This is an enclosure for two 3.5" SATA hard drives that need to be connected through SATA-to-USB adapters. My particular need is to connect to a Raspberry Pi, so I included accommodations for a Pi case.
My media server died, and I wanted to replace it with Plex running on a Raspberry Pi, but the dead server is a desktop and uses 3.5" hard drives for media storage (even if it didn't, those are cheap, so that's the route I probably would have chosen anyway).
I couldn't find anything to suit my needs, so I fired up OpenSCAD and made my own.
This enclosure worked so well for our Plex media server, I decided to print another so I could add cheap hard drives to our RetroPie system and expand its capacity. Now I have a black one hiding in a cabinet and a purple one for everyone to see.
This was designed to hold two drives together (a main drive and a backup, in my case), capture/hold the SATA-to-USB adapters for those drives, and screw a Raspberry Pi case onto the drive enclosure. You will need to print the matching Raspberry Pi case, which is here:
I've printed the linked Raspberry Pi case more than a dozen times (I even made a remix for CNC routers), and it's the best one I've found for my needs. Others can be attached to this HDD enclosure with little or no changes - I just included mount points for the one I prefer, which turned out to be easy since it was designed with VESA mounts.
Assembly info is in an attached PDF file.
A few notes about the print:
- These are made to not require supports. You may have problems printing the SATA adapter enclosure without supports. I recommend trying without. Most printers can create a bridge across that gap.
- The infill is not relevant in relation to the quality of the printed model, but you don't want a bunch of insulation trapping heat around your hard drives! Printing with less infill on the case should help. I used 20%.
- There is a mount point for a 50mm cooling fan, and through-holes for its wire so the fan can be powered by the Raspberry Pi. A fan is optional, but the life of your hard drives is likely to be decreased if you skip this piece. If you decide to install a fan, you will need to drill a through-hole in the Pi case of your choosing to match the one in the enclosure.
You will need to print these parts:
- Part A (drive rails). Quantity: 2
- Part B (SATA adapter enclosure). Quantity: 1
- Part C (lid). Quantity: 1
- Part D (case): Quantity 1
- "rpi2-top_netfabb.stl" from the linked Thingiverse thing
- "rpi3-bottom_netfabb.stl" from the linked Thingiverse thing
Assembly instructions are in the attached PDF file.
This is the specific SATA-to-USB adapter I used:
Just about any SATA-to-USB 3.0 adapter is going to be the same, but if you have one that's different, the OpenSCAD file is included, and you can make modifications to the openings.
Screw/bolt holes are designed to "catch" on the printed plastic, so you can use any screw or bolt that will fit in the holes without any backing nuts (with the exception of the bolts into the hard drives - user proper HDD mounting bolts for those!). I recommend small wood screws. #4 - 3/4" work very well.
I also attached adhesive rubber feet to the bottom to minimize slippage and eliminate vibrations between the case and the cabinet where I keep it. You can find those at most stores that carry office supplies, or search Amazon for "adhesive rubber feet."
Made in OpenSCAD
If you want to customize this for your own needs, the OpenSCAD file is included.
The 'make' variable sets which piece renders, and most (hopefully all) adjustments you will need to make are in variables near the top.
I printed several prototypes to test the fit before making the final version that's included here. The different HDD combinations I tested from different manufacturers had a variation in width of 1 mm. The output file is for the widest of those. I recommend a tight fit for your drives (not so tight that it bends the plastic, though). The 'railGap' variable will adjust that width for you.