Since playing around with the Raspberry Pi, I knew I had a need to encase it in something. I didn’t want things dropping or spilling on it. I mean it is just a circuit board after all. So, to solve this problem, the nerd kid in me raided the various places around the house and found a decent sized stash of miscellaneous Lego pieces. These pieces were either left overs from other sets or just parts that I had used to put together a patchwork spaceship or something in my youth. The parts that I could find and spare resulted in a pile of odd-shaped pieces that were in all types of colors ranging from transparent green 1×1 plates to weird ladders and slanted pieces. I even found a 2×10 plate that was conductive! Anyways, here is a picture of the before and after of the stash to the patchwork case for my Raspberry Pi.
Fast forward to today, as I see it sitting there on the TV stand, I think that something should be done to make it fit in more. While it had “character”, it really was sticking out too much. So I decided to make a new one that was more discreet. I had seen what others had done, and I also played with the Lego software for making a model and instructions of the case that I was trying to build. I had put a pretty good plan together when I found that it was impossible to get the parts! I basically had to go either directly to Lego’s Pick a Brick or Bricklink to get the parts I need. The individual pieces didn’t cost much, but shipping is what killed it.
After searching through several Lego stores, one of the patrons overheard what I was looking for and suggested that I go to Lasting Toys to check it out because they carried a lot of stuff and usually dates back inclusive of 3 years. So I made the trek over there and found that they did have a lot of stuff. But not as much loose bricks as I thought. I flipped through their catalog of items that were available and had to make a decision on the fly. I ended up getting two black plate sets and a bag 50 smoky black bricks. I had to roughly work out how I was going to put it together and then by enough to make two cases. (I am thinking the other one will be used to encase the rPi video baby monitor.)
Once I got home, I set off to work, playing with the dimensions and the blocks I had on hand and how I wanted it to fit together with the board. After some trial and error, along with some sealing off of ports (like the HDMI, I don’t need video output for a server), I finally finished and here is the end result:
Overall, I am very happy with the end product. The smoky black bricks made it possible to see the lights and because the parts are more normalized, it’s a LOT stronger structurally than the old Lego case I put together out of a mishmash of odd parts. The case fits the decor of the TV stand and it will also allow me to eventually bolt a fan to it so that I can cool the ram sinks I put on the chips. The next step is to sort out the GPIO pins and get the fan mounted and hooked up.
Time to go parts shopping!