Picture of The SnapPiCam | A Raspberry Pi Camera

Adafruit launched it's PiTFT not long ago and I bought one immediately from Pimoroni. Soon after that Adafruit published a tutorial entitled DIY WiFi Raspberry Pi Touchscreen Camera. I had a good read through it and on the final page the final paragraph was;

The package could be slimmed down considerably; there’s a huge amount of empty space between the PiTFT and Raspberry Pi (even more with a Model A board). Advanced makers could squeeze a slim LiPo battery and a 5V boost converter in there, connecting to the expansion header at the right edge of the TFT board instead of the side-protruding USB power connector. The result would be similar in size to some consumer point-and-shoot digital cameras.

Hmmm OK, Challenge Accepted!

But let's see if we can fit in a charger too, and attach some lenses while we're at it. Modern cameras feature both as standard, no reason why the SnapPiCam shouldn't......

Thanks for voting for the SnapPiCam in the Raspberry Pi Contest, we made First Prize!

The SnapPiCam is on Kickstater!

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Step 1: Parts

Picture of Parts
1 x Raspberry Pi Model A
1 x Raspberry Pi Camera
1 x Adadfruit PiTFT
1 x Adafruit LiPo Charger
1 x Adafruit 1200mAh LiPo
1 x Pololu Step-Up/Step-Down DC Converter
1 x Slide Switch
1 x Compact Micro SD Adaptor
1 x 8gb Micro SD Card

4 x M3 45mm Button Head Screws
4 x M2 8mm Screws
8 x M2 6mm Screws
2 x Nylon M2.5 6mm Screws
2 x M3 4mm Nylon Spacers

4 x M3 Microbabrs
2 x M2.5 Microbarbs
12 x M2 Microbarbs

25 x Laser-Cut Acrylic Parts

1 x Raspberry Pi Mini Sticker

1 x 8x Zoom Lens
1 x Fish-Eye Lens
1 x Telephoto Lens

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kenyer1 month ago

Cool Kickstarter! I hope you do well.

yichone2 months ago

i have bought a night vision raspberry pi camera at, but can i do it?

5t0rm5 months ago

How did you set up the touch screen from adafruit

SilverJimny (author)  5t0rm5 months ago
nerd74736 months ago

you should make your own app/distro that changes to a camera as soon as teh pi boots... that would be very cool

SilverJimny (author)  nerd74736 months ago

It does do that :)

what program did you end up using and how does one such as yourself go about doing that?

esperling6 months ago

I just need to build a simple camera where I can use lipo power, hit a button, record to sd. film from an rc car and then grab the video. could you point me to something like that? sorry if that's a remedial question. I'm a noob

SilverJimny (author)  esperling6 months ago

Haha i am aware of the gopro and appreciate the response, however, in this build im looking to mount 3-4 cameras to record a 360 degree field of view and i need the whole setup to be as compact as possible

SilverJimny (author)  esperling6 months ago

I suggest using cheap digital cameras, eBay would be a good point to start your research from.

CactusMonkey6 months ago

Discovered that my Pi has an antiquated an unsightly growth that your pi does not-

Any advice before I do this?:

2014-03-03 20.04.33.jpg

Figured it out... need to make amendments for my Model B. Stay tuned.

SilverJimny (author)  CactusMonkey6 months ago

It might be better to just get a Model A

CactusMonkey6 months ago

Hey SilverJimny-

Hopefully, you don't mind me asking- how did you deal with the slant due to the pi cam pins?

As you can see, assembly is still in progress...

2014-02-22 17.04.21.jpg
SilverJimny (author)  CactusMonkey6 months ago

3mm Sticky foam pad behind the camera stuck to the acrylic. The screws tighten the camera down onto the foam keeping it level.

CactusMonkey6 months ago

Laser cutting gave me one extra piece than what is shown here. I'll try to figure it out in the next few days (still waiting on microbarbs to arrive).

2014-02-18 20.30.43.jpg
SilverJimny (author)  CactusMonkey6 months ago


CactusMonkey6 months ago

Did some laser cutting today... and so it begins

2014-02-18 18.08.11.jpg
fotosyn7 months ago

Totally blown away by this. Everything is so well crafted - great idea with the layering of cut plastic slices.

SilverJimny (author)  fotosyn7 months ago

Thanks :)

slimbore7 months ago
I do understand , any image interface require lens / at least pin hole , what I need to know can I replace existing lens with a camera lense wich can be adjust focuse. , so that I can replace 35mm film with image interface?
SilverJimny (author)  slimbore7 months ago

If you are asking if you can fit a standard Canon or similar lens onto the SnapPiCam then the answer is no, not without modification to the design.

arquimana7 months ago
Very nice project! Congrats!
Are there laser plans for download?
Can't wait for build one.

SilverJimny (author)  arquimana7 months ago


The plans are attached to the last step.

slimbore7 months ago

I wassearching for conversion of my Fusica wide angle couple range finder camera , as I love this camera , don't want to through in scrap. as 35mm film becoming obslete nowadays. No0w even I can dream of having camcorder. of my own built.


SilverJimny (author)  slimbore7 months ago

My pleasure :)

One more query, Does it possible to use lense of present camera? or the interface has lense / pinhole for?

SilverJimny (author)  slimbore7 months ago

do you mean use it without a lens on it?

MikB SilverJimny7 months ago

I think this confusion is because your first example pictures is labelled "without lens", which is of course unlikely to give an image. You mean "without additional lens, but with the built in Pi Camera Lens", right?

SilverJimny (author)  MikB7 months ago

Yes thats right.

One more query, Does it possible to use lense of present camera? or the interface has lense / pinhole for?

JoQuez247 months ago

what other alternatives can make for the camera body and CHALLENGE ACCEPTED

SilverJimny (author)  JoQuez247 months ago

Just about any 3mm and 1mm thick sheet material should work. So long as you can cut the shapes out yoiu should be fine.

shizumadrive7 months ago

I love the idea I need a new camera and I
have a ras-pi sitting around asking for attention. making the acrylic
case though is beyond something I could make. Maker centers are too far
away. Some day maybe Ill get laser cutter.

Hey you like challenges come up with a ras-pi laser cutter!

I guess Ill see if I can make one out of metal, wood or best of all a dead old camera that cant be repaired. Rip out its guts and stick this in it.

SilverJimny (author)  shizumadrive7 months ago

You could try that with an old film camera, you'd have the advantage of being able to use the old camera's optics.

CactusMonkey7 months ago

Hi There,

This is awesome- I'd like to make this my next project (although with acrylic that has a nice blue tint to it).

I was hoping you wouldn't mind answering a question on the Illustrator file. Our laser cutter makes us specify which colors go through and which ones do not. Would you mind giving a run-down on the colors in the adobe files (or provide a link to where I can look this up)? I'd like to have something like: "Red(255,0,0)goes through , blue(0,0,255)goes through, green does not (0,255,0)...".

These are the easy ones- I don't know what to do with (66,33,11; brown?) or (117,76, 36).

Thanks again- fantastic project!

SilverJimny (author)  CactusMonkey7 months ago


I should have unified the colour, my bad. I separated them out to make the cutting quicker for me. Anyway, the colours are as so;

Red(255,0,0): Cut, all the way through.

Blue(0,0,255): Cut, all the way through.

Green(0,255,0) Vector Engrave, on my cutter I have it at 16% power and 40mm/s.

All the other colours should be raster engraved, or scan as my cutter calls it. Set power at 25% and 40mm/s for raster engrave. I would do a few test runs just to verify the settings beforehand.

Take care to note that layers 11,12, & 16 should be cut from 1mm thick material.

And lastly, photos!

Please :)



Great- Thanks so much. Hopefully you don't mind verifying which layers are 11,12, and 16.


SilverJimny (author)  CactusMonkey7 months ago

I don't mind; the three layers at the bottom which have been separated from the others should be cut from 1mm material.

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