Idea and research

A project log for Resin-in-resin

Resin-in-resin is a Raspberry Pi with a display completely encased in a block of clear epoxy, but still able to be updated and used.

ronald-mccollamRonald McCollam 05/10/2017 at 21:580 Comments

I've wanted to build something that makes a Raspberry Pi "inaccessible" for a long time. I work at where we make it possible to safely deploy and update code on embedded devices "in the field" where you might not have direct physical access to them. If you can't easily get to it if you mess up a deployment or update, then it becomes really important not to "brick" a device!

It finally occurred to me that what could be more inaccessible and "embedded" than being actually embedded in clear epoxy? A rock hard brick of resin with a computer in the middle of it is about as inaccessible as you can get!

I did a lot of research up front on different materials, trying to find what was clear and safe to use on electronics. Finding something truly clear was the first challenge until I found the magic phrase "water clear epoxy". Apparently it's "water clear" that means "really actually clear and not just kinda translucent" if you're in the materials business.

Once there I started looking for materials that were safe to encase (or "pot") electronics. They existed but they were all very expensive and would cost me in the neighborhood of $150 or more to encase a single Raspberry Pi. On the other hand, there were plenty of materials intended for covering counter and table tops that would cost me $15-20. So I decided to start there and see what happened.

The interesting bits I learned at this phase are: