Thermal Polaroid camera: how to build a Polapi

By Russell Barnes. Posted

DIY hacked camera that uses a Raspberry Pi and thermal printer

Thermal printers are incredibly handy things to have for computer hackers. They're small and very cheap to run, making them ideal for portable projects, like this DIY Thermal Instant Camera called "Polapi".

Polaroids, and other instant cameras, are back in fashion again. While we all snap pics on our phones, it's great fun to print out a photo of friends on the spot.

The cute option is the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8, beloved of Japanese tourists. But it's £60 for the camera, and £15 for 10 sheets (making each photo cost a whopping £1.50).

How to build a DIY Polaroid Thermal camera

Raspberry Pi to the rescue. We love this DIY hacked camera that uses a Raspberry Pi and thermal printer to print out snaps. Sure the quality may not win you a place on the Photographer of the Year shortlist, but you can snap photos and tear them off to share.

Inside the camera is a Raspberry Pi board, Camera Module, Adafruit PiTFT screen, Lipo battery and a 57mm Thermal printer.

Hackaday also has detailed instructions on the build process. It's not a particularly difficult project, so could be a great weekend build.

It also looks like a fun project to use. And a great example of the DIY spirit letting you sidestep outrageous charges. Don't forget to send us a selfie.


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