A single board computer on a desk is fine for quick demos but for taking it into the wild (or even the rest of the house) you’re going to want a little more safety from debris, ESD, and drops. As SBCs get more useful this becomes an increasingly relevant problem to solve, plus a slick enclosure can be the difference between a nice benchtop hack and something that looks ready to sell as a product. [Chris] (as ProjectSBC) has been working on a series of adaptable cases called the MagClick Case System for the LattePanda Alpha SBC which are definitely worth a look.
The LattePanda Alpha isn’t a run-of-the-mill SBC; it’s essentially the mainboard from a low power ultrabook and contains up to an Intel Core M series processor, 8GB RAM, and 64GB of eMMC. Not to mention an onboard Atmega32u4, WiFi, Gigabit Ethernet, and more. It has more than enough horsepower to be used as an everyday desktop computer or even a light gaming system if you break PCIe out of one the m.2 card slots. But [Chris] realized that such adaptability was becoming a pain as he had to move it from case-to-case as his use needs changed. Thus the MagClick Case System was born.
As the name suggests, the MagClick cases are designed to click together magnetically during construction and mounting. Snap the sides on the SBC and add the top and bottom and you have an enclosed desktop system that exposes all the ports. Pop the top off and snap it to the side of a GPU/power supply enclosure and you have a stationary gaming system. Pull it off again and attach it to [Chris]’s Nintendo Switch style portable case with batteries and Joycons and you’re gaming on the move. In practice some of these transitions will still require plugging in internal and external wires, but we think it’s a big improvement.
Right now the files for some MagClick variants are on Thingiverse, and [Chris] has a tutorial for now to assemble the desktop (“Base”) case. If you’re interested in learning more check out the slick intro video after the break.
This isn’t the only SBC case we’ve seen recently. [Madeline Gannon] made a similarly adaptable series of cases for the Jetson Nano so she could take it into the world.