Raspberry Pi enables world’s smallest iMac

This project goes a step further than most custom-made Raspberry Pi cases: YouTuber Michael Pick hacked a Raspberry Pi 4 and stuffed it inside this Apple lookalike to create the world’s smallest ‘iMac’.

Michael designed and 3D printed this miniature ‘iMac’ with what he calls a “gently modified” Raspberry Pi 4 at the heart. Everything you see is hand-painted and -finished to achieve an authentic, sleek Apple look.

This is “gentle modification” we just mentioned

Even after all that power tool sparking, this miniature device is capable of playing Minecraft at 1000 frames per second. Michael was set on making the finished project as thin as possible, so he had to slice off a couple of his Raspberry Pi’s USB ports and the Ethernet socket to make everything fit inside the tiny, custom-made case. This hacked setup leaves you with Bluetooth and wireless internet connections, which, as Michael explains in the build video, “if you’re a Mac user, that’s all you’re ever going to need.”

We love watching 3D printer footage set to relaxed elevator music

This teeny yet impactful project has even been featured on forbes.com, and that’s where we learned how the tightly packed tech manages to work in such a restricted space:

“A wireless dongle is plugged into one of the remaining USB ports to ensure it’s capable of connecting to a wireless keyboard and mouse, and a low-profile ribbon cable is used to connect the display to the Raspberry Pi. Careful crimping of cables and adapters ensures the mini iMac can be powered from a USB-C extension cable that feeds in under the screen, while the device also includes a single USB 2 port.”

Barry Collins | forbes.com

The maker also told forbes.com that this build was inspired by an iRaspbian software article from tech writer Barry Collins. iRaspbian puts a Mac-like interface — including Dock, Launcher and even the default macOS wallpaper — on top of a Linux distro. We guess Michael just wanted the case to match the content, hey?

Check out Michael’s YouTube channel for more inexplicably cool builds, such as a one billion volt Thor hammer.


Misel avatar

It’s time for a Pi 4A so people don’t have to cut their existing Pis.
The image alone hurts my soul.

lee avatar

yes a pi 4A would be great

manuti avatar

Yessss!!! And with 1GB or maybe 2GB of RAM!!

James Carroll avatar

Yes! A smaller version of the Pi4 would be great.

Michael A Michalski avatar

Seems a bit crude. I’d go the distance and desolder ALL of those ports and solder some headers into the board so I could have those ports available.

Giles avatar

Surely this should be called a PiMac?

Brian avatar

I was thinking it should be called the “Apple Pi”

Frank Reijn avatar

Nice job, however I sure hope the “Gentle modification
picture” is a joke ? The sparks you see is hot iron flying in the air. Iron is a conducting material on PCB’s. Its now a “how to destroy my Pi” picture :-(

Joseph Alway avatar

Doubtful, that’s quite likely what he did. Hacked off a bit of the Pi, so he could make it fit. All things considered a Raspberry Pi is pretty cheap and taking a Dremel to it is an acceptable risk.

Kebablog avatar

Looks like a bit of port removal – it’s more Mac than you think!! Looks great, by the way. I’d love one.

James Carroll avatar

I made a 27″ iMac. I stuck my Pi4 on the back of my monitor with a 1TB USB3 SSD loaded with Twister OS. I’m too old to squint at tiny screens anymore.

Nick avatar

Oh, dear… please try to make a Pi 4 A sometime soon. Watching the “modification” is pretty painful. Cool result, though.

Yukon avatar

I once build an iMac with spaguetti and sparkles.

Arya avatar

Nice Project. Can somebody tell my which OS it used? To me it looked a lot like Twister OS.

popo avatar

how did you make the keyboard

Arya avatar

He did not make it. He Bought it. You Can find a lot of this things on Amazon or Flipkart.

Nicholas Mutsaerts avatar

I would definitely purchase a Raspberry Pi 4A if it would become available. Ideally with one normal size HDMI and 2 – 4 GB RAM.

Rudi avatar

Why the hack didn’t he just unsolder the USB and Ethernet ports ???

Ashley Whittaker avatar

Fewer sparks = less fun

phoenixbyrd avatar

This was made using Twister OS for all those wondering what OS was used.

rpn avatar
Michael Pick avatar

Hello everyone! I’m glad you liked this last build!

I just finished up another build (World’s Smallest MacBook Pro). If the below link doesn’t work you can find it on YouTube by searching for “The Casual Engineer” to pull-up my YouTube channel. It’s the most recent video.

The video: https://youtu.be/ynMTYhy2L8I

Some cool features:

– MagSafe power adapter. (Something that was awesome about the older macs)

– Glowing Apple logo on the back of the screen

– Raspberry Pi 4 specs! ?

I hope you like it!

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