Introduction: DIY Raspberry Pi Desktop Case
In this instructable, I will be sharing my techniques for building this raspberry pi case.
My Desktop PC's CPU stopped working a few days back. My mom used that PC a lot for browsing and stuff so when it broke/stopped working, she had to use her phone which has a tiny display. So until the PC is fixed, I thought I'd hook up the raspberry pi with the monitor for her to use.
To protect the tiny raspberry pi chip, I made this case.
I wanted to give it a desktop CPU's look because my mom was so used to the big CPU. I made it so she wouldn't have problems using the tiny raspberry pi circuit. Since the circuit is so packed with tiny transistors, there is a chance of breaking when frequently using it.
I moved the power and display pins via wired connectors to the back of the case for ease of cable management.
I used a raspberry pi 2 model B 1GB
Step 1: Materials Used
I used leftover cardboard from a previous project. I used a thick cardboard, but you may use any cardboard as you like.
A pair of Scissors, Razorblade, Glue, Hot glue gun, colorful craft paper
An HDMI to VGA converter (it depends, if your monitor supports only VGA and not HDMI)
Some nuts and bolts, some connectors from a mechanics set, 2x switches, a PC fan, 9Volt batteries, some wire, a spare USB connector, a spare OTG cable.
And the most important item, a raspberry pi
Step 2: Constructing the Main Body
As I said before, the cardboard I used was previously used for another project. but if you use a plain cardboard, make sure it has three hinges (folds) at equal distances.
to cut the holes, use a sharp blade to cut neatly through the thick cardboard but be careful while handling the blade. Never cut towards yourself, the blade might slip and you might hurt yourself.
Now choose any color of craft paper you like and cut it to the exact size of your cardboard's face. while applying glue, make sure to rub the glue and plain it out to the surface of the paper. This helps in a smooth finish when applying it to the surface.
One thing to make sure of is while cutting the hole for the VGA port, make sure the VGA port of the monitor (male) can fit into the cardboard and connect to the female VGA port.
Step 3: Attaching the Raspberry Pi to the Board
One thing to make sure of is the triangle should fit nicely if you close the remaining flaps, the whole model closes nicely.
Also I would suggest to leave a small gap between the raspberry pi and the cardboard you are going to put it on to provide ventilation.
Carefully place the raspberry pi so as to get sufficient space for the ports attaching to the board (i.e. HDMI connector/ Audio connector/ power cable)
Step 4: Wiring
in order to power the raspberry pi, You can use the same cable you use to charge your phone, I had to make wone with an OTG cable and a USB cable from a mouse because I didn't have a phone data cable to spare.
One thing to take care of is to not solder the switches just yet, first you have to put them into the top case and then solder the switch to the cable and the PC fan.
Don't forget attach the cable to the audio jack, I didn't make a hole for it because I wanted it to be able to fold inside the case itself for transportation and storage.
Step 5: Lid Assembly and Covering Up the Edges
I used a 9 volt battery to power the fan as it makes the fan rotate slowly and silently without making much noise.
To attach the lid, I used the mechanics and the screws so that I can remove the lid when I need to change the battery or do some repairs without damaging the body.
To cover up the edges, I just use the leftover strips from cutting the red paper aand attach them to the sides as shown in the pics.
I didn't attach the main raspberry pi power switch to the USB power cable until I put the lid on top, so the button could easily slide into the lid from the top.
Step 6: Finishing Up
I used alligator clips so in case of any repair i can remove the lid completely without damage the assembly.
I used Ubuntu Mate OS since it is userfriendly and my mom can use it without the need of the command prompt too much.
you can download ubuntu mate for raspberry pi at: https://ubuntu-mate.org/raspberry-pi/
Suggestion's to improve the design are welcome, comment if you have any problem or if any step wasn't clear.