Instructables

Build an Arduino-powered, Laser-cut Xbox 360 laptop

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Darkmatter is the world's first Open Source Xbox 360* Laptop - its a hardware kit designed to make your Xbox console portable, so that you can play your favorite games any time, any place! 1080p HD screen, capacitive touch controls and all. We successfully crowdfunded Darkmatter via Kickstarter in June 2013, and in this instructable we're going to show you how to make your own.

(* The design provided here is currently compatible with the Xbox 360 S Slim and Xbox 360 E consoles)

First, the supplies. Note that procuring each part & supply can be costly in time, money and energy. If you wish to skip the trouble and just want a ready-to-play Darkmatter then you can order one online on our estore. We also sell a kit version that contains all the major supplies & parts for you to get started with this instructable right away.

The major supplies are:

  • an Xbox 360 Slim console, of course
  • 1080p HD display panel with driver board - available from ebay, or from us!
  • Adjustable-friction hinges - available from Mcmaster Carr
  • all 28 3D-Printed parts for the Darkmatter casing. Source files available on Thingiverse.
  • all 12 Laser-cut parts of the Darkmatter casing. Design files up on our Thingiverse.
  • an assembled Xduino360 board (Arduino-compatible). Board design + programming files are also up on Thingiverse
  • MPR121 breakout board - available on Sparkfun
  • RTV Silicone sealant
  • custom USB/Audio breakout PCB - you can make this yourself or source one from us
  • custom HDMI cable - you can make this yourself or source one from us

Remaining supplies are below.

  • Wire strippers/cutters
  • a screwdriver set
  • a set of files
  • Soldering station + soldering wire
  • Wire strippers/cutters
  • M3 x 6 and M3 x 8 Countersunk screws - 30 each, available from Mcmaster Carr
  • M3 x 10 Countersunk screws - 10, available from Mcmaster Carr
  • M3 x 12, M3 x 20 and M4 x 6 Countersunk screws - 4 each, available from Mcmaster Carr
  • Pan Head screws - M4 x 16, M4 x 20 - 4 each, available from Mcmaster Carr
  • 16mm M3, 22mm M3, and 6mm M4 Hex standoffs - 4 each, available from Mcmaster Carr
  • 6mm M3 Hex standoffs - 10, available from Mcmaster Carr
  • 66 M3 Hex nut, available from Mcmaster Carr
  • 16 M4 Hex nuts, available from Mcmaster Carr
  • SATA cable - available at a local Fry's store
  • Three RGB LED strips - Radioshack
  • Two 2W 8ohm Laptop speakers - available on ebay and from us
  • Two 17CFM Laptop blower fans - available from us and ebay
  • One 5V (7805) regulator - Radioshack, Fry's...
  • Allen key set - available from Lowe's or Home depot
  • Plastic film
  • Four common pins
  • Heatshrink tubing - 1mm, 2mm - from Radioshack
  • 16mm inner diameter cooling ducts/tubing & cable ties - from Lowe's/Home depot
  • Tapes - Fabric, Masking, Dual tape
  • Glues - epoxy, super glue
  • Braided core wires - from Radioshack
  • Shielded core wires - from Radioshack

We won't be showing you how to disassemble your Xbox 360 console since that's been covered many times already on the web. Here are some resources to guide you, just follow them along right now and your console will be fully disassembled, ready to transform into Darkmatter:

This instructable is 95% complete and we will be fine-tuning it over time, but for all intents & purposes this instructable is ready to be utilized to make your own Darkmatter laptop. The text in each step provide a quick summary of the instructions, while the tagged photos will give the finer details of the process. Now let's start with the assembly!

 
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ZiggyStarbuck2 months ago

Wow, this is really awesome. I may have to find a slim on craigslist and make one of these. Don't really wanna take apart my MW3 console. One question though, Is there space for a hard drive in there? Or because of the space constraints did you have to leave that out?

tjones746 months ago

great project it came out really clean i repair a lot of consoles and do some case mods a couple times a month mostly cutting out designs dropping plexi behind it then back lighting but ive been wanting to make one of these for a while i think i just got my inspiration to put one of these together youll definitely get my vote for the gadget hacking contest best of luck

C013Y6 months ago

THIS IS AMAZING I WANT TO MAKE ONE....Time To Go To The Store...

RedJerk56 months ago
Where could i get these parts? I dont have access to a laser cutter...
TechJango (author)  RedJerk56 months ago

And oh, almost forgot! You could also just contact us (http://www.techjango.com/pages/contact-us) and we could arrange the parts for you.

TechJango (author)  RedJerk56 months ago

Check out Ponoko and Shapeways, they could help you with the acrylic panels and the 3D-printed parts. Or find a hackerspace near your area, they have lots of tools available!

pixel56 months ago

perfect instructable, thank you so much! will be giving that a go soon. one question though, is there a way of powering the device without a plug? for example a battery or something?

pixel5 pixel56 months ago

also, is it possible to use a ps3 instead of an Xbox?

TechJango (author)  pixel56 months ago

For the current design, we're afraid not! But this is a feature we've been pondering over for future designs.

This design is only compatible with Xbox 360 (Slim or E). PS3 will require altered acrylic designs + revamped connection diagrams, which we're not concentrating on for the moment. Though we are in the initial processes of churning out a Darkmatter laptop for the PS4!

pixel5 TechJango6 months ago

Fair enough! Do you know any place I could find these diagrams?

TechJango (author)  pixel56 months ago

The connection/soldering diagrams & tables are in the instructable : )

botdfmiw6 months ago
Im gonna cry from beauty
NTT botdfmiw6 months ago

http://youtu.be/6EBQv-h6a8g

jack bot6 months ago
That's really cool
zspina6 months ago
Does this work with an original xbox 360
TechJango (author)  zspina6 months ago

Only Slim and E versions for now I'm afraid.

the case design is awesome, i love those printed corners.

TechJango (author)  liquidhandwash6 months ago

Thank you!

M3G6 months ago
Awesome!