Introduction: Raspberry Pi Photo Booth / Box

This project is based on the awesome Instructable class about Raspberry Pis. If you haven't taken it, I strongly suggest checking it out:

The final project in that class is getting a Pi up and running and using the diminutive computer as a photo booth. I actually had a need for one for my boy's upcoming birthday party so I am using this instructable to show how I built my photo booth as a sci-fi looking box, which I could easily take to a NERF themed birthday party.

For this project I needed the following:

A screen:

A raspberry Pi 3 starter kit:

raspberry pi camera kit:

A push button:

10 mm led lights (blue, red and green) and some 220 ohm resisters.

Some plywood: 3mm and some 3/4 birch

Wood glue and some screws.

Step 1: Cut All the Parts for the Case

I used the laser cutter at my local maker space to cut a a face plate and a back out of the 3mm ply. I cut these to be 13 inches x 19 inches. I then cutout 3 holes for my led above the screen opening. Finally I cut the camera opening (11mm x 11mm) and then a 6 mm hole for the start button.

For the sides I cut them out of the 3/4 ply. The sizes were 6 inches x 19 inches. The top and base were cut from 3/4 and measured 6 inches x 14 inches.

Finally I cut some random sci fi / industrial style trim parts for decor. I just cut these from cut offs and scraps using the 3mm ply.

Step 2: Cut Slots for the Front and Back Panels on the Side Walls

I dropped the table saw blade to be about 1/2 inch high and cut some slots in the sides from top to bottom about a 1/4 inch in from the edge. These groves will receive and hold the front and back panels.

Step 3: Assemble the Box

I test assembled my box. Once I knew everything lined up correctly, I drilled guide holes on the top and bottom panels. I counter bored these so that when I assembled everything for the final fit, I could sink the screw heads flush with the wood.

Step 4: Mount All Components.

I used the mounting hardware with my 7 inch screen to mount it to the panels. I also installed my 6mm push button.

Step 5: Mount the Pi and the Camera

I mounted my Pi and the LED lights. I then ran the camera to the opening. My wiring was a bit of a mess, but this will be a short term project, just being used for 1 day, so I don't mind.

The steps for all the wiring can be found in the Intro Raspberry Pi class.

I took the liberty of adding a few more status lights that fire off at various stages to indicate what is happening. The coding was straight forward after taking the class.

I drilled an opening in the side of the case so I could run my power supply. I used a 1/2 paddle bit to create that hole.

After everything was mounted I slid the front of the case down into the slots I had cut to receive it.

Step 6: Close Up the Case

I did final assembly on my case and screwed the top on.

Step 7: Add the Decor Trim

I used wood glue and glued on the sci fi themed trim pieces to to the case. This really added a whole new dimension. I tried a few layouts before deciding what I liked. I had also etched a few plates with descriptors of what each led light means.

The final flow is as follows:

User approaches the photo box and the main green button is lit. the press it to begin. The first blue LED begins to flash. As it blinks more rapidly, this indicates the process is about to begin. The screen shows the camera view. The second LED, the green one, lights as a photo is taken, then goes out. It lights 5 times, as 5 pics are taken. The final LED, the red one, then lights up to indicate the images are being processed. The are actually being uploaded to Tumblr in the form of a GIF of the 5 images that were taken.

This was a fun project. Taking the Pi class was a a great way to get my feet wet and it taught me all the programming and hardware related skills I need to get this done. What is really great is that after my kids birthday party, I can pull the Pi and touchscreen out and use it on my next project!

I've attached my code from the Pi class which can be modified for your own use.