This is my second attempt at a homemade cintiq. The first was a crazy mix of external monitors, Infrared pens and wiimotes held aloft by PVC pipe. You can see the fruits of that build here http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Cintiq-Tablet-using-Wii-Remote, although its long since been taken to pieces.
(Note: this is a copy of the original posting I made on Bongofish forums, although I've edited it very slightly. You can find the original post here: http://forum.bongofish.co.uk/index.php?topic=2013.0)
The second, more recent attempt is called the Woodtiq. The Woodtiq is named for the first island featured on Monkey Island 2 ("Woodtick"). I started with an old Advent 7091 Laptop which I inherited from a friend. It had suffered a coke spillage, but I replaced the keyboard and cleaned the motherboard and got it all working again. I already had a laptop so it sat idle for a while. Then I loaned it to another friend, who used it for about a year before buying a machine of his own. Eventually, it made it's way back to me.
In the mean time, I had gotten my hands on a second-hand Intuos 4L, and was determined to make a go of a homebrew cintiq again. I'm pretty bad at working with wood, as you can see from the following photos. I've made things as simple as I can. I'm just happy it actually all fitted together the first time.
I started by stripping the laptop back to its barest components, leaving the motherboard assembly with harddrive, RAM, CPU, Heatsink etc. I took all plastics off, disconnected the keyboard and trackpad, took the LCD panel apart and disconnected the LCD cable from the back, which thankfully gave me a lot of length to play around with.
Next, I measured out the dimensions needed and cut a piece of wood to serve as the base. I used leftovers to make two sets of angled 'struts' to hold the intuos in place, then staggered them and fixed them to the the board, with screws from underneath.
The backplate from the laptop is mounted to the board, and the motherboard is mounted to that.
Rather than try and run a short cable from the back ports to the the intuos I chose to run a full length one, through the inside from the ports on the left
The Intuos sits down into the first set of slats, leaving room for the perspex overlay on top.
I stuck the LCD down onto the intuous with black duct tape, all around.
A sheet of perspex covers the entire unit, resting on the outer struts. Screws hold this in place.
Despite my awful record with wood, the build feels tight, and I can carry it around under one arm. It's obviously not finished. At the moment, the perspex covers the touch wheel and controls for the panel. I had planned to cut out a groove using a dremel, but I'm leaning towards using a shorter overlay which only reaches the edge of the LCD. This means moving the left side support struts around to the front and back, but I don't think that'll be a problem.
Thoughts / Ideas
- I think I might replace the perspex with a sheet of glass, which I can get locally for about €10
- I'm not confident that those wooden struts will hold up to repeated screwing/unscrewing, so ideally I'd like to replace them with something metal and use nuts and bolts to hold the glass in place.
- Leaving the back and sides open is great for cooling, but long-term it's a bad idea. I'll have to cover the back and sides somehow, maybe with perspex.
- I had to remove the keyboard and trackpad from the laptop, but I still have them, and they still work. I'd love to fit them in somewhere but the cables don't reach anywhere but the middle of the unit. If I could extend them, I could put a trackpad on the left side under the intuous controls
- also considering remove the wood which remains underneath the leftmost edge after I relocate the struts, although this would prevent me adding a trackpad in future like I just suggested.
- I've spent any free time which I would normally use to draw building this thing instead, so I really need to get back into doing some art work soon before I completely forget how.
UPDATE: October 13th, 2011
Made some updates last night. As planned, I moved the struts around the side, trimmed the perspex back and also put motherboard risers into the wood struts to both raise the panel slightly and combat wear and tear on every time I have to remove the overlay.