A quick glance at the “Pi Terminal” built by [Salim Benbouziyane], and you might think he pulled an old CRT monitor out of a video editing bay and gutted it. Which, of course, is the point. But what you’re actually looking at is a completely new construction, featuring a fully 3D printed enclosure, a clever PCB control panel, and some very slick internal engineering.
[Salim] started the design by recreating the principle components of the build, namely the 8 inch 4:3 IPS LCD panel and Raspberry Pi 4, digitally in CAD. This let him design the enclosure around the parts, rather than trying to cram everything in after the fact. After printing the case, which clearly took considerable inspiration from broadcast video monitors of the early 2000s, he then painstakingly post-processed the parts using tips and techniques picked up from prop builders. To really finish things off, he designed his control panel as a PCB so he could have it professionally fabricated, and used heat set inserts to hold everything tight.
While beauty is often only skin-deep, we’re happy to report that [Salim] put just as much thought and effort into the internals as he did the enclosure itself. He utilizes a number of custom PCBs to pull the components together, and busts out the crimpers to create bespoke cabling to run between them. It’s all very neat, and leaves plenty of room for expansion down the line.
For those who want to create something similar, [Salim] has not only put together the fantastic build video below, but has provided parts lists, wiring diagrams, Gerbers for the PCBs, and even the STLs used to print out the case. Though you’ll definitely need to bring your A game to bring it all together as well as he has.
While we’re not sure many would have mourned the loss of a chunky CRT (especially if the display had failed), we appreciate that [Salim] 3D printed a custom enclosure that only looks like a legitimate piece of vintage gear. We’ve covered similar projects for those who want to create retro-styled computers without tearing apart the real thing.