My PyPortal case design

Lately, I’ve been playing with my Adafruit PyPortal quite a bit. It’s a pretty cool little development board that has a 2.4″ TFT and includes Wi-Fi. Most of the project I’ve done with this device have been short-term countdown type projects or going out and grabbing pictures off the internet. Of course, I also made the Star Trek clock with a PyPortal. I’ve had problems finding a good case to keep the PyPortal in when it is sitting in my very cluttered workspace. None of the designs I could find out there for the PyPortal seemed to be right for my use. So I opened up Fusion 360 and designed my case.

Adafruit made this easy.

At first, I took out my caliper and started to get all the dimensions for the PyPortal. I then remembered that Adafruit is a dedicated open-source company and likely would have the measurements I needed published. Not only did they have the measurements I needed, but they provided a CAD drawing of the PyPortal.

CAD drawing of the PyPortal provided by Adafruit and opened with Fusion360.

There probably is a way to design right around that drawing. But what I did was use the inspect tool to get the precise measurements I needed. It took no time at all to fill out the parameters table.

PyPortal case parameters in Fusion360.

Looking at the parameters again, I see that I didn’t need all the measurements I took. Some of the parameters were not required for the final design. But I suppose it is better to have more measurements than not enough.

My sketch

Looking at the sketch now, it seems so simple. But I have to admit getting all of the constraints right was a bit of a pain. The screw holes in relation to the board made it interesting to figure out how to mount this device from behind and have the screen align correctly in the front.

PyPortal case sketch.

The bodies

Extruding the bodies was reasonably straight-forward. The only thing I had to be careful with was cutting out the USB access. I will admit I had to print the case twice. My first time extruding the body, I messed up where the USB access hole resided. But on the current revision, it aligns perfectly.

STL files

I made the STL files available on Thingivierse as Thing 4705243. This design isn’t as cool as some of the other PyPortal cases available on Thingiverse. But maybe it will be useful to someone else.

The printed product

I am quite pleased with the final product. First and foremost, the case is strong and will protect the PyPortal from the disorganization on my desk/workspace. Second, the screwholes and screen are aligned correctly. I could use this case as a finished product if I wanted. Actually, for an Anime project I’m working on, this may end up being the case I use.

PyPortal case printed and in use.
Screws are all aligned as they should!
A look at the PyPortal mounted in the case and sitting next to the cover.

Now to get the actual code working.

There are a couple of projects I’m working on involving the PyPortal. I hope by having the PyPortal in a hard case, I don’t have to worry about clutter causing issues and tearing the ribbon cable or something like that. Maybe I’ll actually finish those projects well. I tend to like hardware projects but drag my feet on getting code working correctly.

Song of the day: Laugh n A 1/2

It’s a new year. As I look back on 2020, all I can do is “laugh out loud to no one..”… Here is DAD.

Bonus song: Sleeping My Day Away

Too bad I couldn’t sleep the year away.

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