Introduction: Holodock Pine64

About: I'm a student at the University Rotterdam, Applied Computer Science, located in the Netherlands.. Fascinated by electronic circuits, computers and programming

Ever since I started disassembling many kinds of devices at a young age I'm fascinated by electronic devices. I've played around with many mini-developer boards like Arduino, Raspberry Pi (1B & 2B) and many more. So I decided to order up a Pine64, Cheap, fast and promising, to build up a 'Holodock' project with.

I hope you enjoy.


  • Pine64, or equivalent (e.g. Raspberry Pi).
  • Access to a 3D Printer
  • Access to a Laser cut machine. **(You could consider to 3D print instead)
  • Transparent plexiglas (100mm x 150mm, ~5mm thick). 'serves as optical hologram'.
  • Plywood (220mm x 220mm, ~3-4mm thick), optional colored plexiglas or equivalent. (able to laser cut).
  • LCD/TFT Display (5" inch is used in this instructable).
  • 3D Modeling software, or in my case Thinkercad.
  • Hot glue gun or equivalent.
  • (optional) Fine sandpaper.
  • (optional) Acetone, to smooth up the 3D Print.

Step 1: Modeling the Bottom-plate

Lets go and design a bottom plate for the pine64! There's not quite much to talk about how to, what to do, or anything about modeling the bottom-plate.. So I just show you some illustrations of my 'creative' inspiration. :). As for you 'maybe?' an inspiration.

Step 2: Panes and Top Designing for Laser-cutting

Now.. we're done with the bottom-plate design, I think? Well.. let's design the case panes and top parts in something like Illustrator or equivalent.

Tip:There is a 'little cheating' way to make the most of the paths without drawing them manually if you have designed the whole case in Thinkercad! If you lay down the panels flat on the 'Workplane' you can generate a SVG path for laser cutting: [Design] > [Download for 3D Printing] > [.SVG], you could also preview the generated path first.. *It is possible that you have to revise some lines, just open it in illustrator and redraw the faulty lines.

Good to know:

  1. Cut through the material,
    Set stroke weight to 0.01 pt.
    Set stroke color to red: RGB 255, 000, 000

  2. To engrave a solid/filled shape on the material:
    Set fill color to Black: RGB 000,000,000

  3. To engrave a stroke on the material,
    Set stroke weight to 0.25 pt.
    Set stroke color to Blue: RGB 000,000,255

Repeat the engraving step multiple times to get a deeper etch.

Step 3: Prototype

Let's go and prototype the designs! Thanks to a few 'Open Data Labs' spread around the world, I did have this possibility, and could acces a lot of machines without the need to buying them myself.

So I had set the machines to work to (hopefully) get a nice prototype of the designed concept. unfortunately some of the available machines are a bit old and would have some issues during the execution of the tasks. But.. it's persistence that accomplishes something. So I tried and tried. So be patience.. It doesn't always work at once..

3D printing
What do we need? Any type of 3D printer will do.. In my case I did use an Ultimaker 2 3D printer. This is one of the cheapest 3D printers to get.. Yes.. I know, there are a few kickstarter projects which offers even cheaper printers.. :) In my case it took a few tries to get an acceptable model.. This, because of the available machine which are used many times and need to be re-calibrate a lot of times.

Laser cutting
Laser cutters are expansive to buy..! so if you're lucky, you're able to use a laser cutter at one of those 'Open Data Labs'. A lot of laser cutters will fit for the job of cutting through acrylic and triplex. But you have to be sure that the design will fit on the cutting bench, else you have to relocate some of the pieces in Illustrator to get it fit on the bench.

Alter your design
In most cases you have to alter some things on your design. In my case I had to alter one of the panes to make a hole for the HDMI connector, which is located on the display.. After all, this is a consequence of prototyping :)

Wiring it up!
It's nice that the Pine64, Raspberry Pi and equivalent are designed to play with and are armed with a neat GPIO bus.. So you can power up parts through the GPIO pins. Unfortunately, in my case it appears that the display doesn't accept any image through GPIO.. So I'm forced to use a HDMI cable to send out an image signal..

Hot glue?
Hot glue is a good and inexpensive option to create fast and quick little pieces like feet which the case can stand on or bumps where the plexiglas piece can rest on.

Step 4: Demo Video of the HoloDock

Thanks for visiting my Intractable! Have fun with your project, I hope I did inspire you (a bit). And leave some comment if you liked my Instructable !