Assembling the TPad Fire


1.    Building the Case

These instructions are specific to the case shown in the picture above. You could make your own case or modify a project box as well.

– Superglue
– Epoxy, mixing area, stir stick
– Sandpaper
– Magnets
– Thin steel (.26 mm works)

– 3D printer
– Tin snips


The case that is shown in the pictures was made with thermoformed and machined plastic. An easier way to make this case is to 3D print it. CAD files are available for download here.

Mix a small amount of epoxy and let it start to cure. You want a very viscous consistency when you apply it, but this depends entirely on the working time of the epoxy. It should stick to the sides of the case without dripping down.

Prepare the surface of the plastic by cleaning and lightly roughening it with sandpaper. Also, roughen one side of the steel pieces and the magnets. [Picture of cutting steel and sanded pieces]

For the top, apply a small puddle of superglue into the channel and place the steel piece into it, pushing it down completely. Repeat for all four [Picture of pushing down on steel].

Position the magnets on the steel pieces as they will attach to the bottom case.[Picture of magnets hanging on sides]

Apply epoxy to the channel of the bottom case for each of the magnets and slide the top into place [Picture]. Be sure that you don’t have excess epoxy on the edge of the case or squeezing up from behind the magnet. To be safe, place a strip of scotch tape over the top steel piece.

2.    Final Assembly

– Case
– TPad and electronics assembly
– Battery
– Amazon Kindle Fire Generation 1
– Double stick scotch tape (~10 cm)
– 2mm thick foam double stick tape (~20cm)
– Glass cleaner

– Scissors or knife


Be sure to have the battery off or unplugged during assembly.

With the foam tape, stick the circuit board and battery to the back of the Kindle.

Clean your TPad and your Kindle Fire screen.

Cut four small pieces of scotch tape, and affix them just to the sides of the screen on the face of the Kindle [Picture]. This is a tricky step to get right- too much tape and you lose the effect of the TPad because the motion is damped out. Too little tape and the glass can pull away from the surface and interfere with finger position sensing. If you have either of those issues, this is the first place to start debugging.

With the piezos facing away from you, position the TPad on the tape so that it is roughly evenly spaced from the top and bottom of the outside edge of the Kindle. Align the piezos along the edge of the Kindle, coming close without touching the side [Picture].

Cut ~1cm wide strips of foam tape and affix them above and below the TPad, onto the Kindle. They should not touch the TPad [Picture].

With the Kindle screen on for visibility, align the top plate with the screen and press onto the foam tape [Picture].

Charge and plug in battery- we used an EZO power battery from Amazon because all of the charging electronics were self-contained, it had sufficient power output, and it was relatively thin. For the board as it is, you will need a battery that has two power outputs, and one must be rated for at least 1.0 amp 5V output.

With the case that we built, the back cover just snaps into place at this point. TPad complete! [Picture of outside]

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