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One Piece Raspberry Pi Zero + Camera Case (with GPIO)

by Superrei, published

One Piece Raspberry Pi Zero + Camera Case (with GPIO) by Superrei May 29, 2016

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Update 23/7/2017: An update on the case that support camera and GPIO is here. Try it if you have problem to print the hinge of the original version.

Update 14/3/2017: It is quite sad to receiving some of your comments reporting parts fused together, but at the same time some other telling me they have no problem at all. I believe it all depends on how well your printer handle hanging and small gaps. The geometry of the hinge is really compact. Otherwise it will not go well with the baby Pi Zero and Pi Zero W.
Good news for those who had tried with problem. I added a "v2" version for the low profile case. I added extra clearance to the hinge geometry. Hopefully it would avoid parts fusing together when print with bigger nozzle size. If it works for your please post a make picture back to here. I really want to see if it works (or not). Thanks.

Update 13/2/2017: I received comments suggested me to separate to model to 2 parts since the top and bottom fused together as it print. I have no idea if one can really assemble it if you print them separately, but I did it anyway and let you guys to have a try. Let me knows if it helps.

Update 2: The GPIO version is here. To fix the Pi Zero you'll need 4 x M2.6 screws that are 15mm long.

Update: The camera version is here! It hold both your Pi Zero and Camera together in a small box. It comes in 2 sub-versions. First one doesn't use any screw, but you may need some extra help to secure the Pi Zero in the position it suppose to be. In my case I use 2 rubber bands. The second one use 4 x M2.6 screws which are 12mm long.

My first Raspberry Pi Zero case. Support the new version that comes with a camera port. It can be printed in one piece and no assembly is required. This is a low profile version, which means it will only hold the PI Zero itself without any jumper and HAT on it. I'll publish more version later. So do follow this creation if you need bigger versions that can hold the GPIO jumpers, camera or even HAT.

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i print one but the piece that should close the upper "door" is too loose so never close

Check the post from @bluebrews below. It may gives you some idea.

The two parts are always fused together at the hinge when i print them. So i need the top and bottom parts separate. Unfortunately i also need the GPIO version but the two parts are not available separately for the GPIO version. I'm a beginner so i don' know how i could use the files to modify the case myself... if someone had the same problem and has the gpio version available in two parts, please share...

A few questions?

  1. What keeps it closed? There's a little bit of friction but it swings open without much effort.
  2. The pi slides over the pins but is very loose. Is it supposed to friction fit?

Note: My extrusion with this filament are calibrated to extrude properly. Thanks!

My answer:

  1. Yes, the 1mm to 2mm extruded block provide some friction to keep it close. Some material such as PLA do provide less friction so it would be more easy to open. I do recommend using ABS for this closure.

  2. The pin should be enough to keep the Pi Zero resting in the right position, but they may not be able to keep it in the box if you turn it over. The effect will vary if you print it with different material and printer. I cannot make it too tigth, otherwise some printer may produce a print that the Pi Zero cannot fit in.


I did use PLA. Solved it by putting a bit of E6000 on the latch and letting it dry, added enough friction to keep it closed.

For the Zero, I used a bit of mounting putty on the poles and that keeps it in place.

Really cool design BTW! The hinges work great.

You wouldn't be able to share a step file? I'd love to see if I could adjust it so it fits the Zerocam (https://thepihut.com/collections/raspberry-pi-camera/products/zerocam-camera-for-raspberry-pi-zero)

Printed two on a Replicator 2x with ABS at Standard Resolution, 10% infill, 2 shells. Works great!

  1. Had to use an x-acto knife to separate the two sides as they had joined together at the build plate.
  2. A little tight where the USB and HDMI cables plug in.

Either way, a wonderful model and the hinge works surprisingly well. Thank you Superrel!

Printed on Tevo Tarantula at 0.2mm layerheight using 0.4mm nozzle. Came out perfect, everything fits and hinge works as it should.

printed the gpio version and it is locked up solid. i am going to try and see if i can cut it apart.

any plans for a v2 for the gpio case?

It is on my to do list. Sorry for the wait. I am a bit reluctant to open Freecad again to modify my old work. Stay tuned.

I will, and I understand, and I wouldn't ask but your case is so much nicer that the others out there

Printed v2 one piece, it came off my printer bed and was perfect. No resistance/no trying to break the hinge free, and the clip holds the case closed.

Glad to hear that. Thanks.

Could you add keyholes so that it can be mounted with suction cups like the ones linked below? I like the idea behind the zeroview and have a couple but it leaves everything exposed. Your case with suction cups would do the same thing plus provide some protection from incidental contact. Not to mention it looks a lot cleaner than zeroview.


Nice idea, can you give me the dimension of the key hole? Otherwise I'll need to guess it according to the photo.
Recently I've moved to Fusion 360 so it would take me some time to re-create it on 360. Stay tuned.

I created a revision with the keyholes, screw holes for the camera and I also made the screw holes for the Zero a little more robust as, on my printer anyway, they sometimes printed poorly and would break. This shifted the Pi up a couple mm and the camera down a couple mm to accommodate. You can add it as another optional version of your design as it's not a significant enough departure to warrant calling it a fork.


The narrow/stem part is 4mm in diameter and 3mm long. The top is 7mm in diameter. So large part of the keyhole needs to be a touch larger than 7mm across and the narrow part 4mm. The thickness of the keyhole wall 3mm.

N/P I will when I get home.

The case fits great. The hinges work and it does close properly. The case was fused together the first 8 layers, not really sure why this happened.

Added rubber feet to the bottom as its quite light.

Awesome design. Couldn't find m2.6 screws but found m2.5 screws which turned out too small. M3 might fit better.

Going to print the version that doesn’t need screws.

Well done again, lovely work!

Any chance of sharing the scad file (or equivalent?)

File format of FreeCad is ".fcstd". You want them?

Just uploaded a couple of the source files. Check them out.

Printed one of these on my Anet A8, the hinge worked perfect for me. Is this case supposed to latch shut though? Or is it just supposed to be loose? Cause mine doesn't hold the lid when shut.

It suppose to be a bit loose. Though it should be tight enough so it won't open if you hold it "up side down". Also if you print it with PLA, the latch may open more easily since the material provide less friction. Which one you have print?

Yeah I printed it using PLA.

I have a suggestion for the versions of your case that don't use screws to hold the Pi Zero. Instead of using rubber bands, on the top of the case, couldn't you add some circular posts with hollow centers to your design, so that when the case is closed, these posts fit up against the top of the Pi, holding it in place? (When I say the "top" of the case, I mean the side that doesn't have the camera hole in it - for the camera case - but does have the GPIO hole in it - for the GPIO case.)

I'm going to print a number of your cases tomorrow with a Lulzbot 6 printer, and I'll let you know how they come out.

I'm not sure if that will work. Since the camera cable is quite stiff. Can your design avoid the Pi Zero from popping up when the case is open?

I see what you're saying, but isn't it more important for the Pi to be held securely when the case is closed? I figure you only want to open the case when you want to remove or rearrange the contents.

And your concern would only apply to a case WITH a camera. Wouldn't my solution work well for your low profile case or possibly for a future design with the GPIO pins but no camera?

I'm pretty new to 3D design, but I'll try to wrangle up something in the next couple of weeks. After I print the current versions of your cases tomorrow, so I can better observe how everything fits and whether the Lulzbot 6 printer I have access to can print your hinges
like Goldilocks wants them. :-)

I realy like your design!
Could you share the clearences?
I;ve printed all of them on my Flashforge Dreamer, I had to 'break' the halves of the first print. Afterwards I experimented with the print width, i'm using a 0.4mm nozzle and Simplpify3d, it allows me to adjust the amount of filament pushed through. With just minor adjustments all my prints look better and it prints perfectly in one go. I would like to know the clearances of the hinges as well as the part for future designs, can you share them?

I use 0.5mm clearance. The hinge will become loose if it is too big, but the parts will fuse together if the value is too small.
I just get a PanTiltHat from Pimoroni. And I'm working on a housing solution on a Pi3 + PanTiltHat combo. Unfortunately my printer is not working so I need to send it back for repair. Hopefully you'll see my new design in a few weeks.

Ok, thanks!
If you need someone to test-print your design, just let me know.

Comments deleted.

I'm not sure where I'm going wrong, but this thing came out fuzed as one single piece. The hinges wouldn't close, and at best I got it to fold to about a 90 degree angle. Maybe this would be better if it was separated into 2 pieces.

I have the same problem. Would be nice if you could seperate the parts

Hi, do you mind send me a photo or short video on your print to let me see what happen?

Could you tweak the hinges to move the two halves further apart. My printer just printed the two halves as a single part. I would also suggest shrinking the size of the holes for the screws so they can be drilled and tapped M2.5

What nozzle diameter are you using? I'd recommend 0.4mm.

I was using a 0.4mm nozzle on an old worn out Ultimaker 2 but in the end, I just designed my own case based loosely on yours.

Great Job on the cases. I printed both the GPIO and Regular non-screw case on my Cube 3D at 50 Micron and they look nice. I was wondering if you could set one up a little taller for the new RedBear IoT pHAT or the Enviro pHAT that would mount on top of the GPIO? With the RedBear that would give wifi, bluetooth, the zero and a camera in one nice package. If you do, I would test print whatever you come up with. I have both.

Thanks again!

Hi Chris,

How much clearance you need for the HAT? Any measurement?

Sadly I've lost the source. So you may need to wait a little longer as I may re-create the entire design from scratch, hopefully with some new improvement.

Alex Hui

FYI: We'll use this as a case for running our Kerberos.io devices. Can we brand this with our logo?
More info on www.kerberos.io

I'll be glad if this design can help your project. Just leave a credit in your website. Feel free to get the stl files and add your logo on it.

Hi and thanks.

Yes I'm planning to make a GPIO version. Hopefully you may see it here in 1 or 2 weeks. The last camera version took me almost 10 trial prints before I get a satisfy result. So the new one would take me some time.

Thank you,
Probably I'll make a remix of it earlier.
It is a simple mod, not like camera support that is much more complicated.


Well I'm almost done. I'll start trial printing tomorrow. The GPIO jumper take up more space than I expect. The thickness of the whole thing will go up to 24mm.

Ah, I see this comment just now.
I've just made a simple remix. Only a cut in the top part of the case. Printing now..


Now you see why. :)

Unfortunately I cannot print well any of your case with my 3d printer.
I've tested camera version and my remix and in both I broke plastic pins.
Pins that holds the camera tiny and fragile.

Yes, those pins really push your printer nozzle to the limit. The best record my printer ever made is something slightly bigger than 1mm diameter. Actually the camera holder was copied from another design. You can find many Pi camera mount in Thingiverse which use the 4 holes without using screws. So I believer that are a good load of printers out there can print the pins without much problem.