Introduction: Pi Zero W Tic Tac Case

This instructable shows how to make a cheap, simple, and effective case for a Raspberry Pi Zero W using a Tic Tac container. For those wanting a low or zero cost option to house their Pi Zeros, this design can be extremely useful for giving the board more protection and better portability. Follow along and you'll see how easy it is to create this DIY case.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

You will need the following:

  • A Tic Tac container ( 1oz / 29g Standard USA Size )
  • Goo Gone ( Optional )
  • Pi Zero W ( Or Pi Zero )
  • Gloves to protect your fingers and hands
  • Sharp Knife / Box Cutter / Exacto or similar ( Careful! )

Step 2: Clean Up the Tic Tac Container

After peeling off the label use Goo Gone or hot water to remove the Tic Tac residue from the container. Wash the container afterwards in warm water and dry the case very thoroughly before proceeding.

Step 3: Prepare the Lid

Remove the lid unit from the container and carefully cut the bottom section of it off while wearing gloves to protect your hands. Also, remove the bottom inside ring edge section from the lid closest to the fold so that the micro sd card won't press against it later.

Step 4: Ready the Container Body

Place your Pi into the body of the unit as shown and mark with your blade where you will need access holes for the Usb Power, Usb OTG, and Mini HDMI ports. Then remove the Pi and cut out the sections you just marked while wearing gloves. It helps to score the lines you made a couple of times deeper each time instead of just pushing through the plastic all in one go.

Step 5: Assemble

Put your Pi back into the body of the container. Push the lid into place while taking care to make sure that the flap lid hole rests freely above the micro sd card without putting pressure on it. You are finished! Connect any cords that you desire through the access holes and you will be up and running with your new case. The micro sd card is accessible through the lid flap without having to remove the whole lid assembly.

Feel free to leave comments or suggestions for improvements below. I'd love for this design to be improved further by the community.

Comments

author
IanM312 (author)2017-05-29

The North American tic tac boxes must be larger than here in South East Asia and the lid different. It is not at all possible to fit a Raspberry pi W into a tic tac box here and the SD card slot is not accessible either. Here the boxes are 14.5 grammes

author
Crysknife007 (author)IanM3122017-05-30

Ah that is too bad. Thanks for the comment, I have updated the parts list to specify the size of the tic tac container.

author
nliwilson (author)IanM3122017-05-30

Same goes for UK tic tac boxes. We get 16g boxes that are way too short for this. :/

That being said this instructable has encouraged me to look for a similar container to do the same thing, so I still got something useful out of it. :)

author
gvoyer-perrault (author)2017-05-29

There seems to be some wiggle room inside the container. For a little extra money, you could use the "indoor mounting tape". It's basically double-sided tape with a foam core to make it easy to squish into place.

author
ahigazy (author)gvoyer-perrault2017-05-29

I absolutely LOVE the instructable and your suggestion. My question is what about static discharge? Are these designed to withstand this?

author
Crysknife007 (author)ahigazy2017-05-29

I found this thread on element14 pretty interesting where they talk about static and plastic cases for pi's:

https://www.element14.com/community/message/54450/...

I don't think that this tic tac case ( or most other plastic cases for that matter ) offer much protection at all against static discharge. Although personally, I'm not terribly worried about it, in decades of working with boards and components I've not once had a problem with it and have never taken much thought to grounding myself. Then again, I do make sure to not shuffle around the floor, or otherwise get a big charge going on before handling anything.

Especially for a $10 pi like this I think the benefits of a cheap plastic case of any sort far outweigh any possible negatives compared to having it totally open to the elements. Makes it harder to crush, drip anything on, some protection from dust and other falling things, etc.

Great comment!

author
ahigazy (author)Crysknife0072017-05-30

Thank you so much. :)

You're the one with the great comment.

I remember back in college when we were taking TTL & CMOS. TTL, we were told, could hand static. CMOS on the other hand (most chips we used were CMOS) was what we used as an excuse to why our circuits didn't work. :D

Again, thank you for the explanation.

author

Thanks for this great suggestion! That being said, I'm surprised at how little room the board has to wiggle in there.

author
sogoesme (author)2017-05-28

I wonder how long it will be until food packaging manufacturers actually install SBC/Micro-controllers into their products?

Push #1 for 100g

Push #2 for 150g

Push #3 if your boyfriend just dumped you :)

author
diy_bloke (author)sogoesme2017-05-29

With Nr 3, placing a direct order for a one gallon bucket of icecream at yr nearest ice cream parlour

author
djcc2012 (author)2017-05-25

Great idea! Thank you for using ingenuity instead of a 3-D printer. I will definitely make this. :-)

author
diy_bloke (author)djcc20122017-05-28

I am sure someone will come up with a 3D printed Tictac box for this ;-)

author
mcartledge (author)diy_bloke2017-05-28

or.... a 3D printed box for Tictacs :-o

author
mcartledge (author)mcartledge2017-05-28

just joking - love the upcycling. Gotta do this and see if the Zero4U hub will fit at the same time

author
diy_bloke (author)mcartledge2017-05-29

I understood the joke ;-)
don't get me wrong, I d love 3D printing custom parts, but that doesnt mean I do not appreciate creative use of what is available, especially if you are looking for a container for something that is really cheap.
I have a decent case for my Raspi3, but it just seems odd to spend 4-5-6 dollars for a case on a 10 USD raspi zero W. Especially since it doesnt come with 1 usd worth of candy

author
CathrineD (author)djcc20122017-05-28

I love 3D printers

author
diy_bloke (author)2017-05-28

it fits in a TicTac box?? I am amazed. Is that the big container or the standard? :-)
I once fitted a 4 channel AC switch in one of those, but an entire computer?

I have to get me one

author
Crysknife007 (author)diy_bloke2017-05-28

Sure does, it really is amazing how small the Pi Zero's are. This was made with the standard 1oz size container. I measured the tic tac case just now and it is around 7.3 centimeters long including the lid. I was pretty surprised to find out that they are just long enough to fit the whole board inside too :D


There is a good amount of height and width left inside to fit some additional components, wires, all kinds of things. I've even seen some pictures online where someone had a small HAT attached to the board and both were able to fit inside a tic tac container.

author
diy_bloke (author)Crysknife0072017-05-29

nifty little boxes :-)
4 channel SSR in a TicTac.
I just love using all sorts of containers for purposes they were not meant for.

tictac.jpg
author
LeslieB99 (author)diy_bloke2017-05-28

Get the new model, it is wireless.

author
diy_bloke (author)LeslieB992017-05-29

yep sure, the 'W' version

author
DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2017-05-25

Finally. There is a controller housing at a reasonable price.

author

And it comes with free candy!

author
CathrineD made it! (author)2017-05-28

cool

photo.png
author
Crysknife007 (author)CathrineD2017-05-28

Awesome!

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