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PolaPi - RaspberryPi instant camera

Summary: PolaPi, a RaspberryPi instant camera and other Maker projects in Vienna's Happylab

Yesterday, i visited Vienna's famous Fablab, the Happylab to celebrate it's 6th year of existence. Several makers were proudly showcasing their DIY projects, and the audience could vote for the best project.

I was invited by former co-worker and photographer Thomas Kremser to join the Happylab party and vote for his project, the PolaPi intant camera.

At 18:00, the Happylab was full of people, there was free beer and snacks at the bar and every visitor could get one coin (and a stamp on the hand) to vote for the best maker project. Each project was presented by the visible proud makers, answering questions and urging visitors to interact with their projects (“Yes, you can touch it”).

I was very impressed by the various projects, like:

  • an remote-controlled miniature-sailingboat,
  • an electic guitar made out of a wooden cigar box,
  • laser-cutted racks for string instruments
  • an arcade-game quiz machine
  • lasercutted wooden game-boards

and other projects, like a laser-cutted wooden roll to print color on t-shirts.

The Pola-Pi project of Thomas Kremser was the most “easy-to-grasp” thing and i voted for it.

Thomas had put an raspberryPi microcomputer together with battery pack, display and thermo-paper-printer in a lasercutted box. One box was made out of wood, another one was made of transparent perspex. Always surrounded by curious visitors, Thomas made photographs with his cameras and insta-printed out the results on the in-built black-white mini-printer. While not larger than a typical supermarket till receipt, the resolution of the images was quite high and the faces clear to recognize.

As Thomas told me, his aim was to have a fascinating do-it-yourself project. His very rough estimate of the cost of the used materials was under 100,- € (if i remember correctly) but he proudly told me that the cost-per-printout was extreme low, cheaper than with films of a Polaroid instant camera.

The whole constuction manual of the project can be found here, in the spirit of open source:


Thomas Kremser won finally the public vote for best project.



offical project Videos

PolaPi - Wooden Case from Digital Impressions on Vimeo.


en/blog/2016/1201_happylab.txt · Last modified: 2017/11/07 16:07 by horst