Will you print your next laptop with the Raspberry Pi?

Raspberry Pi Diagram

Raspberry Pi Diagram

For those of you who don’t know, the Raspberry Pi is a “credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard.”   While “underpowered” compared to full sized traditional computers, there are some ground-breaking distinctions.  The Raspberry Pi Model B comes as a small computer motherboard with RCA video, audio, HDMI, LAN, two USB connections, and a small USB micro power connector on board – all for just $35.1

After reading a review and setup guide article on the Raspberry Pi I couldn’t help but thinking back to a news piece about students working on a modular laptop that could easily be disassembled, repaired, and recycled by users without the use of any tools.  With a few minor changes, a Raspberry Pi could be easily adapted for use in a modular laptop.  As one MakerBot commentor, Scott Watkins noted, “A compact motherboard like that is really all that’s needed to make [the modular laptop] dream a reality.”

Between the just-released open source Raspberry Pi and printable Raspberry Pi cases on Thingiverse, there’s nothing to stop you from creating their very own custom laptop.  All it would really take to create your very own laptop would be a USB hub, a USB keyboard, USB LCD monitor, power supply and/or battery pack, connectors, and a 3D printed case to hold it all in.  I’d be willing to bet all the parts could be sourced for less than $250 plus a 3D printed case.

  1. The Model A has only one USB port and no LAN ethernet port for $25! []