In this weeks layer by layer, we’re going to highlight techniques used in the making of the mini mac classic enclosure for the Raspberry Pi.
The projects main goal was to design a 3d printable enclosure that resembled a small mac classic that houses a Raspberry Pi B, 2.8″ PiTFT display, 600mAh lithium battery and powerboost 500c.
To get the scale of the overall design, we scaled down the dimensions from the original product by a third, measuring at just 115 x 90 x 92mm.
Reusing existing components from previous projects allowed us to quickly put together a mock up. Laying out the components inside a base shape is a great way to visualize how the enclosure can be shelled and split.
The final position of the components determine how the parts will be separated. We split the enclosure into five parts that are optimized for printing with no support material.
Shelling out each piece with a thickness of 2mm allows for a strong and durable parts. The main body of the enclosure has both the top and bottom faces selected to create a complete shell that will include openings for the various ports on the Raspberry Pi.
To make it easy to access the internal components, the front bezel and back panel will be secured to the body with magnets. These parts feature stand-offs on each corner with a recessed cylinder for mounting the magnets.
The body also has stand-offs on each corner of both sides. The tolerances of stand-offs have a lose fit so the magnets need to be secured with adhesives.
The large opening in the body allows wires to pass through the parts for making connections. The edge has mounting holes for securing the body to the base.
The final design is a five part enclosure. The parts are optimized to print with out any support material and the orientation of each part is specific to its geometry.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!