Eben Upton has described the RasPi as ‘Not being particularly static sensitive.’ and there are plenty of videos around of people quite happily holding their RasPis without any precautions. Some even seem to be sitting the PCB on the conductive bag it came is, which is not a good idea.
An unenclosed RasPi is bound to suffer a mishap – the weight of the connected wires have pulled mine off the table several times already. The early RasPis are not enclosed in any way and a box to put it in seems to be an early requirement, if this thing is to survive for any length of time. Due to its small size and light weight it tends to get pulled around by the leads a lot, so some method of securing it would seem a good idea too.
The kit of parts
I’ve gone for a laser cut acrylic case, secured by four tiny 2mm bolts. The case will not need glueing and will come apart if necessary.
I wanted to introduce a few curves purely for aesthetic reasons.
Thinking about school use, where these things might be stacked up for storage or perhaps linked together in a networked ‘Bramble’, I have also designed it so that it is stackable either way round. There are spare locking pieces that insert underneath to keep each RasPi secure in the stack.
There’s a breakout panel for a connection to the 0.1″ (2.45mm) header on the top surface.
Underneath it has a two lugs so that an elastic band can secure it to a monitor stand or pole of some kind. There are also two small holes for cable ties that can serve a similar purpose.
I intend to order a set of 5 cases and these will be made available if other people want them. After the initial run of 5 I will correct anything that seems to need it and will be inviting orders for those who would like one. Cost to be confirmed. I intend to make a modest profit myself for my time and effort and also give 20% of any profit made to the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
3D computer studies
I’ve studied my RasPi carefully and taken measurements with a micrometer. I have also looked at the various plugs that will be used and, where appropriate, made allowances to clear the bodies of these, as some of the connectors are recessed within the case.
Looking at the RasPi, I have contrived it so that the SD card slot sits central in one end and that the HDMI connector sits centrally in one side. The width is determined by how much the RCA video connector sticks out – I did not wish to leave it protruding beyond the case. So the PCB sits slightly offset within the case.
I have provided pieces that form a shallow tray to locate the PCB in horizontally, while vertically there are some packing pieces to prevent the board rattling around inside the case.
Now you see it, now you don’t.
The bolts I shall be using are crosshead rather than the slotted ones shown here. I might also use black machine bolts with an Allen key fitting. Or countersunk bolts if I can find any that small.
The RasPi case can stack either way round on top of itself.
Contact me through this website if you are interested in obtaining a case, or watch this space for prices. If anyone has access to a laser cutter and wishes to collaborate on this project, could they also leave a message for me please. My philosophy is to provide a good case, make a small bit of money, make the Raspberry Pi Foundation a small bit of money and sell this to you at a sensible low price.