheld PC with it?

Mike...

Edited by mikeschn 2021-04-30 11:00 PM
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2021-05-01 4:34 AM
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Hi!

Yes that's the model. I got it in white.
It was surprising that they didn't have a 3D printer in local stores, or even in Yokohama, about 20km nearer to Tokyo from where I live.

Yes, I'm planning to print a small Handheld PC. I will try out just printing first, then try some modeling.
I used an 3D CAD app by XYZ Printing on my iPad, it seemed pretty easy to make a 3D CAD with your fingers.
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mikeschn Page Icon Posted 2021-05-02 12:51 AM
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Stingraze,

Looking forward to seeing some screen captures of your CAD screen with your H/PC.

Mike...
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mikeschn Page Icon Posted 2021-05-02 12:54 AM
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Roberto,

I am looking to design and print a smaller RPI, but I don't have a good idea yet. Do you have any good ideas?

Mike...

Edited by mikeschn 2021-05-02 12:57 AM
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robertojones Page Icon Posted 2021-05-02 12:09 PM
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Stingraze -
Welcome to the club! Of 3D printer owners and people 3D printing their own HPCs. Something that may be of interest to you - I've just bought a cheap 3D pen (the kind they sell for kids) and I'm going to be experimenting with sticking printed parts together with this.

Mike -
My main focus has been on getting the thickness down on my various 'HPC' designs, here are a few things I've done to reduce thickness and generally make use of the limited space available:
- I accommodate a full-sized Raspberry Pi by having a raised section of the base to cover the sockets and a matching cutout in the lid to clear this. I'm not sure how well this would work with your configuration (Pi in the lid), but you might be able to do this in reverse? I've tried to show this in the photo - I may have some better pictures for this.
- I reduce the vertical clearance I need above the Pi by using a little PCB with a pass-through connector on the GPIOs - See here: https://shop.4tronix.co.uk/products/gpio-interceptor This lets me use GPIOs without adding any height.
- I've found an LCD that's especially thin and uses a mini-HDMI connector - Took quite a lot of hunting on Aliexpress and similar sites. This one's 7 inches but I've seen some similar displays in smaller sizes. Also made my own HDMI cable but this was mainly because it had to go through the hinge.
- I've made quite a few of my own cables to get specific lengths - For USB there are quite a few solderable connectors available. I've also used ribbon cables wherever I don't need to carry high currents - These are obvously thin but can also be folded to help them stay in place.
- You may be able to save a little space with your power bank by removing the casing - It's almost certainly just a battery (possibly multiple batteries) and a tiny PCB inside.
- For the keyboard I'm not so sure - It's very difficult to find keyboards smaller than the size you have that still have proper scissor switches - If you can tolerate little clicky 'metal dome' type keyboards there are smaller options. I've also seen replacement keyboards for GPD pocket / One Mix Netbook and similar machines popping up on Aliexpress* - These are a little smaller than the keyboards you and I are using, with scissor switches, but are quite expensive. You'd also need to use an Arduino or similar to read the keyboard matrix and make it appear to the Pi as a keyboard.
- I've designed a hinge that combines the friction mechanism and cable path into a 3-part assembly - I'm more than happy to share this with you but I have some concerns over how long it will maintain an acceptable amount of friction - I'm trying to work on the design so the friction material is more easily replaceable.

Sorry to bombard you with information here - It's just that I've spent quite a lot of time on it and I'd be happy if my work can save you or anyone else a little time on your own designs.

* I'm not trying to advertise Aliexpress here (despite how it may seem) - There are just some items that only seem to be available there.



(Case Base and Lid - Features Highlighted.jpg)



(HPC Mk5 internal features.jpg)



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Attachments Case Base and Lid - Features Highlighted.jpg (40KB - 0 downloads)
Attachments HPC Mk5 internal features.jpg (60KB - 0 downloads)
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mikeschn Page Icon Posted 2021-05-02 4:41 PM
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Roberto,

Got a link to to the LCD and controller board that you are using? How is the quality of the display? Sharpness... contrast... brightness, etc...

Mike...

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robertojones - 2021-05-02 7:09 AM
- I've found an LCD that's especially thin and uses a mini-HDMI connector - Took quite a lot of hunting on Aliexpress and similar sites. This one's 7 inches but I've seen some similar displays in smaller sizes. Also made my own HDMI cable but this was mainly because it had to go through the hinge.
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mikeschn Page Icon Posted 2021-05-02 11:24 PM
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I did play with this screen/controller arrangement back in the RPI 3 days... I never finished it up because the screen is all washed out. That's why I am looking for a better screen.



Mike...

Edited by mikeschn 2021-05-02 11:46 PM
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robertojones Page Icon Posted 2021-05-03 11:40 AM
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mikeschn - 2021-05-02 4:41 PM

Roberto,

Got a link to to the LCD and controller board that you are using? How is the quality of the display? Sharpness... contrast... brightness, etc...

Mike...



Here's a link to the display I've used: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001525928116.html

It seems to be pretty good quality - Brightness and contrast appear good to my eyes, there's a spec sheet on the listing on Aliexpress if you trust that. It's genuinely IPS - I can't detect any 'washing out' at any angle. Resolution is 1080p which can be a bit much at this size, thankfully it will scale to a lot of other resolutions internally - 720p works well for me and doesn't look obviously 'scaled'. Perfectly sharp as far as I can tell. Capacitative touch via USB as is fairly standard for these displays. I'd go for the version with the little keypad - If nothing else you can use this to figure out what input is required to directly adjust the brightness (I still haven't worked this out myself). There's also an audio decoder and little amplifier on the controller board, so you can drive a (small) pair of speakers from the HDMI signal.

Another thing worth noting is the current consumption seems very low compared to other displays of this size, I was measuring 200-250mA in use and about 4mA in standby. It'll also put itself in standby when the Pi blanks the screen, unlike a lot of these little displays.

Hope this helps!
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mikeschn Page Icon Posted 2021-05-03 11:50 PM
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robertojones - 2021-05-03 6:40 AM
Here's a link to the display I've used: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001525928116.html
Hope this helps!


Roberto,

This helps a lot. Thanks. I placed the order. I should have the display the first week of June! <gasp>

I can't do much designing until then... unless you have some stl files you can send me of your design... ;-)

Mike...

Edited by mikeschn 2021-05-03 11:51 PM
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robertojones Page Icon Posted 2021-05-04 9:28 PM
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mikeschn - 2021-05-03 11:50 PM

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robertojones - 2021-05-03 6:40 AM
Here's a link to the display I've used: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001525928116.html
Hope this helps!


Roberto,

This helps a lot. Thanks. I placed the order. I should have the display the first week of June! <gasp>

I can't do much designing until then... unless you have some stl files you can send me of your design... ;-)

Mike...


Mike -

I'm happy to share any parts of my design that'll be any use to you. I've not actually modelled up the display itself but I can certainly do so - If it's helpful I can tell you the recess my display sits in (with reasonable clearance on all sides) is 163.5 x 90mm (6.44 x 3.54"). The LCD is 2mm thick (0.08") and the driver board is 5mm (0.2") thick at the thickest point (the audio jack socket). Just realised most of these dimensions are on the Aliexpress page but just in case...

Are there any parts of my design in particular you'd be interested in? I don't have an assembly model so it would really be a dump of part files if I give you the whole model - I'm more than happy to do this if it's useful.
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mikeschn Page Icon Posted 2021-05-04 11:35 PM
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robertojones - 2021-05-04 4:28 PM

Are there any parts of my design in particular you'd be interested in? I don't have an assembly model so it would really be a dump of part files if I give you the whole model - I'm more than happy to do this if it's useful.


Just 2 parts should get me started... the base (the part the keyboard sits in) and the main frame of the display.

Just for fun, I might print them so I can get a feel for size. Does the base and the main frame both have the hinge parts on them? What format are your part files in? I'm using ZW3D, so I can read almost anything...

Mike...

Edited by mikeschn 2021-05-04 11:37 PM
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