A laptop is what everyone wants now for studies, work, entertainment, information and what not!! From a luxury good a laptop has become a necessity now. But the high cost associated with laptops still acts as a deterrent for many to grab one. The DIY revolution has not left the laptop unscathed…. You can make a DIY laptop from scratch or with a DIY kit all by yourself.
A DIY laptop can be made easily with the following components and instructions:
- Raspberry pi 2
- 1 inch IPS HD display (or any custom size LCD according to your choice)
- HDMI Cable (Shorter the better)
- One 6000 mAh Power-bank
- A 10000 mAh Power-bank
- Transistor fitting Kit
- MDF Sheet
- Black and white Italian Leather
- OTG cable (2 cables) for charging ports…. The male header fits in the powerbank’s charging port.
- 7 inch keyboard
- A friction hinge
- Basic making skills and tools like Jigsaw , solder gun, Drill, files etc..
- Base of the laptop: Mark the locations of the components and the drill points (PCB). Outline the border of the base and leave a small space on each side. Once marked cut the base using a jig saw giving clean cuts. Get the corners at 90 degree angle.
- Top of the laptop: Use the base as the template and cut another piece of rectangle with MDF. Take the dimensions of the keyboard and mark it on the top. Mark a small opening for ventilation and access to the raspberry Pi. Mark the display control button size below the ventilation point. Cut out the openings with a jig saw and drill out the holes for display control. Sand rub or file the MDF sheet for a soft finish.
- Tilt screen: Cut 2 pieces of MDF like the base. Mark a rectangle according to screen size. Cut along the trace using a jig saw and file the edges for a smooth look. Try and get a perfect size friction hinge for the laptop’s tilt display. Use the Screw and nut (transistor fitting kit) mechanism to attach the hinge to the cutting.
- Curve the edges: Use a compass and mark the arcs on the corners, use a file and shave off the excess wood to get curved edges.
- Border wall frame: Use 10mm thick veneer wood to make border of the laptop. Use the base as template and cut the length of the veneer wood. Trace same arcs on the corners and curve the edges using a filer/sandpaper. Make sure the two opposite edges are exactly parallel and stick is perfectly straight.
- Audio port: Using a 5mm drill bit make a small opening for the audio port.
- Put together the frame both the base and the top. Mark point for charging port and raspberry Pi on the base. Secure the frame on the base using hot glue. Hammer thin nails to secure the frame to the base. Drill the holes in the base MDF for screwing the display driver and raspberry Pi 2.
- To beautify the laptop add some Italian leather: cut the leather pieces according to measurements of the pieces and glue the leather pieces to the body of the laptop.
- Assembling the laptop: using 2.5mm MDF pieces make the keyboard holder and glue it in. cut a small opening near the top left for display connector wires and pass them through. Hot glue the display controller PCB.
- Screw the raspberry Pi 2 and the display driver in place. Glue the batteries in place. Coil the HDMI cable and secure it with glue. Glue the charging ports and solder the connections of the raspberry Pi 2 and display driver switches.
- Assemble the display: mark holes for the hinge on the frame. Drill holes on the frame and screw the hinges in place. Put double tape adhesive on the display screen. Attach display connector to the screen and press the display screen into the slot.
- Check if everything is in place. Glue the top MDF frame or use screws if possible.
- Choose an OS like Raspbian, Ubuntu mate, OSMC or any other and install one that suits you best. Configure additional hardware like wifi, Bluetooth etc.
Your DIY laptop is absolutely ready and raring to go