05 October 2012
The Raspberry Pi currently ships without a case around it, so it’s just a circuit board. You can use it just like that, but a lot of people prefer to get a case for it to protect it. The most stylish one I’ve seen so far is the Pibow, which costs a bit more than other cases but looks very cool. But lots of people prefer to make their own cases. After all, the computer is supposed to inspire all kinds of DIY hacking, so the case seems a good place to start.
I started out by putting my Raspberry Pi in a wooden chocolate box I had, although I didn’t quite get around to sawing holes in it so the lid would shut and the cables would just come through holes in the sides. And then I succumbed to the inevitable, and had some fun with Lego.
You can see a picture of my case here below. It’s a fairly simple box, with holes (and a window) used for the cables to get in and out. I used transparent bricks around the back so I could see if the lights were on, and created a roof garden with a programmer working at a desk, just for kicks. The programmer is a minifigure (which is what they call Lego men nowadays) that Lego has issued. He looks like Bill Gates, has a mug with a C:\ prompt on it, and carries a little laptop. The roof garden has become a handy place to keep SD cards and I have a small 4-socket USB hub that sits nicely there too (when I remove the tree).
If you want to build your own Lego case, the dimensions of mine are 10 studs wide by 16 studs long, and four bricks high. The sides are two studs thick on two sides (one long side and one short side) and one stud thick on the other two sides.
I just used the bricks I had available, a mishmash of Lego and Lego-compatible pieces I had, but you can buy a kit with all the pieces you need and a design pattern created by 12-year old Biz. Best bit about that is that she's on commission, and it's paid in Lego. It's a really slick design, including a Raspberry Pi logo on the top. How are you protecting your Raspberry Pi?
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