Launched in 2012, the Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer the size of a credit-card. It has just enough grunt to power a range of applications, and it’s cheap and versatile. Learning about computer science has never been more accessible or affordable.
Integral to its back-to-basics charm is that it doesn’t come packaged in a fancy case. It’s just a circuit board with soldered components and ports.
For this reason, one of the first projects people begin with their new computer is not to plug it in and switch it on. Instead, they design or search for a custom Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print. We’ve scoured the web for the best ideas to share with you.
But are all RaspPis created equal? Nope! There currently 6 different variants of the fruity little computer, ranging from the current generation Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, to the ultra low-cost Raspberry Pi Zero.
So before firing up that 3D printer, it’s important to note that the models here are compatible only with Raspberry Pi 3, Raspberry Pi 2, and Raspberry Pi Model B+.
Some will also fit an Asus Tinker Board, since that has the exact same form factor, but these tend to run quite hot so consider an integrated cooling solution where you can.
That’s no moon. That’s a media center for your pop culture entertainment cave. This is a large Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print in four parts, but it should be very simple to assemble. There’s also room at the top to mount a cooling fan. With a bit of post-processing, the end result would impress even Lord Vader himself.
For those folks who are bummed that they couldn’t find a NES Classic Edition (and there are many), there is a viable alternative. Find a Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print in the shape of a NES, then install a games emulator like RetroPie. It really is that easy, and costs a fraction of money and aggravation it would take to find the official version. This isn’t a sermon, merely a pro tip to bypass scalpers who are capitalizing on supply shortages. Also, who could resist the chance to personalize their new NES with custom colors?
This design is rather special. It’s a modification of the Astro Pi Flight Case made for ESA astronaut Tim Peake when he took a Raspberry Pi into space. Though originally constructed from CNC milled aluminum, it’s now available as a custom Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print. The Raspberry Pi Foundation have helpfully provided a project page detailing all the steps and components required to build one of your own.
This model is enormously popular and rightly so. It features an access slot for Pi camera, screw-mounting of the Raspberry Pi to the case using holes in PCB, integrated 75mm VESA mounting tabs, a rotary engine vent design AND a high-resolution STL mesh. This is the custom Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print and rule them all.
Candidate for Best Dad in the Whole Wide World EVER goes to the designer of this Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print. First off, he’s teaching his son how to use Linux on a Raspberry Pi. Secondly, because his son is a massive fan of the Doctor Who TV show, he went ahead and designed and 3D printed an enclosure for the computer. Just like the big blue box of legend, this father’s heart is bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside.
This is a simple Raspberry Pi 3 case that can be 3D printed in one piece, made to house a dedicated Octoprint server which remotely manages a fused filament fabrication machine. It may not have all the fancy bells and whistles of other models on this list, but it does the job of protecting the Raspberry Pi from harm while keeping it well ventilated.
Ambient cooling seems to be the default option when looking for a Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print. This model takes things one step further with space for an integrated fan, so the little fruity computer won’t wilt under heavy loads. Also neat about this custom case is the easy snap fit assembly from two separate halves.
For gamers of a certain vintage, this colorful Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print is impossible to resist. Pacman is arguably the first ever superstar icon of the 8-bit arcade era. The root cause of many a misspent youth on the mean streets of suburbia. And now he’s back in all his power-pill gobbling, ghost-chasing glory, but he’s packing upgrades in the shape of Raspberry Pi 3 board.
If you’re seeking a Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print with a bit more sass, then try the Face Case. On the one side, it has bared teeth and a crossed eye; this angry little fella is taking no prisoners. Flip it over, meanwhile, and you’ll be greeted with scrunched-up eyes and a big goofy grin.
This imposing slab of angular black plastic looks the spitting image of a Sony PlayStation 4. But in actual fact, it’s a custom Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print. Just don’t expect it to perform like a next-generation gaming rig or you’ll be left sorely disappointed.
Another nice, compact Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print from designer Walter Hsiao. It comes in two halves and slots together without a need for screws. The horizontal pattern on the face of the case doubles as ambient ventilation. There’s also a groove on the underside for a strand of flexible filament to be embedded, so the unit has a bit of grip on smooth surfaces.
While the name of this custom Rasberry Pi case to 3D print is a little convoluted, there is a point. It takes inspiration form the lovable R2-D2 droid from Star Wars, hence the two-tone components and the circuitry decoration. As with Jeff Peterson’s previous designs, there’s scope for an integrated cooling fan. And the sturdy base means it can be stood on its side while taking up a smaller footprint on your desk.
Depending on the amount of data it has to crunch, the Raspberry Pi can fall prey to overheating (just like any other computer). Take no chances on a sudden breakdown with the MOAB, otherwise known as the Mother Of All fan Brackets. With this Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print, you can append not one but two fans to the unit, and they can be of varying sizes too.
Remember that Pacman enclosure we showed you? Well, he has a friend. This is a pitch-perfect recreation of the Ghost that would chase our yellow hero around the maze. It’s a big Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print, and in no way intended to be discreet or go unnoticed. But it’s a simple design with large integrated vents in the folds of the ghostly undercarriage for ambient cooling. Add some acrylic paint for the eyes and you’ve got yourself a ghost with the most.
We use many liliputers here at ALL3DP, and we’ve often had cause to fabricate a bunch of cases for them. Over the course of our testing, this model has become the classic Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print. It fits like a glove — regardless of whether it’s made using the FDM, SLA or SLS technique — and it’s tidy and robust. Especially suitable if the Raspberry Pi is being used for low-intensity stuff like browsing the web.
Can you believe it’s been nearly 17 years since the first Halo game on the original Microsoft Xbox? This is a distinctive, stylish model which pays tribute to the classic gaming series. Cortana would love it. No, scratch that. Even the Master Chief would love it. And funnily enough, no-one has designed a classic Xbox theme Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print (or even a Zune tribute, haha), so this is the next best thing.
For those folks who are bummed that they couldn’t find a SNES Classic Edition (and there are many), there is a viable alternative… Okay, okay, you’ve heard this spiel once already. Locate a Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print in the shape of a SNES, then install a games emulator like RetroPie. Building a model yourself will be more satisfying than lining the pockets of an eBay scalper, and that’s a promise.
Fans of Norse mythology — or indeed Marvel superheroes — will get a big kick out of this one. It’s a Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print in the shape of the mystical hammer of Thor. Some post-processing will be required to give it the appropriate color and texture, but when it’s complete it really does look the business. A warning sticker is required to request that the unworthy refrain from attempting to wield it.
Frozen in carbonite by Darth Vader and his minions, Han Solo is blissfully unaware that he’s been consigned to a fate worse than death; stuck to the backside of a budget microcomputer. It won’t make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs, but it’s still a Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print that any Star Wars geek would appreciate.
Sometimes, minimalism is best. To show off the elegant circuitry of the Raspberry Pi board, whilst still providing some degree of protection from falling screws and stray fingers, this bumper should be all the case you need. It was originally designed for the Model B+ version, but user comments on Thingiverse verify that it also can be used as a Raspberry Pi 3 case.
When designing a custom Raspberry Pi 3 to 3D print, many folks will attempt to incorporate the branding into the model itself. Case in point is this raspberry-shaped case, which blows up the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s official logo and slots the computer board inside. Your tolerance for obvious puns may vary, but at least no one will mistake this device for an Apple or a Blackberry.
The TurboPi looks like the DeLorean from Back to the Future. This Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print has some sharp, aggressive lines with a pleasing retro eighties vibe. The three-part design snaps together easily, offers scope for two-tone customization and has holes for screws if you need the extra security.
This is an interesting Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print, which kind of functions as elaborate camouflage. While it appears to be a display stand for a vintage NES game, in actual fact there’s a fruity computer concealed in the base AND a hard-drive concealed inside the cartridge. The two parts are connected to each other via some discreet cabling. It’s pretty damn clever, though upcycling the vintage cartridge means you won’t be able to blow on the connector pins like days of yore.
This Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print is a tribute to the fabled Nintendo 64, and with some nifty paintwork it’s a slam-dunk for the original. More recent revisions to the design have seen the addition of space for a cooling fan inside the game cartridge, so it becomes a useful feature instead of a decorative ornament. We’d have to check, but we reckon that RetroPie just about tops out at successfully emulating N64 games using a Raspberry Pi 3.
This won’t be the last custom Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print that’s inspired by a games console. But it’s perhaps the most obscure. Not many folks regard the Nintendo Gamecube with much affection when it was first released. Indeed, it was something of a flop, blown out of the water by contemporaries like the Sony PlayStation 2 and the Microsoft Xbox. So the level of detail and artistry that’s gone into this faithful recreation has to be commended.
The humble Nintendo Wii has its moment in the Raspberry Pi gaming enclosure craze, with a compact recreation of the original home console classic. The benefit of this Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print is that it stands the fruity computer on its side, thereby reducing the footprint on your TV or workspace. But the designer notes there are some tricksy parts to this build in relation to the door which hides the access ports. Nor is it compatible with the original Wii Nunchucks, alas.
Another sleek and minimalist Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print. What makes this one distinct is how the designer strives to strike the balance between providing maximum protection while still providing full access to the complete range of pins and connectors on the Raspberry Pi 3 board. The semi-open enclosure will help with cooling as well.
This is a quick Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print when you’re in a hurry but still want to provide the computer with some degree of protection. It’s similar to the Bumper Humper, except it’s topped and tailed with a honeycomb structure to catch larger objects.
This is a simple, unpretentious custom Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print, with room for a 40mm cooling fan. You’re not going to find any oversized logos here, or homages to vintage games consoles, or wacky pop-culture references. It’s just a well-designed enclosure to keep the unit safe and secure.
This Raspberry Pi 3 case to 3D print is actually still a work in progress, so approach with caution. But it’s interesting for attempting to build a more functional PC tower from the Raspberry Pi and additional components like a hard drive, variable temperature cooling fan, audio amplifier, stereo speakers, and an OLED screen. Oh yeah, and it has an oversized raspberry logo on the side. But don’t let that deter you!
Image credits: all images copyright their respective owners.
License: The text of "30 Fantastic Raspberry Pi 3 Cases to 3D Print" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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