One of the oldest, most famous, and beloved items in the Adafruit store is the legendary Minty Boost Kit. It consists of a battery holder for AA batteries, a charging circuit, USB connector and it all fits neatly into an Altoids tin box. That box is the reason for the “Minty” in the name. You use it to recharge your cell phone or other mobile device when you don’t have a charger handy.
While it is still a great project for beginners and is often recommended for someone who wants to learn some soldering skills or get started with a fun and useful project, it’s technology is a little bit dated.
I recently added a Power Boost 500C in a Lipo battery to one of my existing electronics projects which already had a very nice enclosure. However the enclosure did not have room for the power boost or the battery. It’s so happens I have a new 3-D printer so I was anxious to make a new enclosure for my entire project and make room for the battery. It got me to thinking that I could have just kept the original enclosure and made a specialized box just for the Power Boost 500C and a battery.
Then it struck me… I was reinventing the Minty Boost with more modern components. Many makers have a warm spot in their heart for Altoids boxes. We’ve had to engineer our projects just so they would fit in the box. However the more modern way is to 3-D print enclosure precisely the size that you need them. A reimagined product needs a new name. Rather than the Minty Boost I came up with the name Printy Boost. Once I had the name, the whole project was irresistible and took on a life of its own.
In addition to the Power Boost 500C, Adafruit also sells the Power Boost 1000C which is a slightly different size and configuration. Either of those chargers are capable of charging a variety of Lithium-Ion and Lithium Polymer batteries. The Adafruit store has 3 different sizes of each. With 2 different boards and 6 different batteries this could make for 12 different versions of the enclosure however 2 of the 3 lithium-ion batteries can use the same enclosure as can two of the 3 lithium polymer batteries. So that takes us down to just 8 varieties. The orange boxes on the left for the 1000C and the blue ones on the right are for the 500C.
We are including STL files for both the box and lid of all 8 varieties. We are also including source files from Blender 3D that were used to create the STL files so that you can customize them further if you would like. We will show you how to do that customization at the end of the tutorial.