Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Printable case for the Raspberry Pi

I finally got around to making a case for my Raspberry Pi board and I think that it is a good enough design to recommend to others who don't have access to a 3d printer or a laser cutter.

I don't have a fancy printer that prints on thick cardstock.
I am not one of those papercraft folding and bending gurus with a room full of tools and straightedges.
This case took about 45 minutes to make, and mine looks as good as the pictures!

Lets get started!


  • Any printer that can print to 8.5x11
    • I used a monochrome laser printer. We are not printing onto the card stock!
  • A single regular sheet of paper.
    • This will be your template for the heavier card stock.
  • A single sheet of medium to heavy card stock.
    • I used a Fedex document envelope, borrowed from my office! The inside of the envelope is a nice clean brown.
  • Packing tape or whatever type of glue people use on papercraft stuff.
    • I used regular old packing tape.
  • Scissors, a stapler, and a razor.
    • I used a pair of office scissors and a box cutter.
  • This PDF

1.) Print out the PDF
When the print dialogue opens up, be sure to turn off any sort of scaling. If you print the PDF with scaling it will come out slightly smaller than you want! The difference is almost imperceptible haha! I made a whole case that turned out to be a few millimeters too small for the Rasp Pi.

2.) Scissors Time!
Cut out the case from the printed sheet of paper. Be as exact as possible since this is going to be your guide for the final product.

3.) Staple the guide to your card stock.
Put a few staples through the tabs. Holes in these will not matter since they will be internal structures and cannot be seen in the finished product.

4.) Scissors Time Strikes Back!
Now cut the card stock using the template you stapled on. Just do the outlines. Leave the holes for the razor. Be as precise as possible. The more work you do now, the better it will look when you are done.

5.) Razor time!
Use your razor to cut out the port holes! Take your time to make them exact. These are what will hold your board in place once everything is together.

6.) Fold and Tape.
Make sharp perfect folds. Use a straight edge if you need to. If you use a straight edge, a blunt tool can be used to indent a crease before you make a fold.

7.) Put in the Pi and Tape the shit out of it!
Insert your pi as the box starts to go together and make sure that all the holes line up. Then just tape up all the seams. Tape as many tabs on the inside as you can. Then tape them all again on the outside. One piece of tape per edge is fine.

Your case should be done and should look pretty cool!
Now you don't have to worry about accidental shorting whn you are working on your Pi!


Taped to a stand in my server closet!
I didn't cut the large hole in my case.
Heat has not been an issue so far.
(Always on in ~90'F weather)

Looking discrete on a stand in my server closet

That is all there is too it!
Add any comments you have to help other people out!

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