Raspberry Pi Barebone devel case

New development case

This is a quick ‘n’ dirty case created from scratch just for getting a basic enclosure for a raspberry pi. It’s not so accurate or clean like my Raspi ALU case, it’s even intended for a different usage. My previous aluminium case was intended for a “production machine”, I’m using it as a small server and I don’t want to open it so often, It’s just a case for a stable machine, SD card is not even accessible if you don’t open the case, this was planned and not required. Now I have finally received new boards from Farnell so I can boost Moebius Linux development a little more, I’d like to keep my original 256Mb card inside the ALU case and use these new boards for further development. I’d like to dedicate one of these new boards to software and hardware development, this board will not go in a finished project but it will just be used for development. I have decided to create a really barebone case just for placing my board on a desk, sd card has to be accessible as well as USB ports or GPIO connector, it has to be cheap and basic, that’s why I’ve created this new case

PVC Rasberry Pi Case, cheap and affordable

As the previous case even this new one has to be: affordable, cheap and built with recycled materials.   Here’s the part list:

  • Two pieces of PVC [75x100mm | 2.95×3.94in] each, thickness does not care, mine are [4 mm | 0.16in] and [2mm| 0.08in], if you’ve the same piece of PVC is even better
  • 4 screws 4x40mm (0.16×1.574 in)
  • 4 dices Ø4mm (0.16in)
  • aluminium tube, or a metal one, it doesn’t matter, just use what you have around you. it has to be hollow inside, you’ll place a part of your screws inside it. I have an aluminium tube with an internal Ø4mm (0.16in) space so it will perfectly house my screws
  • 2 screws 3x20mm (0.118×0.787in) (optional, use it if you have the new raspberry case)
  • 4 dices Ø3mm (0.118in) (optional, use it if you have the new raspberry case)
  • 4 rubber or felt tips or something similar if you don’t want to scratch your desk

The Construction Process

Take your pieces of PVC, or cut them if you have a single one to have [75x100mm | 2.95×3.94in] two parts, I’ve just one transparent PVC sheet and I’ll put it on the top of the case to better show the board

Two PVC parts for the case
I don’t have a laser cutter or other fancy and cool tools so I’ve cutted them manually to get the same shape and dimension. I’ve tied them with some tape:
PVCCase: tied PVCs
and refined a little bit more with a cutter first and with a knife later
PVCCase: pvc pieces and the knife
Then I have created 4 holes on those pieces with a 4mm (0.15748in) drill at 8mm (0.31496in) from each border as you may see from the picture above.
Extra note for new board owners: As many of you I was really disappointed about my “previous/old” board (damn it has only 6 months !!) but Raspberry Foundation is really sensible to user feedback and notes from the crowd and they’ve decided to add two wonderful mounting holes for fixing the board in an external case. If you have the new board you can even fix it to the bottom PVC part, just place the board on the bottom part of the case and make a dot with a felt-tip pen, than make two extra holes
PVCCase: placing the raspberry on it
And here’s the result, two PVC pieces (top and bottom parts), 4 screws, 4 dices, as you may see I’ve drilled only the bottom one (the white pvc part)
PVCCase: pvc and screws
PVCCase: raspi+screws+pvc

Now fix the Raspberry Pi board to the bottom case with the 3mm (0.118in) screws and use a dice for each screw to lift the board from the PVC, you may even use a grummet or something else, then finally place a screw on the bottom of the board to keep it tied to the PVC sheet, see the picture below
PVCCase: raspi tied with the PVC
And here’s how it looks like from the top:
PVCCase: look at the mounting holes !

Now it’s time to cut the aluminium tube, I’ve created four 25mm (0.984in) small tubes to use as spacers between the bottom and the top PVC parts, it’s not difficult, just use a sponge when you use the grip if you don’t want to scratch them
PVCCase: creating 4 spacers with the aluminium tube

Final Assembly

This is a really dumb process, just take your screws, insert them in the bottom pvc part, insert the four spacers, insert the top pvc part and fix everything with your dices, it ain’t that complex, see the final assembly below
PVCCase: assembly
Gently tie the dices but be careful about excessive force or you can break the pvc, now as an extra step you may even insert 4 rubber or felt tips on the bottom part if you don’t want to scratch your desk, here’s:
PVCCase: bottom part and rubber tips

And finally here’s your ultra cheap case, a complete assembly will take just an hour and build steps are really easy. Construction materials are really affordable and they come for free if you already have few pvc pieces at home, I didn’t spent a cent ($,€,£,…) for it and the result it’s pretty good

This is what I use as a development board

Raspberry Pi PVC Case at no cost
Pretty nice, isn’t it ?

Leave me comments below if you want to share your ideas with me



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  • Posted on 23. November 2012
  • Written by ben

One response to Raspberry Pi Barebone devel case

  1. JulieCal on 2017/01/14 at 6:32 am Reply

    Good post! I read your blog often and you always post excellent content. I posted this article on Facebook and my followers like it. Thanks for writing this!

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