Introduction: Samytronix Pi: DIY Raspberry Pi Desktop Computer (with Accessible GPIO)

About: We (Nicholas Patrick & Samuel Alexander) make electronics and coding projects with Arduino and Raspberry Pi. I hope you like our projects as much as we enjoy making them.

In this project we will make a Raspberry Pi Desktop computer that I call Samytronix Pi. This desktop computer build is mostly made out of 3mm laser cut acrylic sheet. Samytronix Pi is equipped with a HD monitor, speakers, and most importantly accessible GPIO pinouts! Just add keyboard & mouse, and you are good to go!

With the GPIO connections accessible on this Raspberry Pi build, this PC is suitable for hobbyist, makers, students, teachers, and even researchers. The components used in this project are off the shelves components that are easy to find and also not expensive.

Step 1: Gathering All the Components

Samytronix Pi Components:

  • Mini Speaker 8 Ohm, 2 Watt
  • Connector plug Mini micro JST 2.0 PH 4-pin
  • 40pin GPIO cable
  • 10.1 inch LCD for Raspberry Pi 1280*800 TFT EJ101IA HD IPS
  • HDMI to HDMI cable 30cm (short)
  • Hobbywing UBEC 5V 3A
  • Micro USB male socket
  • Power adapter 12V 1.5A
  • Raspberry Pi 3 model B+ (3B and 2B also compatible)
  • Micro SD card 16GB
  • Wireless keyboard and Mouse (recommended: Logitech nano mk240)
  • for HAT extension 40pin GPIO cable with 40pin header equal lenght long 2.54mm pitch

Bolts and Nuts:

  • Bolt M3 35mm... 8pcs
  • Bolt M3 20mm... 4pcs
  • Bolt M3 15mm... 6pcs
  • Bolt M2 or 2.5 10mm... 8pcs
  • Nut M2 or 2.5... 8pcs
  • Nylon spacer M2 or 2.5 6mm... 8pcs

If you have any questions regarding the parts, please feel free to leave a comment down below!

Step 2: Laser Cut Acrylic

Here are the files (Illustrator and CorelDraw) for the laser cut acrylic. 3mm thick acrylic sheet is used in this project.

Step 3: Assemble the Front Panel (monitor)

1. Place the monitor as shown in the first picture.

2. Insert the ribbon cable to the monitor.

3. Secure and cover the cable connection with a duct tape.

4. Place the last layer of acrylic sheet as shown in the last picture.

Step 4: Assemble the Raspberry Pi Enclosure

1. Insert M2/M2.5 10mm bolts and nuts as shown in the 1st pic.

2. Align and mount the raspberry Pi to the bolts. Secure it with a small spacer shown in the 2nd pic.

3. Arrange and place the remaining acrylic parts as shown in the 3rd and 4th pic.

4. Insert 4x M3 35mm bolts through the holes near the edge of the enclosure and secure it with a nut shown in the 5th pic.

5. Don't forget to insert the SD card to the Raspberry Pi. This step can be done later, but it will be harder once the enclosure is already mounted to the front panel.

Step 5: Solder the UBEC to the Monitor Driver (AV)

This step is necessary so that the desktop computer will run with only one power supply. To do this we need to take 12V DC from the AV driver and output it to power the Raspberry Pi using 5V DC.

1. Cut the connector on the output end.

2. Solder the power wires to the male micro-USB connector.

3. Put the micro-USB back to its enclosure.

Step 6: Assemble the AV Monitor Driver Enclosure

This step is similar to step 4.

1. Insert M2/M2.5 10mm bolts and nuts as shown in the 1st pic.

2. Align and mount the raspberry Pi to the bolts. Secure it with a small spacer.

3. Arrange and place the remaining acrylic parts as shown in 2nd pic.

4. Make sure the UBEC cables are not tangled (you can choose to hide the UBEC inside the enclosure or let it be outside. Just make sure that the USB connector is outside the enclosure.

5. Connect the 10 pin JST cable. 3rd pic.

6. Connect the speaker cable. 4th pic.

7. Insert 4x M3 35mm bolts through the holes near the edge of the enclosure, place the cover, secure it with a nut shown in the 6th pic.

8. Connect the other side of the 10 pin JST connector to the monitor controller.

9. Mount the controller to a piece of acrylic shown in the 7th pic.

Step 7: Mounting the Stand

1. Mount the side part of the stand as shown in the 1st pic.

2. Place the middle part as shown in the 2nd pic.

3. Place the nut in the given space and use the bolt to lock the acrylic parts in place.

4. Do the same thing on the remaining areas. (side part stand to the monitor, upper part stand to the side parts, lower part stand to the side parts)

Step 8: Mount the Speakers

Use glue gun to mount the speakers to the grill on the front panel.

Step 9: Mounting the Raspberry Pi and AV Driver

There are two options for mounting the Raspberry Pi and AV Board. You can use a double sided tape or a velcro. In this example we are using a double sided tape, but they are interchangeable.

1. Use double sided tape to mount the AV driver enclosure. Make sure the holes on the front panel aligns with the nuts on the enclosure.

2. Mount the monitor controller and the Raspberry Pi using the same method.

3. Connect the ribbon cable from the monitor to the AV driver.

4. Connect the HDMI cable from the Raspberry Pi to the AV driver.

5. Connect the micro-USB cable to the Raspberry Pi.

Step 10: Shorten the GPIO Jumper Cable (optional)

This step is necessary if you want to shorten the GPIO jumper cable to make a tidier cable management.

1. Open the black connector part of the jumper cable using a small flathead screwdriver as shown in the 1st and 2nd pic.

2. Peel the cable off from the tiny blades.

3. Cut the cable to make it about 9cm length.

4. Place the cable (near the end) in between the black parts and snap them together so that each individual tiny blade will be connected to each cable.

5. Put every part in place just like how it was before.

Step 11: Plug the GPIO Jumper to Make It Accessible From the Front

1. Plug one end of the GPIO jumper to the Raspberry Pi.

2. Plug the other end on the GPIO opening on the front panel. Secure it in place using small amount of hot glue gun.

Step 12: Add the GPIO Label

Print the GPIO label on a sticker paper or use an adhesive to place the label around the GPIO access on Samytronix Pi. This can be extremely useful and save a lot of time when prototyping using Samytronix Pi.

Step 13: All Done!

Congratulations you made it to the very end! You have made yourself your very own computer. Have fun using your brand new computer for prototyping, making projects, or just use it as a web browser like you would in a normal computer.

I hope you find this project useful and enjoyable to make! Be sure to like, vote, and share this project with your friends! Leave a comment down below if you have any questions or suggestions.

Raspberry Pi Contest 2020

Runner Up in the
Raspberry Pi Contest 2020