Tiny Raspberry Pi Mac Nails The Apple Aesthetic

We know that some in the audience will take issue with calling a Raspberry Pi in a 3D-printed case the “World’s Smallest iMac”, but you’ve got to admit, [Michael Pick] has certainly done a good job recreating the sleek look of the real hardware. While there might not be any Cupertino wizardry under all that PLA, it does have a properly themed user interface and the general aversion to external ports and wires that you’d expect to see on an Apple desktop machine.

The clean lines of this build are made possible in large part by the LCD itself. Designed specifically for the Raspberry Pi, it offers mounting stand-offs on the rear, integrated speakers, a dedicated 5 V power connection, and a FFC in place of the traditional HDMI cable. All that allows the Pi to sit neatly on the back of the panel without the normal assortment of awkward cables and adapters going in every direction. Even if you’re not in the market for a miniature Macintosh, you may want to keep this display in mind for your future Pi hacking needs.

Well, that’s one way to do it.

Despite this clean installation, the diminutive Raspberry Pi was still a bit too thick to fit inside the 3D-printed shell [Michael] designed. So he slimmed it down in a somewhat unconventional, but admittedly expedient, way. With a rotary tool and a steady hand, he simply cut the double stacked USB ports in half. With no need for Ethernet in this build, he bisected the RJ-45 connector as well. We expect some groans in the comments about this one, but it’s hard to argue that this isn’t a hack in both the literal and figurative sense.

We really appreciate the small details on this build, from the relocated USB connectors to the vent holes that double as access to the LCDs controls. [Michael] went all out, even going so far as to print a little insert for the iconic Macintosh logo on the front of the machine. Though given the impressive work he put into his miniature “gaming PC” a couple months back, it should come as no surprise; clearly this is a man who takes his tiny computers very seriously.

35 thoughts on “Tiny Raspberry Pi Mac Nails The Apple Aesthetic

    1. I like how they loudly roll their eyes in the article that someone is going to complain about this, and then the very first comment is someone complaining about it.

      Never change, hackaday commenters

  1. FYI: At least for USB 2.0 connectors, the single fits in the double-decker footprint. I would expect the same for 3.0.
    Conductive debris near high pin count devices is not a good idea. Tape up the board before you dremel.

  2. The guy literally said in his YouTube comments that he “planned” to remove the USB and RJ45 this way… when you could literally desolder them in less than 5 minutes and if you wanted USB, just resolder a new single connector. He was also too lazy to reprint the case when his LCD didn’t fit correctly.

    This isn’t a hack, it’s a tragedy.

    1. Hey it is simple and not really a hack but be nice. If you don’t think good about it then you make a better one. By the way do you even have a 3d printer? I do and if I were him I’d probably do the same as him, it’s not too “lazy” it would take time and more filament.

    1. I think the same, looks good enough to me. If he had used a soldering iron instead, some of the Pi’s component would have been overheated maybe (in worst case). Also, this method surely does the “think different” mentality justice.. :)

  3. What’s with the conspicuous product placement? Honestly, someone posts on HaD with ‘Pi’ in the title, and a conspicuous beverage can? Or am I just being too cynical?

      1. He puts “watch me murder this raspberry pi” on HaD, where “raspberry pi” is bound to get a reaction. Predictably, Pi lovers react in horror, Pi haters rejoice. This is bound to generate some traffic to his you tube video, where .. heck, idk, stuff happens. You tube stuff. People like to collect views on their videos, bc reasons. Not trying to impugn HaD in any way.

    1. He hacked a Pi with a dremel,. All this super-Chad has in his home is RedBull and 10000 used sets if wiiings. There was literally nothing else he could use for scale.

  4. I think people are missing the point. There is a joy in just chopping something in half that you don’t need. It feels liberating to see the sparks fly and know that YOU are in charge here, the master of what is going on. My hat is off to this sort of thing.

    Good work. Keep it up!

    1. I take considerably more satisfaction in my ability to solder at a level sufficient to do it correctly. Rotary tools are the last refuge of the incompetent. (N.B. not all use of rotary tools is incompetence, of course; they have their uses!)

  5. I wish that there were realistic options for a USB and/or serial keyboard rather than these TV/Kodi box BT remotes.
    I have a small (micro)USB KB I ripped from a cheap 7″ tablet portfolio and there is a small serial chat keyboard(there are Arduino libs for it) to snap to I think an older Xbox controller but not anything that is actually well designed and particularly available to get QWERTY or whatever especially to a ultra low power setup like an attiny or even an ESP32.

    1. +1 on a small wireless keyboard. [Bobricius] has been featured on here and has made some nice designs using tactile switches. They’d need some work but it would save you starting from scratch. There’s also a github repo based around repurposing a blackberry keypad (sorry, exact search terms fail me here.)

      If you do build ine, please post it here so I can make one too! (I’ll do the same if I get there first :-D )

  6. Love it! At least he adhered to the Mac design pedigree by crippling the hardware to make it look cool! (sorry, couldn’t resist the jab) I used the same ingredients to make a mini “Windows” machine, it’s a fun little project.

  7. Designed in true Apple fashion…..
    “Can we make it 0.250″ taller? Nah, just lose the screw mounts”
    “Can we make it 0.250″ deeper? Nah, just get rid of the ethernet and extra USB ports”

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