As are a lot of us Arduino tinkerers, I was nervous about having my Uno skating around on the desk or on notebook with it's shiny bare "feet". I finally looked for an Arduino "holder" and found some. And they were around 9 or 10 bucks. For that much I could have a decent Arduino clone!
I happen to be an artist who works with polymer clay and the lightbulb went off. Make a base from polymer clay. Quick, good, and CHEAP! (For once you CAN have all three!)
It will take almost as long to read these instructions as it will to make the thing!What you need
- One little block of Fimo polymer clay (costs about $2.79 at Joanne's, Michaels, or
A.C. Moore; and you have a wild choice of colors!).
- 4 stand-off screw sets (like you save from
motherboards when you tear them apart).
- A drill and a bit (smaller than the end diameter of the stand off screw).
And then, unless you know a polymer clay person, here's what you do.
Before you start, turn on your oven or toaster oven to 230°F.
9 Steps and You Have It
Unwrap the block of clay and break off the sections one at a time and roll them around between your palms until each piece is soft. Knead the piece with your fingers and roll it again. Then take a couple of the worked balls and roll them together, keep doing this until you have one large ball from all the pieces.
Roughly flatten that ball with your fingers and thumbs until it's maybe a quarter inch thick. Ball it up again and repeat. Several times. It will of course be an irregular pancake. Do this about 5 or 6 times.
Lay the final pancake on a piece of wax paper on a hard, flat surface. Get a small piece of pipe, a dowel, or a straight candle (at least 1" in diameter) and roll the clay gently and as evenly as possible until it is about 1/8" or 3/16" thick.
Carefully lay the Arduino on the flattened without pressing down. (You should have clay extending beyond the board on all sides.) Take one of the stand off screws and carefully and lightly press it through the holes on the Arduino board. You don't want to make a hole, you just want to mark the clay.
When that's done, using a jackknife or razor blade, trim the clay, following the edges of the board and set the Arduino aside. If the board has an irregular side, like the Uno, I prefer to make the cut straight across without following the indentations.
Put the wax paper with the clay rectangle on a cookie sheet and put it in the oven. Set a timer for 35 minutes.
As soon as the timer goes off, pull out the cookie sheet, add another piece of wax paper on top of the clay and put a book on it. Leave it alone until it cools. Probably a half hour.
When it's nice and cool, and flat, set up a drill with a bit somewhat smaller than the end diameter of your stand off screw and drill the holes at the exact locations of the imprints on the clay.
And, you know what to do next! Gently screw in the stand off screws, put the board on top of them and screw it down. A turn and a half for all the top screws at first; and when they are all in, gently tighten them down.
You are done!