LATTEintosh DIY Mini PC
Hey Guys how you doin!
So here's something super cool, a full-size Macintosh 128K-inspired PC completely 3D Printed and made from Scratch.
The heart and brain of this project is a Latte Panda 3 Delta which is a Single Board computer powered by an Intel N5105 11th Gen Mobile Processor, it has 8GB LDDR4 Memory with 64GB eMMC onboard.
As for the display, I'm using a 7-inch HD Display from a previous project that was a Handheld Gaming device. That setup was functional but it lacked power as it had Raspberry Pi 3B+ with only 1GB Ram.
However, this current setup more is much powerful in terms of processing power, RAM, Storage, and other stuff.
For the PC Enclosure, I've modeled the whole thing by taking inspiration from the original 1980s Macintosh 128K PC.
Fusion360 was used to prepare the model and I then exported everything and use my good old ender 3 for printing every part with White and Orange PLA.
This Bad boy can run all sorts of stuff, yes it can even run DOOM!
This Article is about the whole built process of this LATTEintosh PC so let's get started.
these were the things used in this project-
1- Latte Panda 3 Delta SBC
2- 7- Inch Display (with HDMI Functionality)
3- 4 Ohms Speaker
4- DC Fan 12V
6- HDMI Mini Cable
7- 3D printed Parts
8- M2 Screws
9- M3 Screws
Story Behind the Idea of Recreating the Macintosh 128K Themed PC
This all starts with the original Macintosh 128K, I'm from India, and computers were introduced to the public in the late 90s. my father bought an old Macintosh 128K that he used to prepare some documents. I used it for playing games mostly.
My first PC was a Compaq Desktop that run windows98 and that was a massive change from Mac's black and white interface to a full-color display and it had soo many things on it.
Macintosh was better looking because it was an all-in-one PC of early age which was a cool thing, its hardware might not be better than my later PC but it still had an Aesthetic impact on me to this day.
the Goal of this project was to recreate a Retro icon with new hardware, so I took inspiration from the Macintosh 128K and model my version in Fusion360.
For the screen, I used a 7-inch Display that was salvaged from a previous project I built, I modeled it and prepared the body around the display.
Because it's a Big Project to build and 3D Print, I made the model in 3 Parts, the Base body or Front Cover, the Middle part, and the bottom lid.
Front Cover Holds the Display, the Middle part holds the single board computer, and the bottom lid holds the fan.
Latte Panda 3 Delta
I'm using a Latte Panda 3 Delta to run my LATTEintosh PC.
Latte Panda Delta 3 is a new SBC (single board computer) made by Latte Panda, It features an Intel Celeron N5105 11th generation mobile quad-core processor.
LattePanda 3 Delta uses 2933MHz high-frequency LPDDR4 8GB RAM with 64GB Onboard storage.
It runs default windows 10 but we can swap it with Linux which is super awesome.
LattePanda 3 Delta uses M.2 B Key instead of M.2 E Key and can connect to the 4G or 5G module, we can even add a graphic card by using an NVMe Key M Extender Cable to PCI-E x16 Graphics Card Riser Adapter.
It even has an onboard Atmega32u4 MCU and a bunch of other stuff like an Amplifier for speaker connection and PD Functionality for outputting 5V and 12V for powering modules etc.
It has a Type C Port that can be used as a power IN Port or we can use it as a USB port or display port or even add a Multi Port hub on it for connecting all sorts of stuff with this board.
The reason for using Latte Panda here was simple, Its specs are just bonkers and it serves as a replacement for a low-power netbook or i3-based desktops, it can run all sorts of stuff and I wanted to use it for running a few emulation systems, and chrome for accessing youtube.
Raspberry Pi is underpowered for this application, Latte Panda is just better.
DFRobot reached out and provided this SBC for the current project, do check their site for getting your own Latte Panda 3 Delta.
The Main Model consists of a total of 13 parts that are the base body, middle body, back lid, funnel, handle, three internal supporting pillars, four middle body holders, logo, false floppy add-on, funnel, adaptor holder, and lid of the lid.
The Base body holds the display, logo, and the false floppy disk add-on.
Middle Body holds the speaker, Latte panda, and three internal supporting pillars.
Middle Body is divided into two parts for reducing the print time from 19 hours to 10 hours by using a 1mm Nozzle.
The back lid contains the DC Fan with a funnel for airflow and the Latte Panda's adaptor holder, it also contains the lid of the lid which is a part that we add to the back lid, it can be opened to see what's happening inside the PC.
3D Printed Body
We export each part mesh file and open them in 3D Printer's slicing software.
I used Cura with these below settings-
Nozzle - 1mmLayer Height - 0.32mmInfill- 50% cubicFan 20% SpeedMaterial - PLA
We need to print the following parts-
base bodymiddle bodyback lidfunnelhandleinternal supporting pillar 1 x 2internal supporting pillar 2 x 1middle body holder x 1logo x 1 with Orange PLAfalse floppy add-on x 1 with Orange PLAfunnel x 1adaptor holder x 1the lid of the lid x 1 with Orange PLA
Front Lid Assembly Process
We first start by preparing the front lid first. We add the 7-Inch LCD Display on the 3D Printed front lid cover by using some hot glue, we add hot glue on each corner of the display, which will hold it in place.Next, we add a small tactile switch, this will be the main button for turning the Latte panda ON and OFF.After that, we add LATTEintosh Name Place and floppy disk cover on the front side by using super glue.
Middle Body Assembly Process
Middle Body was too large so it was printed in two parts to reduce print time, earlier it was 20 Hours but after dividing the middle part, each part is now printed in less than 10 hours.
we also add four rectangular parts that hold the two separated parts in their place.
We start the assembly by first adding two rectangular parts on one side by using four M2 Screws for each holder.After completely merging two halves of the middle body, we add a Handle to it with two M3 Screws.
Front and Middle Body Merge
We place the Middle Body on the Front Lid, M3 Screws are used for combining these two bodies together.
We start by first preparing two 4 Ohms Speakers by first adding two wires with each speaker and then connecting the other end of both wires with a CON4 Header Pin.We then place each Speaker on the middle body, I've already made grills and mounting holes on the middle body in the CAD Design.
Result So Far...
Until now, we have combined the front and middle body to prepare the basic structure of the computer, we have also added a Display and speakers on the front and middle body. We add the VCC and GND of the display to Latte Panda's 5V and GND port for powering the display.
We start the Lid assembly by first adding DC Fan with the air vent by using four M3 Long Screws.Next, we put the Latte Panda's Power Brick in its place and use the holder to mount it permanently in its place by two M2 Screws.We then add the Lid cover to the lid by using a single M2 Screw, This lid cover is kept in its place by two square magnets.for looking inside the Latte Panda, we move the lid cover and it rotates, revealing the inside part.
Barrel Jack for DC Fan
Next, we add a Barrel DC jack to the middle body.This barrel jack is for connecting a 12V Adaptor for powering DC Fan.We solder the positive and negative wires of DC Fan with Barrel jack's Vcc and GND.At last, we test to connect the 12V Adaptor and test if the fan is working or not.
Adding Latte Panda to Middle Body
Now we add Latte Panda to the middle body
We start by adding Plastic Standoffs that came along with Latte PandaWe place the Latte Panda in its place and use four M3 Screws to hold the latte panda with the middle body.
Adding Internal Pillars
Next, we add internal supporting pillars inside the middle body. These pillars are essential as they dont let the body flex too much or compress, adding them to all sides makes this PC strong structurally.We first place the Horizontal Internal Support Mount near the speaker, then we add two more vertical Internal support mounts.
We first add the HDMI cable to the Latte Panda's Display portWe then add the Display's Vcc and GND port into the 5V and GND of the latte panda.Then we place the Speaker Positive and Negative (both Speakers) into the audio out of the latte panda.At last, we add the Switch wire harness with the SW Port of Latte Panda
In the final assembly, we first merge the Assembled Middle body with the Assembled Lid, before adding both parts together, we plug the Type C USB Cable port into the Latte panda supply port and then close the Middle body with the Lid assembly.Next, we use a total of Six M2 Screws to hold the lid in its place, we place three screws on each side.PC is now fully assembled and ready for Boot up.
Here's the result of this tedious built, a small PC that almost resembles Macintosh 128K, however it runs windows 10 instead of mac os but It is capable of running all sorts of stuff, from video editing software to photoshop and even low-spec games, including emulation software and most importantly, google chrome with youtube! It can even run Minecraft.
Connecting Keyboard and Mouse
For IO, I will be using its three USB 3.0 Ports for connecting the keyboard and mouse, I will be upgrading to a BT Keyboard and mouse that will share the same bt dongle for connectivity but for now, I'll be using my Dell Keyboard and HP Standard Mouse.
As for powering the PC, we use the provided Power cord that connects with Latte Panda's Adaptor and power the whole system.
This bad boy can run most of the games that doesnt require a graphic card because I'm into retro stuff, I loaded up PPSSPP which is a PlayStation portable Emulator, and run the Dragon Ball Z - Shin Budokai which is a title from 2006 made for PSP, I tried playing OSU on it as well which also worked.
I haven't tested big titles on it yet but I will be adding an SSD to the latte panda later and then I will be stress testing it by running CSGO on it through STEAM.
Also, here's an important thing that I had to point out, YES IT CAN RUN DOOM!
Playing Videos and Anime
One major thing that we use a PC is for watching stuff like movies, shows, and ANIME. here's an example of how smooth stuff runs on this 7-inch display, display itself isn't that bright but it does work.
We can access websites by using a regular browser like chrome or edge, for testing I tried to open multiple tabs on chrome and browse each of them and the system worked without any lag.
Overall, this PC Works like a normal Desktop. It supports everything as it uses the Windows 10 OS not any mod or edited version but the actual windows 10 home.
Its size is small which means we can carry it around anywhere and use an AC Source for powering it up, we can also use 12V Source for power but we had to make some changes in the design by adding a 12V barrel jack port that connects with Latte Panda's 12V IN connector.
SSD upgrade is what I will be improving in this project, also a new display can also be used as the current display has some brightness issues.
Also, Latte Panda is being powered through the USB C port that also supports display output and USB Connectivity. I will be adding a PD Module for outputting a 12V Signal through the Latte Panda's Adaptor and this will be connected with Vin of Latte Panda instead of utilizing the Type C Port.
On Type C Port, I will be adding a USB Dongle for outputting a few USB Ports and one HDMI Port for connecting an external display and adding more IO to this system.
Also, This device is currently powered through Latte Panda's official adaptor, which is powered through AC. I will be adding an Onboard power source for making this setup completely portable which will help a lot if we want to use this PC somewhere else like in the open.
Built Cost and Outro
As for this setup overall cost, the main board was provided by DFROBOT so it didn't cost me and I had all the components with me so for me I spend almost zero dollars on this project but if someone wants to build a PC like this, one whole roll of filament is required which cost around 8-10$.
Latte Panda 3 Delta cost 279$ and the display cost under 35$ pricetag,
DC Fan, Speakers, and other electronic parts like wires HDMI cable cost in total around 20$ so the overall bill would be under 344$ which is acceptable for a PC That is upgradable (through M2A and M2B Ports.
We can add a Graphic card through an M.2 NGFF NVMe Key M Extender Cable to PCI-E x16 Graphics Card Riser Adapter which is a big deal as this small SBC is a perfect mini motherboard for making a small DIY Computer.
This is it for today folks, I will be back with a few more upgrades soon so stay tuned for that.
This project was possible because of the support I got from DFRobot, they were kind enough to send one unit of Latte Panda 3 Delta before its launch, I also ordered a display from them that I will be using in the next version of this PC Soon.
Until then stay tuned and Peace out!