Touch Screen Wood Block


I wanted to embed an Arduino with a tft touch screen shield in a wood block. The wood block, made from a 2x4, already had a nice chamfered edge. Without access to a CNC, I had to get creative in this fabrication.

I started by measuring the touch screen with a digital caliper. Using a square, I transferred those measurements to the wood block.

I set up a jig on my drill press so I could move the block along the screen edge. Using a bit with the drill set to a depth limit I outlined the screen area that would be removed from one side of the block.

Next, I loaded a Dremel cutting bit into the drill press and cleaned out the perimeter.

I worked slowly and the results were really clean.

Next, I flipped over the block and set the depth limit deeper. I outlined the Arduino mounted in a 3D printed bracket on the back of the block. Using the bit and the cutting bit again, I removed the area where the Arduino and screen would be mounted.

I used the combination of bits to carve out areas for the bracket to screw into the block. I used 3/4" wood screws. 

I did a somewhat crummy job of carving out slots for the USB and power connections: I need to revise the power hole and 3D print a faceplate to cover up the mistake.

I am running a sketch that comes with the Seeedstudio tft touch screen library that makes the screen act as a drawing pad. It works so well with a Palm pilot stylus that I found years ago and threw in a drawer.

I used Tinkercad to model a rear cover as well as a bezel for the screen. I 3D printed them in tan filament.

This was a fun project that required patience and improvisation. Were I to do it again I would use a hardwood, but I am not sure if the equipment would be up to the process.