inapp hardware

Cute little ARM board (inner active ingredient) + Tiny 3D-printed housing (color plastic hull) + Transparent sticker (attractive branding) = your new medication for pretty printing.

The Nano Pi NEO

The Nano Pi Neo is a cheap Chinese ARM board with everything needed (Ethernet, On-the-Go USB) and a tiny 40x40mm form-factor [1].

The price is unbelievably low, but the product is difficult to get to your hands at that price. Expensive shipping DHL fees are applied. Wait, the website was just changed while writing this post. Now cheaper (but slower) delivery via China Post is offered at 7$ for Germany, and 8$ for France.

The board seems to be popular and its wiki pages provide many additional resources [2]. Especially interesting is the 3D model file for an enclosure at [3].

The 3D-printed box

Let's customize the box

Blender can import .stl files and has special support for modeling objects for 3D-printing.

Below is a light reminder of the Blender shortcuts for future me, who keeps forgeting how to use this tool.

Blender basics

Tab to switch between 'Object' and 'Edit' modes.

Opening menus:

T                               : Toolbox (on the left)
N                               : N-menu? (on the right)

Going around:

Scroll                          : Zoom in/out
MiddleClick + MouseMove         : Rotation
Shift + MiddleClick + MouseMove : Translate
Z                               : Solid/Wireframe
1, 3, 7                         : Front, side, top    view
Ctrl + 1, 3, 7                  : Back,  side, bottom view
9                               : Flip view
5                               : Perspective/orthogonal mode
4, 6                            : Rotate view
2, 8                            : Tilt view

Wait, I have a question... Something super sueful would be to undo a view change, how to do that? No [4], and no [5]. (u_u)

If you are using Inkscape often and want to save yourself a few of your brain neurones, swap the two keyboard shortcuts for 3D-view rotation and translation (so as to make translate with the middle-click like Inkscape).

Moving stuff:

<action> (+ X,Y,Z (+ <value>))  : <action> (only on X,Y,Z (by <value>))
G                               : Grab
S                               : Scale
R                               : Rotate

Don't forget to apply transformations if they are done in Object mode: Object > Apply > Rotation & Scale.

Setting up the units (Properties > Scene > Units):

Setting up the grid (N-Menu > Display):

Blender more

Boolean difference operation (in 'Object' mode) [6]:
  1. Select the object receiving the operation.
  2. Add modifier (Properties > Modifiers).
  3. Select the object for the "cutting".

Font: There is a Font menu on the right in Properties > Fonts. The text can be changed in 'Edit' mode. To transform the text object into a mesh: Object > Convert to > Convert from Curve/Meta/Surf/Text.

Need a font? Encode Sans [7] is nice [8].

Blender more more

Non-Manifolds? a manifold mesh can be seen as water-tight shape [9].

Zero-faces? But the zero-faces won't go away [10]? (>.<)