Introduction: Altoids Arduino Case

i made a little tin to hold my Arduino Uno from an empty Altoids (the green ones, for those interested). i lined the tin with anti-static bubble wrap, to protect against both kinds of shocks.

Step 1: Spray Paint the Tin

this is optional, i did it because we had leftover paint after spray painting my sisters rims. i threw down some toothpicks so the tin doesnt become glued to the newspaper

Step 2: Like a Hot Knife Through Bubble Wrap

thats my BernzOmatic butane torch, i got it for about $20 from a local Orchard Supply Hardware. pretty cool piece of kit that can be a torch, couple different soldering iron tips, and a hot knife; add in the sponge and solder inside that case and it's really useful for soldering where electrical outlets aren't.

you light the iron by pushing a spring loaded collar forward, which exposes that left hole you can see in the second pic. turn the power to 4 and hold a flame to the hole. after a few seconds the catalyst inside the tube (between the two holes you see) gets hot and you can release the collar and the iron is on. be careful because the exhaust port is that right hole, and as you can see it will vent directly down onto whatever youre hot knifing. if i didn't hold the knife at a steep angle the exhaust would have melted my bubble wrap

be careful you dont make the same mistake i did and trace the outer perimeter of the tin and cut to that, i should have made everything about one row of bubbles smaller so it would fit inside the case.

Step 3: Hot Glue the Bubble Wrap

very carefully hot glue the bubble wrap inside the tin. if your glue gun has a low setting use it, i was using the hot one and made things sloppier than i'd like.

i ended up having to reglue a couple problem spots, pay special attention to the lip around the top. when putting my arduino in the case it peeled down the bubble wrap from the sides. a ring of glue around the inner lip will keep the bubble wrap where it's supposed to be.

now that all is said and done, i'm pretty happy with the case. the arduino doesnt move much when i'm shaking it with the lid open, and i can't feel movement when it's closed. it's easy to remove and replace the board inside, and i'm sure snazzy stickers will soon adorn the case.

one thing i would change if i could is to use anti-static foam instead of bubble wrap. closed cell foam is much more resilient than a bubble of air, and would probably be easier to use the hot knife on