UDOO X86 modular case adventures

Discussion in 'Cases' started by Laura, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. Laura

    Laura Administrator Staff Member

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    Starting a thread to log my journey in designing a modular case for the UDOO X86. My main goal is to have something portable that I can slot onto other modular cases, to expand overall capabilities as needed, while also being open to further tinkering, like being able to plug in a Intel RealSense camera or LCD screen onto the central unit.

    Attached below are pictures of my very first boxing out stage consisting of three cases, and way before thinking about curves, ventilation or materials that I'll use. Luckily, when required, I will be able to access a hackspace with 3D printers and CNC machines.

    Each case will have a microcontroller with BLE, either using the forthcoming ESP32, or an Arduino, and I'll also hopefully be able to use a wire communication protocol for controller to controller communication when the cases are connected.

    I've designed the stacking system around the KS stretch goal of adding a PCI bus connection to a M.2 socket, and my aim is to fit a PCI low-profile card around the MD1 size specified by the PCI-SIG.
    I'm also considering the Galaxy GeForce GTX750 Ti OC Slim 2GB (link), as it is a single slot card and it might be possible to machine a new aluminium heat sink for it.
    If the UDOO's SATA controller accepts multiplexing, I will also design the base docking station to fit hot swappable 2.5" storage drives.

    When finished and tested, I will share the design freely :)

    boxout1.jpg boxout2.jpg
     
    estebanSannin, vpeter, delba and 3 others like this.
  2. Andrea Rovai

    Andrea Rovai Well-Known Member

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    Can I say that you are making my mouth water???!??!? So cool!
     
  3. delba

    delba Administrator

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    So Awesome!!!!! :D
     
  4. Laura

    Laura Administrator Staff Member

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    Thank you @Andrea Rovai and @delba :D

    My next stage will probably be creating wood blocks with various thickness and edge shapes to get a general feel for the ergonomics. Aiming to get a good balance between being compact / being large enough to fit a single shield or brick. May also visit a gaming museum to get some inspiration from past handheld systems. The main case will probably end up looking something like an Atari Lynx II - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_Lynx#/media/File:Atari-Lynx-II-Handheld-Angled.jpg
     
  5. estebanSannin

    estebanSannin New Member

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    Laura you are amazing!
    I don't have other words ...
    Great job, I want to try printing with a 3D printer when all is ready...
     
    Andrea Rovai likes this.
  6. Laura

    Laura Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks @estebanSannin! Great to hear you will try printing it :)
    Look forward to sharing the files with you and the community.
     
  7. Laura

    Laura Administrator Staff Member

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    Been exploring the possibility of making the cases out of transparent acrylic. So far the design consists of four pieces, with three being relatively simple laser cut jobs, and the fourth piece requiring heating and bending into shape. I've not yet added the interlocking joints, t-bolt connections, holes, or board mounts.

    Would use a CNC'd block of wood, shaped like the case. Shaping both ends around the form before the acrylic cools from the oven. Although if this task is not possible, the various parts will be 3D printable, just not transparent :(

    acrylic explode.jpg acrylic assembled.jpg
     
  8. Laura

    Laura Administrator Staff Member

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    Are all UDOO Bricks of standard sizing? And if so, is there a diagram of the 2x hole placements?
    Currently thinking about holes on the board mounting acrylic, and if there's a possibility the Bricks could fit upside down within the handle area. Then the case will have an easy way of adding under case lighting using the forthcoming light Brick, making it look like a boy racer car :)
     
  9. waltervl

    waltervl Well-Known Member

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    Will the light brick be a light source or a light sensor? I think it will be the sensor.
     
  10. waltervl

    waltervl Well-Known Member

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    Nice work by the way Laura. What if someone plugs in an Arduino shield on the board, will it still fit? Or do you want to design one or several slots in the cover to accommodate Arduino shields? Could also be removable slot covers.
     
  11. Laura

    Laura Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks! If the Light Brick is a sensor o_O I will look into creating a RGB LED Brick. Was planning to eventually delve into the Brick system, to see if I could integrate a GPS module (a very tiny one - https://www.u-blox.com/en/product/eva-7m).

    The original case design had room internally for a shield, plus an additional offset shield header on top that would've been connected to the spare outer pins on the board. As I'm now going the clear acrylic route, I've decided against having too many internal wires. There's still room internally for a shield, and the straight side edge can be remade by end users for custom hole placement, either by ordering a 3D print, or by using a laser cutting service like https://www.ponoko.com/

    After uploading the pictures yesterday, I continued thinking about how I might add the shield header back on top. I ended up removing the gap underneath the curved frame, which was only there to save duplicated weight. I then added a gap on top, where it could have a custom cover fitted, depending on whether or not an internally installed shield required top access for ports. I saved weight by adding large holes in the board mounting plate, which should also hopefully mean there's enough room underneath for M.2 cards (as I lost some room due to increasing the acrylic thickness for strength).

    thicker acrylic.jpg
     
  12. Laura

    Laura Administrator Staff Member

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    I've now settled on what I will use for this. Any guesses? ...

    UDOO BLU :cool:
     
  13. Bullaus

    Bullaus New Member

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    Hey Laura,

    I'm also thinking of designing and building a case.
    Do you have the dimensions for the spacing between connectors or are you waiting until you receive the board to measure yourself?

    Sent from my E6853 using Tapatalk
     
  14. Laura

    Laura Administrator Staff Member

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    Hey @Bullaus, apologies for the late reply - I've just returned from an overseas adventure :D

    Do you mean the spacing of connectors like the HDMI and Ethernet? I can share the Sketchup file for this along with the measurements, though I've not tested the cutout alignment against a physical board (for anyone wondering what the grey coloured item is in the picture below, it's the Open Platform Camera)

    camera.jpg
     
  15. Bullaus

    Bullaus New Member

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    Hey @Laura,

    Not a problem, I hope you enjoyed your overseas adventure [emoji2]

    Yes that's what I'm looking for, if you could share the Sketchup file, that would be great! I was going to try and guesstimate the input locations (hdmi Lan etc) by the photos from the campaign.

    Side note: The open platform camera is intriguing :)

    Sent from my E6853 using Tapatalk
     
  16. Yanou Fishel

    Yanou Fishel New Member

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    Bump, any updates on this? :)
     
  17. Laura

    Laura Administrator Staff Member

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    @Yanou Fishel Unfortunately, I've not made much progress on the case, as I do not have the necessary tools to fabricate and test it. Though I've spoken to a hackspace who are going to help me, so I just now need to organise my time so I can travel there and spend at least a week on the case and other ideas.
     

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