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Raspberry Pi case for Prusa i3 / i3 Mk2

by hofftari, published

Raspberry Pi case for Prusa i3 / i3 Mk2 by hofftari Feb 8, 2016

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Summary

New design is out. Compatibility with the multicolor upgrade is still not available
The new design should have no interference with your cable setup for the printer carriage. It also features the same design pattern as the rest of the printer.

The old design files are re-uploaded per request.


This is my custom made case for the Raspberry Pi computers for those that want to run a 3D print server like OctoPrint.


The case is mounted on the back side of the frame, just above the electronics with Z clearance in mind. The Z axis can hit the maximum level without any issues on neither the Z axis or the X carriage.

There is also a slot ready for using the Raspberry Pi camera if you want to monitor your prints.

Combined with a WiFi USB dongle this makes for a very portable printer!

Print Settings

Rafts:

Doesn't Matter

Supports:

Yes

Infill:

20%


Notes:

0,2 mm layer height works good. The design is optimized for a 0,4 mm nozzle.

Installation

Hardware requirements/installation

4x M3x16 screws for the case
2x M3x8 screws for attaching the case to the frame.

First install the Lid.stl onto the frame using the two M3x8 screws. Then attach the Base.stl/Base_rasp3_NoSpringSDSlot.stl to the lid using the four M3x16 screws.

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May 17, 2017 - Modified May 17, 2017

If it were to mount in the middle instead of on the right side (if you are facing the printer), it would not be in the way of the extruder cable on the MK2s. Can you put the mounting tabs on either side of the case to do this?

May 12, 2017 - Modified May 12, 2017

Hi

First of all im not shure wich files I should print. I'm about to buy a raspberry pi 3 B. Also, could you please tell me, what scews I need to mount the case and screw the Raspberry Pi to the case?

Thanks.

Nice job, and nice USB wire hack too hehe

Haha, thanks. There are no 0,15 meter USB A>B cables, so I had to improvise.

May 17, 2017 - Modified May 17, 2017
JohnOCFII - in reply to hofftari

Here's one: http://www.mycablemart.com/store/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=6515

I use it. It works great with your older orientation between the Rambo and the Pi.

finished and printed my adapter plate. seems to work great.

i shifted it up 65mm. which puts the top of the case flush with the top of the frame.

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2265551

Adapter plate for raspberry pi case (hofftari) for Prusa i3 MK2S
Apr 20, 2017 - Modified Apr 20, 2017

:/ well unlike how yours is pictured. my box has the extruder wires coming out the top of it. so when the carriage goes far left and far right, it will hit the case. not gonna work for my MK2S.

at least the petg printed really nicely.....

Edit (also as someone else has already posted. the inside mounting screw interferes with the Screen pins on the board. theres no way to get the board inside with a Socket head cap screw, without cutting off pins from the Pi.) Guess I'll try some flat head cap screws and see if it clears. Maybe print an adapter so it's mounted higher up on the frame.

Could you possible post a picture of your extruder cables? I checked the MK2S manual, and from what I can see the cables shouldn't hit the case as it is designed right now.

https://imgur.com/gallery/jusf0

It can attach. But when the extruder is far x+ it's gonna be pushing on the case. Have to force the cables 3/4 of an inch for the holes to line up.

Thinking of making an adapter plate so I can raise the box a few inches so it clears the cable.

Also the last pictures show how the board can't fit in with a socket head cap screw. I'll have to get some socket head button screws and see if they clear.

Apr 20, 2017 - Modified Apr 20, 2017
hofftari - in reply to jackrenter

Wait, that's weird. My RAMBo cover, nor the STL files listen on Prusa's github have the extruder cables going out from the top like that. I plan on getting the MK2s update soon, but until then it's hard to redesign the case since they haven't even published the files for this new cover. I can probably place the box a bit higher on the frame, but how much would you guess it needs to be raised?

The other part about the mounting screw hitting the pins is already planned to be fixed.

To fully clear the cables when at full x+ and z+. 45mm up.

If you plan on getting the multi color system for the printer you might run into an issue putting the pi there anyways as it looks like you have to install the motor multiplexer board right there (though a bit higher up the support). Just figured I'd mention it just in case. My printer is still several weeks out but I can't wait to get it, but have been wondering where to attach my octopi as well.

I might just have to offload it on the shelving or something. Anywho, I just wanted to mention it, if you don't plan on getting the multi color system it won't matter haha.

Comments deleted.
Apr 20, 2017 - Modified Apr 20, 2017

Couple of comments/suggestions...

  1. I had to clip pins 2,4,6,8,10 off the GPIO connector on a RPi3 to keep them from shorting against one of the screws holding the case to the printer frame. Probably would have been fine with fewer clipped pins or a smaller screw head, but I was being careful and won't have any use for those pins anyway.
  2. The gap for the microsd card could stand to be a little wider and I don't see any disadvantages of doing so, mine just barely fit. I ended up trimming it a little after printing for better clearance.
  3. Enlarging the counterbore for the M3x16 screws slightly (0.5-1mm extra diameter) would make more head styles fit. The ones I grabbed from the parts bin at work were just slightly too large, although I was able to get them in by pushing them in with my (hot of course) soldering iron.
  4. Decreasing the size of the M3 "threads" would help, I didn't get very good clamping force from the screws.
  5. I'm concerned about the 90 degree mounting arm on the lid. Any bending moment will stress the layer bonding. Perhaps something on the base part that overlaps so any stress is taken be both parts instead of just the lid?

Overall I like the design, and it will probably do just fine, but figured I would give some feedback. If you wanted to share .step or native CAD files I could just make the modifications myself.

Apr 20, 2017 - Modified Apr 20, 2017
hofftari - in reply to dmwahl

Thanks for the feedback.

I had no idea about #1, but I see now how that can happen. I have probably shorted my pins due to this, but my Pi is still working without any issues. I'll see if I can adjust this.
For #2 I can make it a bit larger. I just went with a tight fit design strategy for all tolerances since this case will rarely be opened up, nor will the SD card see much action as long as OctoPi is installed and ready. Then again this is good to adjust.
For #3 and #4 I'll make those adjustements.
And #5 is only a temporary solution. My final design will feature a third part that you mount on the frame which you then lock on the case with either a screw or some sort of mechanism. But this will probably be finished along with the multiplexer box for the future multiprint i3 upgrade!

Apr 16, 2017 - Modified Apr 16, 2017

Hi,
thanks for nice design.
I have a issue with mounting this together;
I've printed "Lid" and "BaseRasp3" - but the "tap" on the back of the lid is too big for the Base.
I checked the STL files and there is a mismatch there as well. Don't know how to share a picture here

Edit: if you take a look at your imagefiles here, the blue models, the first which is LID, the "tap" in front" does not fit in the "hole" in the base.

Check the earlier comments. This issue came since I hastily released the new design. The base STL should be updated now. Try printing it again

Thanks! :-) Already printing a new base.

I see that you updated your files as late as today, now the parts fit, thanks :-)

Am I the only one having issues with the cables going out oy the x-carriage? they hit the side of the case when at the end of the Z stroke.

It is a tight fit, and it could possibly be your cables that are a bit closer to the case because of how you built it. But rest assured, I have made a redesign of this case where I've turned it 90 degrees so it doesn't take up much place. I'm only waiting for the multicolor version of the i3 to be released so I can design some form of mount for this case on top of the motor multiplexer in that upgrade.

Mind sharing the redesign now? Who knows when the multi material upgrade is going to be released. Plus I wouldn't mind reprinting a new case.

I've uploaded the new design now. I've removed all old files as I felt that the old case had lived out its lifespan.

Hi hofftari,
Please consider leaving the old files available as an archive just in case someone finds that version more useful for whatever reason that they might.

Or, perhaps they might have broken a part and need to print the exact replacement and don't have access to the original files.

This is my biggest problem with Thingiverse so far: I find something I like and then go back a few days later and I can't find it anymore.
My rule now is that if I like it I have to download it immediately! I spent about 15-20 minutes trying to find your case project again by picture and couldn't find it because it had changed. I finally found it by doing a google image search of the picture I recognized of the old version, which led me back here, where I finally realized you had completely changed the design.

Anyways, it's your choice. I can't argue with the kindness of others! thanks again for the case. The first version works great for me!

+1 to what clintfisher said.

I needed to re-print the top half of your original design but wasted 20 minutes searching all over Thingiverse... just to realise you'd removed the original design.

On that note, your original design worked perfectly well for the MK2S and I also managed to adapt it (by adding a small bracket) for the planned MultiMaterial upgrade. I can't see any benefit from your new design at all?

Apr 19, 2017 - Modified Apr 19, 2017
hofftari - in reply to clintfisher

While I agree that it's good to keep the old files archived, it also becomes pretty cluttered since thingiverse has a terrible way of showing and handling files (Why can't you update a file without removing it first? Why don't they add a directory structure? And so on).

There are so many things in here where you have over 10 files, sometimes over 20. And instead of having a way of organising them into folders we're forced to write a small novel in the description about all the files and which ones to use for what.

Tbh this whole site sucks in many aspects and the people behind it doesn't seem to do anything to improve any part of it.

End rant

That said I could add the old files and rename them to something suitable so people don't get confused. I'll do it as soon as I'm home again.

The new design has 2 problems. The SD card and the top/bottom part of the case do not line up. http://imgur.com/a/n6lsA

Ah, sorry. I didn't check the fit for the raspi3 version in all haste.

No problem, let me know when it's fixed.

Apr 16, 2017 - Modified Apr 16, 2017
hofftari - in reply to mnl1121

It's fixed. Only the base part has been changed.

Great thanks for clarifying that. I'll print tonight.

Awesome design thank you!

Thanks. I am waiting for this redesign. Is it possible that you publish the files before the multicolor is out? seems this will take forever...

Great work Sascha -- thank you for your contribution!
FYI, I printed the Pi 2 lid (there's no 3 lid) and the Pi 3 B needs a longer (~4mm) of a cutout for the ethernet jack, and also the two inside corner supports near the ethernet and USB need to come down by about 1.5mm. I used a Dremel. It wasn't pretty, but it works :)
If you'd care to share the source files, I'd be happy to tweak the Pi2 lid into a Pi3B lid -- assuming I have the app you created it in.
In any case, I've got mine working and mounted and it's great. Thanks!!

Where did you purchase your pi3 from? The pi2 lid should fit a pi3 too, and other people here on thingiverse have had no issues with the fit

I purchased it from Arrow Electronics. It's a Pi3 B. Definitely doesn't fit as-is, mainly due to the ethernet housing length.

What length bolts are people using to mount the case to the Prusa?

Printed this nice little guy off but the screw holes on a Raspberry Pi 3 (at least this one) appear to be smaller than an M3. I attempted to push the screws through to the base but would have had to expand the hole on the board.

Not sure what might have happened during the print but one side (along the long-edge) of the base turned up slightly larger (M3 and M4 would not fit, a US-size 4 would fit); the other side gladly took the M3. The outside holes took M3.

All in all, I mounted the case on the frame with just the two M3 screws, but the pi is not attached to the base. Not ideal, but it moves the pi out of the way.

Will this work with a Raspberry Pi B or a Raspberry Pi 2 B?

Absolutely. All current Raspberry Pi boards fit in this case.

Is it normal to have to bend the metal flare outs on the USB ports of the B model? Without bending it keep the case spread open a bit on that end.

No you shouldn't need to do that. But could it be that your batch might use another USB unit with a different design? Might you show me a picture of it?

Awesome! Going to queue this up as the next print and get ready for setting up OctoPi this evening.

The holes to mount the rpi itself into the case came out a little too large to grip an M3 screw. The screw bit the plastic a little, but the slightest amount of pull pulled the screw right out. So I drilled a 7/32" inch hole (close enough to 5.5mm) on the backside of the case to screw jack a captive nut in place.

In hindsight, all that was probably unnecessary, since the lid clamps down and holds the rpi securely, but oh well.

With only two screws, after some time the case begins to vibrate and rattle against the frame. I've fixed it with double adhesive tape. I think that a third screw point is needed, maybe using longer screws on the front of the frame for the upper right Z end.

Hey Hofftari,

If you´re redesigning the case anyway, may I suggest a version/an option that offers some room on the underside of the PI? This would allow for a heat sink for overclocking.

How much more room did you have in mind? Also, what needs to be heatsinked on the underside of the Pi?

Hey Hofftari,

the reason for it would be if you want to squeeze some additional power out of the Pi by overclocking it. Then it would be good idea to give it some extra cooling. I´d like to put heatsinks on the CPU/GPU (upper side, no issue with the current design) and on the SDRAM which is on the bottom.

I have small heatsinks that just get "glued" on with sticky tape that are about 7 mm in height. Obviously there are lots of different designs out there, so I guess 10 mm room would be plenty.

Ok, sounds reasonable. Since I'm going to rotate the whole case 90 degrees along the Z-axis I don't see any issues with making it a bit thicker. All I'm waiting for now is for Josef Prusa to publish his STL files for the motor multiplexer so I can figure out a way to mount this new case on top of it.

My design recommendation would be to redesign the cover for the Multiplexer so that it could support 2 vertical dovetail rails from the case that holds the Pi and just slide on and hit some sort of stopping point. My thoughts on the design were to have the USB ports at the bottom (kind of like now) and make the HDMI and power ports face towards the back. I see there being a 20mm gap between the Multiplexer cover and the main part of the Pi case. The rails could be 2-5mm thick. The top half of the Pi case could be on one rail, and the bottom half could be on the other rail. A replacement Multiplexer cover would have the slits to slide the triangular rails into.

I already have "rotated" the whole case in relation to the mounting points, and it will have the HDMI/power ports faced towards the back.
And my thoughts right now is to skip the whole idea of mounting the case onto the multiplexer in some fashion and instead create a cover+case part that simply replaces the original multiplexer cover.

What filament did you print the case in Hofftari? It has a very nice mat black look to it. If I had to guess, it's either a black abs or some type of carbon fiber filament.

It's just standard Prusa black PLA. The mat finish comes from it being printed on the PEI bed.

Ah right. Ok then. Thank you!

Dec 1, 2016 - Modified Dec 1, 2016

How are people getting the Raspberry Pi mounted to the base? My M3 screws would not go in the mounting holes and some research shows that the holes are 2.75mm. Are you drilling the holes out? I do not think it is too important, because the Pi fits into the lid very tightly and that should be enough.

I'm guessing you're talking about the printer frame? I don't remember having any issues with mine. Those holes were exactly like the ones used for the RAMBo housing.Try to drill them out a bit, but only go a few millimeters deep just to give the screws a good start. Otherwise you might risking making it impossible for the threads to get a grip

Sorry, I mean mount the raspberry pi board to the printed base, Base_rasp3_NoSpringSD. But like I said in my original post, it does not matter because the the raspberry fits so tight in lid.

Yeah, I guess screws are overrated ;)

But I've dimensioned them to 3,00 milimeters, so it should be no problem. Try to pre-thread the holes with some force and see if you can't make them fit.

I would like to see a version of this case that also includes support for a piTFT rotating the case by 90 degrees
https://www.adafruit.com/products/2097

I would love to see a version of this fine case that also includes space for a PiDrive. Is that a possibility? Thanks!

Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly is a PiDrive? I tried searching for some images for it, but there seems to be many different forms and sizes ranging from some GPIO-addon to a whole 2,5" SSD drive.

Thanks for the response! This is the PiDrive: http://wdlabs.wd.com/products/wd-pidrive-314gb/

As you say, it is a 2.5mm drive - but looking at it against the Pi and the mk2, I don't think it will be feasible as it adds too much width.

Back to the drawing board :)

Yeah, that might be impoossible to fit. One solution could be to rotate the whole case 90 degrees along the Z-axis, which I've actually thought about for a while now. That way they can both fit. I might actually do that in the near future!

If you do, I will certainly take a look. I just noticed last night that Josef Prusa had the same idea - it looks like the multiplexer for the new multi-colour extruder (2x or 4x) mounts in exactly the same spot as the Pi case :)

May have to start stacking mods up there!

How do you power your RPi? do you use an external adapter, or the built-in PSU with some adapter?

I simply bought a micro-USB charger for smartphones and plugged it in.

Since the Pi3 does not have the nice push-in push-again-out microSD card holder, is there room get get a finger nail on to the card to pull it out? It looks like the STL shown still has the rear-side only opening.

Here's a photo of removing a microSD card from the Pi3: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2506999/Pi3%20Removal.jpg

That's a bummer. Why would they use an card reader that doesn't have that spring on the Pi3?

No matter, I've uploaded an alternative STL file for the base that has some room to pry out the SD card. Let me know if it works better!

I actually prefer it w/o the spring loaded switch, saves you from accidentally ejecting the card. I've had mobile projects lose the sd card when they hit a bump in the road that activated the spring loaded switch, so this was a welcome change for me.

Sep 21, 2016 - Modified Sep 21, 2016
hofftari - in reply to ChiefPoints

I guess, but if you use the raspi for such applications where you have enough g-force to do that, then one would still not trust the non-spring loaded design without securing the card also, in my opinon.

Sep 8, 2016 - Modified Sep 8, 2016
JohnOCFII - in reply to hofftari

Greetings!

I printed the new case bottom today. Unfortunately, a little more material needs to be removed from the flat bottom surface for me to get my finger or thumbnail in there to remove the microSD card.

I did a little cutting and filing and have attached two photos. I removed material all the way back to the start of the slanted piece. I think you only have to go back about half that distance. I tried to show this in the photos. Please let me know if you have questions.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2506999/Pi3Case-1.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2506999/Pi3Case-2.jpg

[P.S. - this is not printed my my MK2 - that is still under construction. This was on my Geeetech G2S Pro. The thermistor is loose, giving me wacky temps, so the base level is a bit imperfect - that and it is time to replace the Kapton sheet on that aluminum bed. This was printed in Raptor High Performance PLA from MakerGeeks.]

Oh man, that's really messed up and annoying. Let's hope they learn from their mistakes and pick better components for the future Pi4.
I've updated the STL with a new version according to your instructions.

I'm wondering if it might be good to relieve a bit more from the upper as well. Or, make the case lower stand off the MK2 frame a bit. When the case is mounted on the MK2, there isn't quite enough room for fat fingers to get behind and hook with a fingernail.

Thanks. That looks good in 123D Design. I think I'll wait to print it until my MK2 is done. I'm a slow builder, but should be in the next 3-4 days.

Oct 1, 2016 - Modified Oct 1, 2016
JohnOCFII - in reply to JohnOCFII

OK, it's been more than 3-4 days, but I finally printed the case, and mounted it. It all works very well. See my photos in the "made one" section.

I'm not sure why they changed. I imagine it says a few pennies. My MK2 arrives today! I'll be sure to try your new case.

I printed the case for RP1, and it prints very nicely, and fits the RPI perfectly. The composite video interferes with the x-axis by a millimeter or so, which can d be fixed by shifting the mounting locations slightly right (when looking at the front of the printer) to not interfere with the print head. I don't have the exact dimensions, since I made the mod with a dremel :).

Hmm, not sure how much I can move the case to the right, since it can interfere with the extruder reaching X=0. Could you check how much room you have?

I printed it today for the RPi 1 and mounted it, there is no room for the stepper on the X axis left, which means you lose around 40mm print height. I cannot shift it, because it just fits. So I either cut of the not needed composite or....

It would be great if the GPIO top cover is large enough of a cutout so that we can fit a 40pin female IDE cable in it. I printed the case and noticed I can barely squeeze 2 jumper cables in the same row. It is almost too tight of a fit, when you place the rpi into the top cover, getting it out is nearly impossible; i broke one top cover print trying to get it out :(

Thanks for the feedback. I didn't know that the GPIO had that use, but I can open it up a bit. About the fit, I know it's tight, but a careful wiggle always works. Let me see if I can address that at the same time that I fix the GPIO ;)

Thanks for the quick reply, once you have the file up I will do a print and try it with my 40pin IDE cable.

Hey, just before I upload a new version of the lid, could you possibly check the dimensions of the 40 pin IDE cable you have, just so I can get it right at once?

My digital caliper is showing 6.8mm wide and 55.5mm lenght, maybe pad it by a few mm?

Aug 14, 2016 - Modified Aug 14, 2016
hofftari - in reply to v3rd1ct

Made the GPIO slot 7,8x56,5mm large: http://i.imgur.com/xojC94E.png
Also added a chamfer on the inside so the connector can be removed more easily.
Looks good?

That looks good :) Let me know when you get the .stl up so I can try printing.

It's already up ;)

Looks great but can I ask why you need a pi on the mk2? Just started working with Pi's and not long had my mk2. Would be great to hear of compatability.

Simple: https://octopi.octoprint.org/
It's a fully featured print server for 3D printers with a nice web interface. I use the Raspberry Pi with a USB Wifi for my i3.It works like a charm.

The base holes do not align with those on my aluminum frame. Is it possible for your to either share your source files with me or update the hole positions to those in this drawing?

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AiMOucOyxOOXnrcopVrzQWiYZHIvfQ

That's weird. What's the distance between those two holes on your frame? I'm measuring 42,5mm from center to center on mine.

I also thought the holes didn't align, but i was looking at the holes at the top, and not the bottom. Tim you might be doing the same?

Test-printing the new design for the Prusa i3 MKII now, got some REALLY strange first layers in S3D so using Slic3r for this one.

That's weird. I Use S3D too, and I've even run these STL files through Netfabb to get rid of any errors, if any.

Which files do I want to use with the new raspi3?

Jun 18, 2016 - Modified Jun 18, 2016
hofftari - in reply to Goog

The Rasp 3 has the same pcb layout and mounting holes as the Rasp 2 (and the older Rasp B+), so it will fit that case with no issues.

Does it print with supports? Looks to be. Thanks for the great design.

Thank you for downloading my design. You're correct, the lid needs supports

Two screws hold it well enough to the frame ?

It sits tight on my frame.

thats good to know. the printer i got was packed at the beginning of march. the frame doesnt have 2 extra holes at the top, just the bottom

Apr 27, 2016 - Modified Apr 27, 2016
hofftari - in reply to BBDB3

That's a shame. So they've manufactured a different frame now? Is there any other place on it that you can attach something extra?

Edit: I re-read your comment and I think I misunderstood you (where in turn you've misunderstood me). This case is mounted only with the "bottom" holes that you mention. It sits tightly anyway so feel free to proceed.

Great can't wait to add pi this case designs looks great also

Looks great! Neat and compact. I'm still running my OPi3 on an original Raspberry Pi. Shall try this once I upgrade. Cheers!

Hey again. I did some modelling and have uploaded some STL files for the old Raspberry Pi PCB! Let me know if something is off, since I have no way of checking this myself.

Wow! You've been working hard!

Looks great. I'll stick one on to print shortly and upload some photos.

Brilliant work. Thanks!

Thanks!

I actually received another request to make it RaspPi 1-compatible, so I'll probably update it with some new STL files soon. Stay tuned.

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