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Raspberry Pi Zero W Case w/ Camera

by DaveGun, published

Raspberry Pi Zero W Case w/ Camera by DaveGun Mar 23, 2017

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123D Design

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2420Views 345Downloads Found in Electronics

Summary

This is a basic rectangular Pi Zero case with camera. I made this for remotely monitoring things around my house in WIFI range. I'm using the the Pi Zero W (with WIFI), and it's set up for headless (VNC) connection so it only needs a power supply. The Rpi-Cam-Web-Interface (http://elinux.org/RPi-Cam-Web-Interface ) makes it easy to monitor and control this unit from any device that has a web browser.

This case features a simple rectangular shape so it can rest on end or side. It comes with a slide-on base for stability when standing the case on end. The HDMI, USB, and Power connections are accessible so it can be connected to a monitor and keyboard/mouse. There is enough space in end of the case to weave the camera ribbon cable without kinking the ribbon. The Pi and camera are secured with M2 screws through printed standoffs, so it does not rely on 2 mm diameter printed pins. The same M2 screws hold the case together.

For my design, I used Raspberry Pi Zero Version 1.3 Reference Model by Anathae, Published on June 6, 2016 and can be found here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1612021

Print Settings

Printer:

MP3DP

Rafts:

No

Supports:

No

Resolution:

.2 mm

Infill:

30%


Notes:

Printed in PLA

Post-Printing

Assembly:

You will need your Rpi Zero W with camera attached with the ribbon cable.

Place camera into the front case half and align the mounting holes over the four short standoffs. Attach the camera with short M2 screws.

Place the Rpi zero over the camera on the the long standoffs on the front case half. Let the camera ribbon fold in half with no kinks. Fold the ribbon cable back and forth like a piece of ribbon candy in the bottom space in the front case half. It should weave back an forth a few times in the open space at the bottom of the case without kinks. Place the case back on and carefully close the case halves together. The ribbon should compress without kinking. Secure the entire assembly together with 4 M2 screws.

The assembled case will slide into the base. It can be used with our without the base.

Assembly Tips:

Test fit the case halves before inserting the camera or pi. Use a small file to clean up any artifacts so the case halves fit together snugly but not too tight. I made this a tight fit so I could fine tune the fit with a file.

Test fit the screw holes. You can use longer screws with nuts. I drilled the holes in the case back so the M2 screws slid in easily, and threaded the screws into the front case half standoffs.

If you drill out the holes, drill from the outside of the case, not on the standoffs from the inside. The standoffs can snap off if you have any flaws in the bond between the layers. Your less likely to snap off the standoff by drilling from the case outside.

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Thanks for sharing. I made it, but with the Pi Zero W assembled, the PCB is flush with the sides. As a result the screw holes in the top need to be flush with the outer fame, and not protrude.

The PCB of the Pi Zero W should fit inside the case. The holes in the case should align with the Pi Zero mounting holes.

The PCB does fit inside, and the holes do align up, but does not close, leaving a 1.5mm gap between the top and bottom half of the case. I ended up cutting off the ends of the mounting holes.

I understand now, glad you got it to work.

Thanks for using and linking my model of the Raspberry PI Zero version 1.3. I would be interested in your experience using it in designing your case.

Anathae,

Thank you for the model! All the components and mounting holes were right on, my standoffs and openings were perfectly located. I have a version that uses the headers for an add-on WIFI/Bluetooth card and these also aligned perfectly. Nice Job!

Excellent, just what I wanted to hear.

Once I get a chance to get one of the Zero W, I'll create one for it with the processor in the right place so designing a metal case with integral connection from processor to heat sink can be done.

Just one suggestion, a metal case may shield the WIFI and Bluetooth signals of the Zero W. I have been monitoring temperatures after continuous operation and it stays about 60 degrees C in ambient room temperatures. From my observations, the Pi Zero seems to not have heating problems in a small enclosed case with no heat sink or venting.

Good point about the wifi and bluetooth. The good news for hardware moders is there is a set of solder pads on the Zero W that would allow adding an external antenna.

As for not needing a heat sink... Reducing the operating temperature of the processor increases its life span. I'm also using it as a proof of concept because if I can do it for the Pi Zero, I'll be able to take what I learn from doing that and apply it to a larger board.

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