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Lego Raspberry Pi Case

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Before getting my Raspberry Pi in the mail I made up my mind to make a case for it (pretty much a necessity). After looking at many very cool designs, I discovered a girl named Biz over at raspberrypi.org had made a case out of Lego and had the proper x & y dimensions, 9 x 13. So I ran the “Lego Digital Design” (LDD) software I had installed quite awhile ago, and plugged away.

LDD is essential a CAD program from Lego that uses the Lego pieces in a virtual build area, it is free and very easy to use. It contains almost all the pieces EVER made by Lego, in ALL the colours available  though some recent ones are not in the database. i.e. some new Star Wars cockpits.
So after you have finished what ever you design virtually you can then order the pieces to build from Lego itself (most older pieces are not available) or from a site such as Bricklink.

Bricklink is basically a Lego version of ebay. There are 222,835 registered members from 144 countries currently registered on BrickLink. It has thousands of Local and World Wide online stores with their own inventories that let you browse, shop or request pieces and then order the pieces you need and then they are mailed to you. What more could you ask for.
I am sure there are other sites like Bricklink, but I have found some online stores near my house that have all I could want in Lego at great prices and delivery rates. I have even started shopping for harder to find pieces from a shop in the Czech Republic that is great. Anyway… the case.

Instead of trying to describe each step I just took screenshots of the build in LDD.
I will also include the .lxf file so you can download it and run it in the LDD program so you can change things or design your own. Enjoy.
 
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Step 1: Complete Parts List

Amount - Description      Part #

  2 - 1x1 Brick                     #3005  (Clear)
  2 - 1x2 Brick                     #3004   (Clear)

  1 - 1x1 Round Plate        #6141
  3 - 1x1 Plate                    #3024
  7 - 1x2 Plates                  #3023
  4 - 1x3 Plates                  #3623
  9 - 1x4 Plates                  #3710
10 - 1x8 Plates                  #3460
  1 - 1x12 Plate                  #60479

  8 - 3x3 Plates, ¼ Circle   #30357
  4 – 4x6 Plates                  #3032 
  7 - 4x8 Plates                   #3035
  4 - 6x6 Plates w/ Bow      #6003

  3 - 1x1 Technic Brick       #6541
  9 - 1x2 Technic Brick       #32000 (The Technic Brick #3700 has 1 hole instead of  2 if you like)
  1 - 1x8 Technic Brick       #3702
  1 - 1x10 Technic Brick     #2730

  2 - 1x3x2 Left Doors        #3189
  1 - 1x3x2 Right Door       #3188
  2 - 1x3 Right Doors         #3821
  1 - Megaphone                #4349
 
A couple of optional parts used in Step 7
   1 – 1x2 Flat Plate            #3069  Clear
   or  2x2 Flat Plate             #3068  Clear

Step 2: The Base

Lego Raspberry Pi Case.
(All Parts Black unless noted).
Update: I have changed the LDD files to another site as Minus is not cooperating.
Lego Digital Design .lxf file of the project and 4 other Cases I was working on. Stored on uploaded.net.

 
I have colour coded the parts that are being used in each Level,
they will be changed to the cases final colour (mostly Black) as the build progresses.
Each Level builds on the Previous Level. 
Sorry for the Black backgrounds in the pictures, they were grey until I uploaded to my library. 

Level 1: Base       Lego Part # (if you are looking on Bricklink they come in VERY handy.
3 -  4x8 Plates       #3035
3 – 1x4 Plates       #3710
1 – 1x8 Plate         #3460
1 -  1x1 Plate         #3024

Level 2: Base 2
4 – 4x6 Plates       #3032
2 – 1x4 Plates       #3710
1 – 1x12 Plate       #60479
1 – 1x1 Plate         #3024


Step 3: The Footers

The Footer was originally so the RaspPi board had enough clearance for cord endings on the HDMI and Audio/Video area. I originally had different coloured small round nub pieces that sat under each plug, but when I lowered the board they just interfered. On the Ethernet plug I have found that it is VERY hard to get a cat 5 plug out if it has one of those covered ends. The kind that has sort of a rubber/silicone holder instead of just a bare plug. I have considered removing part of the Footer below it ( a 1x2 sized area) but I just cut of the rubber cover instead. 

Level 3: Footer
3 - 1x8 Plates       #3460
1 – 1x4 Plate        #3710
4 – 1x2 Plates      #3023
Ignore the 1x3 Plate in the image for Level 3 please.

Level 4: Footer 2
2 - 1x8 Plates      #3460
1 - 1x4 Plate        #3710
2 - 1x3 Plates      #3623
2 - 1x2 Plates      #3023
1 - 1x1 Plate        #3024

Step 4: The Walls and Doors

Level 6 - Wall 2.png
The walls were originally clear, in fact most of the case was until I discovered how hard it was to find clear pieces anymore. 
It looked really cool in LDD.

Level 5: Wall
7 - 1x2 Technic Brick      #32000
(The Technic Brick #3700 has 1 hole instead of  2 if you like)
1 - 1x1 Technic Brick     #6541
1 - 1x2 Brick                    #3004   Clear
1 - 1x1 Brick                    #3005   Clear
1 – Megaphone             #4349

Level 6: Wall 2
1 - 1x10 Technic Brick   #2730
1 - 1x8 Technic Brick     #3702
2 - 1x2 Technic Brick     #32000
2 - 1x1 Technic Brick     #6541
1 - 1x2 Brick                    #3004   Clear
1 - 1x1 Brick                    #3005   Clear
1 – 1x1 Round Plate     #6141
2 – 1x3x2 Left Doors     #3189    Blue
1 – 1x3x2 Right Door    #3188    Blue
2 – 1x3 Right Doors      #3821    1 Black, 1 Blue


Step 6: The Roof

Because of the odd 9x13 layout I was not sure how to close up the case. I wanted to put in a fan... just in case, and that's when I switched to the Technic Bricks with their holes. I also considered hinges and trap doors but it all did not work. When I found the round corners I knew I had a roof, I loved the roundness of it. I also had round corners in the Technic wall level but it interfered with the Board fitting, which sucked as I again liked the roundness of it. The Roof back corner above the GPIO is easily removable and there is lots of room (I hope) in the back for a header to come out obove the SD card.

Level 8: Roof
2 – 1x4 Plates                   #3710
2 – 6x6 Plates w/ Bow     #6003
2 – 3x3 Plates, ¼ Circle  #30357

Level 9: Roof Trim
2 – 6x6 Plates w/ Bow      #6003
6 – 3x3 Plates, ¼ Circle   #30357 4 Dark Blue, 2 Black


Step 7: Finished Product and Observations

So it turns out that the Raspberry Pi Type B board was not designed with Lego in mind from what I can tell. ;)  
Most Lego pieces are based on even numbers (at least the ones I wanted). The fact the outline was 9x13 in Lego profile made it hard to get a strong base which is why there are so many Plate levels.
You may find your RaspPi board fits tighter or more loose than mine. I put a flat 2x2 clear Plate* (see below) up on edge in the corner were the clear pieces are, squished between the wall and the board to stop the board moving when I put the SD card in or removed it. That is also the reason I used the Megaphone, to separate the USB ports and Ethernet port and hold the board in place. I had also had small 1x1 Plate pieces underneath to hold Board off the base but discovered they were not needed.
  

*1 – 1x2 Flat Plate            #3069  Clear
   or  2x2 Flat Plate            #3068  Clear

Update: I have changed the LDD files to another site as Minus is not cooperating.
Lego Digital Design .lxf file of the project and 4 other Cases I was working on. Stored on uploaded.net.



Really put a lot of time in this and am really looking forward to using my Raspberry Pi. Hope this is useful. 
Thanks to Acacia and Sprocket for their help.


rfair40429 days ago

Very good write up. I just found your post after throwing together my first pi lego case. I'm sure there will be more to come.

20140319_153858.jpg
darrennie (author)  rfair40428 days ago
rfair404, thanks for the comment. Nice job on your case as well.
Wolfgar77 made it!1 month ago

Thanks for your instructable. Just won a Rasperberry Pi and not sure what I want to do with it, but used your idea to make a case. It's amazing what you can find Ina big box of kids' Legos! Mine isn't as pretty as yours but functional, and hey, mine has a cool hood ornament. :)

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darrennie (author)  Wolfgar771 month ago

Nicely done. I wouldn't say mine was pretty in anyway and definitely doesn't have a cool hood ornament (now you got me looking for one). There is tons and tons of info online if you are stuck on what to do with your Raspberry Pi. Good luck.

knewsome16 months ago
Ordered my parts from Lego.com and received them today (I'd probably use brick link another time). Assembled in no time with these instructions and it fits a Model B perfectly. Thanks so much!
A0BF7014-0378-4FF4-9462-C301DBDEB8AF.jpg
darrennie (author)  knewsome13 months ago
Nice to hear. Did you improvise your roof or use the plans. Looks good.
(p.s. had to improvise for lack of clear blocks, 2 brick tall doors and some of the roof parts but it made no structural difference) Cheers
darrennie (author)  knewsome16 months ago
That's the beauty of Brinklink, you can find bricks that Lego no longer sells.
darrennie (author)  knewsome16 months ago
Looks great !
BananaMaker3 months ago
I did it! and without ordering ANY piece
angpal597 months ago
It's not so much the instructable as it that dog, I love that dog, as an animal lover you can just see the love for people in that dogs eye's.
darrennie (author)  angpal596 months ago
Sprocket is a very good supervisor, his attention to inspecting and double checking things is remarkable. ;) In fact without his help I would have never finished either of my ibles.
darrennie (author) 7 months ago
Thanks to jaskamakkara I have reposted the links for the LegoDD files as far away from Minus as I could find. So hopefully no more problems. Thanks again.
Great stuff, thanks darrennie :)

Really looking forward to trying this one for myself!
darrennie (author)  jaskamakkara7 months ago
Hope you enjoy.
darrennie (author) 7 months ago
New link for the LegoDD .lxf files.
jaskamakkara7 months ago
Hi Darrennie, love this project! I am having some trouble downloading the .lxf files, however. When I click the download link I instead get redirected to the minus homepage....Are the links broken? Thanks for any help :)
darrennie (author)  jaskamakkara7 months ago
I will repost the links from somewhere else, I don't know why Minus does this now. I have noticed MANY times when trying to download from other peoples pages that it does this. Hopefully they are aware of this.
skip_py9 months ago
oh ... i forgot to mention i looked everywhere on bricklinks and couldn't find a Clear 2x2 Flat Plate #3068 :(
darrennie (author)  skip_py9 months ago
Ya they were hard for me as well. I eventually found a really good store in the Czech Republic called Brick-Mania, they are usually in the featured store section. Lots of hard to get pieces and colours and well priced with great shipping rates (at least I thought so). Funny I went through all the pieces many times and everything seemed to be in order, so I will have a look. Thanks for the pointers.
skip_py9 months ago
Darrenie,

A bit of feedback of having finished ordering the pieces and assembling the case ;) which looks and feels great btw

- About 30357 used in step 6 and 7 - mention the two different colors at step 1
- Also in step 7, would be good to make it clear there is only a need of 2 x 30357 at this step (it looks like it is 4)
- I confirm that 3069 is useless
- 3068 is mandatory, makes a real difference in stabilising RP inside the box
- would be great to mention at which step the RP + 3068 is supposed to be inserted in the box (so maybe step 4)
- about 3035 - i only count 3 necessary although 7 are asked for in step 1

thanks again for sharing this idea
WingDings10 months ago
This is great! I've seen a LEGO Pi case before, but this was much better put together and your addition of doors for the various ports was a nice touch. :-)
darrennie (author)  WingDings10 months ago
Thanks WingDings, glad you like it. You should be aware if you are buying lego pieces that the parts list was updated today due to something I forgot to include (4 – 4x6 Plates #3032, Thanks again to skip_py).

skip_py10 months ago
Followed the instructions ... however i was a bit disappointed when i realise that Step 1 didn't include the 4 plates 4x6 #3032 that are needed in Step 2. Now have to process a new order...

Would also be nice to add to step 1 those 2 optional parts you mention in Step 7.

Anyway, thanks for this tutorial!
darrennie (author)  skip_py10 months ago
Thanks for pointing that out skip_py, sorry for the error.
leevick1 year ago
Do you have a combined parts list? Is there any way to put together a shopping list on BrickLink so someone could put that in their Wanted listing so the whole "kit" could be bought at once?

By the way this looks awesome! Well done.
darrennie (author)  leevick1 year ago
leevick, I added the parts list to the Instructions for you. As for the Bricklink Wants list, I don't think you can do it that way. I think only complete Lego kits can be bought that way. I ended up shopping from 2-3 places I use all the time that covered the list.
Hope this helps. 8D
I can recommend a couple of Brinklink stores if you want.
Density1 year ago
This is really cool. I too have made my own cover for my Rasberry pi.
darrennie (author)  Density1 year ago
Thanks, it's more of a beta version at the moment as I am seeing some really cool ideas around that keep me modifying it. You should post some pics of yours.
8D
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