Pi Zero W Tic Tac Case

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About: I am the 24 hour Star Trek Engine Noise and ambient scifi sleep sound guy. I also make noise music and ambient soundscapes as Cheesy Nirvosa.

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.

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24 Discussions

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makeprovo

Tip 3 months ago on Step 2

Baby oil also works if you don't have Goo Gone on hand!

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IanM312

1 year ago

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

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Crysknife007IanM312

Reply 1 year ago

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

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nliwilsonIanM312

Reply 1 year ago

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. :)

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gvoyer-perrault

1 year ago

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.

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ahigazygvoyer-perrault

Reply 1 year ago

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

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Crysknife007ahigazy

Reply 1 year ago

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!

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ahigazyCrysknife007

Reply 1 year ago

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.

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Crysknife007gvoyer-perrault

Reply 1 year ago

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

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sogoesme

1 year ago

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 :)

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diy_blokesogoesme

Reply 1 year ago

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

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djcc2012

1 year ago

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

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diy_blokedjcc2012

Reply 1 year ago

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

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mcartledgemcartledge

Reply 1 year ago

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

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diy_blokemcartledge

Reply 1 year ago

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

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diy_bloke

1 year ago

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

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Crysknife007diy_bloke

Reply 1 year ago

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.

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diy_blokeCrysknife007

Reply 1 year ago

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