Berry Box - The Transparent Case


106 posts   Page 1 of 5   1, 2, 3, 4, 5
by bruceberry » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:42 pm
Hey everyone,

I am writing on behalf of myself and my fellow Engineering PhD student. We have been working extremely hard for the last month to bring to you the Berry Box™, a transparent case for the Raspberry Pi.

Berry Box

The Berry Box™ is designed to be simple to assemble (no screws) with mounting holes that are compatible both with VESA and that world famous building block set we have all probably used (hint: begins with LE and ends with GO, there’s a “technic” in their somewhere). We have included a cut-out which will provide access to the GPIO connectors. And we are engaged in a full engineering analysis of the snap fit and overall case design.

Production will be right here in the UK. The production method will be injection moulding, like for any other plastic objects you may find at home. Worldwide shipping will be available. We will be creating a Crowd Funding page (WeFund/IndieGoGo) where backers will be able to secure their own Berry Box from the first batch. Anyone who backs us will get their Berry Box™ entirely at production cost price, because you will be the guys who make the mass production of the Berry Box™ possible! We are working out the exact costs right now, but we don’t expect it to cost any more than other cases.

We have some 3D printed prototypes done already, but the surface finish leaves a lot to be desired. Material selection is still being finalised, though for the transparent Berry Box it looks like we will be using HIPS or PMMA, both standard materials for this type of object. Colours will become available once the transparent Berry Box is off the ground.

Finally we would like to thank the Raspberry Pi foundation for inspiring us to do something constructive! As a big thank you, we will be donating a share of any income to the raspberry pi foundation. Stay tuned for further information and please feel free to engage us in a discussion about any aspect of the design, big or small. Our priority at the moment is to make the Berry Box™ available to you all as soon as possible, but rest assured we are also engaged in further development of this design and welcome any and all comments.

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by redman684 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:28 pm
An 'as small as possible rectengular box'... You're not the only one who came up with this design. In fact, there are very little other cases being designed.

And just like everybody else you're including air holes. Have you ever seen a mobile phone with air holes? There won't be enough heat to require air holes.

At least you've added a way to access the GPIO pins (using a band cable?) for those who don't just want a cheap htpc. Isn't it a bit hard to reach? The case doesn't seem to be designed to open easily after it is closed. will you need a screwdriver (and risk breaking the hooks, or is the material a bit soft so you can open the case by just squeezing it? It does look a but like tupperware.

How is the pi fixed inside? The bottom pushing the pi up and the egde of the case pressing the pi down on its connectors?
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by bruceberry » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:49 pm
Hi Redman,

First, thanks for your comments.


You're not the only one who came up with this design


Its hard to make a box that doesn't look like a box, we've done what we can do differentiate ourselves and offer people choice.


And just like everybody else you're including air holes. Have you ever seen a mobile phone with air holes? There won't be enough heat to require air holes.


The vents are currently precautionary, we are actively engaged in thermal analysis to confirm whether or not they are truly required. I'd hate to see the legal bill for covering a whole load of overheated Raspberry Pi's.


Isn't it a bit hard to reach?


This is relative... it really depends how long the connectors on your cables are :)


The case doesn't seem to be designed to open easily after it is closed.


The case is designed to close with a snap fit, to that end we are actively engaged in a finite element analysis (simulation) of the snap fit system to determine the optimal design for ease of use and long term durability. No screw driver required...


It does look a but like tupperware


Put that down to my terrible blender skills. It really is difficult to get a good render of something that is designed to be see through...


How is the pi fixed inside?


The Raspberry Pi is supported only on the board. No connectors or components are stressed in order to support the Raspberry Pi.

Feel free to send us an email (link in my signature) so that we may discuss these points further...

Thanks again,

Bruce
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by SANGER_A2 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:55 pm
I looks good to me. Hope it looks less dark & dingy than the rendering in real life though! It's good there are people out there who want to make them using cheap injection instead of expensive 3D printers. If I buy a case, I want it to be £5 or so! I'd prefer to have vents and not need them than not have them and kill my Pi! It's not like you're going to get anything sticking between those small gaps!
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by bruceberry » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:51 pm
Hi Sanger,

Thanks for your comments! We are working hard to drive the costs down, as soon as I'm confident everything is accounted for we will let you know the final price.

The issue of vents seems to be a little controversial, thank you for understanding our position on this.

Bruce
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by killor » Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:49 pm
Very nice case..

I have also decided to make them in transparent acrylic to see what goes on inside.
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by bruceberry » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:54 pm
So I spent some more time with blender today, it got a bit technical...

technical
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by HansH » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:03 pm
You shouldn't put that support block on the spot of the sd card holder.

It is possible that the production model has an open sd card holder.

You should put some notches on the top part just above the pcb, that way it will clamp the pcb in place when the case is closed.

But nice, I hope you get enough funding to produce it.

Place a link for the crowd funding page when you have it.
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by bruceberry » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:41 am
Hi Hans,

Thanks for the advice... though there isn"t a support block on the spot of the sd card holder :)

We have considered notches as you suggest, though at the moment we feel its not necessary. The box section has a draft angle applied in such a way that the walls themselves support the Raspberry Pi. This will be re-evaluated when we finally get our hands on a board.

Bruce
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by patberry » Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:44 pm
Hello All,

My name is Patrick and I am Bruce’s collaborator on the Berry Box™ project.

To keep you guys posted I would like to briefly sketch up the next steps to get the Berry Box™ into production and delivered to you. Furthermore, I should mention that we would also like to use the experience we gain in launching a product onto the market, as an educational case study for students (universities and schools) and everybody else interested. More about this will follow next week when we launch our website!

As you can see from our pictures, our design is ready. This week we will be getting hold of some higher quality 3d prints for you guys to see what the Berry Box might look like in the real world. Right now we are working on the design of the mould tool, which is necessary to mass produce the Berry Box™ at the lowest price possible for us and you. Furthermore we are choosing the right type and grade of plastic to be used for the Berry Box™, which is very important as it will highly influence its appearance and properties. When this is finished we will be able to tell you the price of the Berry BoxTM  and how many of them we need to produce to get the production kicked off. The absolute final design depends on the results of a number of numerical simulations, to make sure everything works out perfect, especially the snap fit.

Remember, we will sell the first batch at manufacturing costs! We are also checking out shipping costs, which should work out to be low for everybody in the UK. Please be sure that we are also looking to get the Berry Box™ delivered as cheap as possible worldwide. Shortly we should be able to tell you guys how to order your Berry Box and estimate delivery times.
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by Phil Spiegel » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:08 pm
Not sure that I understand the reason for the 'spindly' support legs propping the box up?

Isn't 'flat on the deck' more stable? (It may be that the photo simply doesn't make the purpose/benefit clear to me 8-)

2nd thought: if it was to indicate that you've designed the case to be 'click mountable' onto a Lego(R) project or similar, that would be entirely understandable ... I'm lookiong forward to Applied-Pi applications where it is the 'embedded processor' clipped on after each software revision etc (or update via network)
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by bruceberry » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:39 pm
Phil Spiegel said:


'click mountable' onto a Lego(R) project or similar,


You've got it in one :) Lego is a great tool for learning and prototyping, we were recently discussing in the office how programming can be seen as an abstract version of building lego models... partly where this idea came from!
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by toxibunny » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:21 pm
Mmm... not to put a downer on things, but I'm not too keen on it. The constant ™ing and marketing speak is a turnoff, it's quite samey, and it's kindof ugly - the vent slots look pretty bad, and the clever font looks like it says 'berry bix'.

I like the lego idea though.

If I were you, I'd try to do something that would make it not just Yet Another Raspi Case - The lego idea is good, maybe you should see how far you could push that. Don't get attached to having the smallest case possible - everyone's doing that. Maybe yours could have a battery compartment (yes, I know, the current Raspi design isn't as battery-friendly as before, unfortunately). Maybe it could have space for a USB stick/wifi dongle to sit safely. Something different, anyway...

The vent slots seem useless as vent slots - but they look like the ideal place to put a small speaker. I bet you could add a little piezoelectric for just pennies more... And if you could find a cost-effective way to add a microphone, it'd open up all sorts of possibilities.

Lastly, the tag line 'The Transparent Case' - mmm, nah. It's not enough, and like a previous poster demonstrated, it's going to look crappy compared to the laser-cut perspex jobbies that will inevitably appear...

Sorry if my comments seem harsh - it's actually pretty exciting that you're starting up a thing to sell professionally-produced injection-moulded cases. It's a hell of a lot more exciting than only seeing homebrew thingiverse reprap designs (although the whole reprap business is its own awesome new thing)... I just don't think you've got the design beautiful/unique/practical enough to make it worth forking out money for just yet...
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...
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by toxibunny » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:30 pm
...don't be in a rush to get moulds made and go into production - it's unlikely we'll see many Raspis being sent to consumers for a while yet. You say you've been working hard for a month - My advice is spend another month putting your idea out, getting feedback, and tweaking your design...
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...
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by bruceberry » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:12 am
Hi Toxibunny.

You've got some great ideas there! This is the first time either myself or Patrick have pursued anything like this. Our strength lies in engineering and design for functional purposes, aesthetic design and marketing a product for sale are quite new to us. So apologies if we've pushed the marketing side of things a bit too far. Please excuse the TM you’re seeing everywhere, we are just trying to protect ourselves properly. We are simply trying spread the word and gather feedback.

I can see you've put a lot of thought into what you would like to get from a case, I like the speaker idea. With this design we opted to keep things simple, mainly because we are excited to see what people start doing with their raspberry pi's once they start going out. When we have a clearer idea of what the community would like from a more targeted design we will work hard to satisfy their needs. For now we hope that a simple transparent case will do what a case should do: protected your Raspberry Pi and make it portable. Furthermore we kept the design simple to be easily injection moulded. As the Raspberry Pi is so small and fascinating itself, we dont want to cover it up with a big opaque box. This however, has not stopped me drafting a Raspberry NAS box... but that really is for the future.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to promise major changes and new features, but then I’d be lieing to you. And the final product would likely never see the light of day. So unfortunatly you wont be seeing major revisions to the design at this stage, though rest assured necesary changes will be made. When we have finalised material selection we will produce some simpler parts as a matter of priority to show you guys the finish we are aiming for. So I ask you to reserve judgment on our design until then, the renders are a bit misleading with respect to the appearance of the material.

Until then, keep the feedback coming. This is all really useful information for us, and if we cant interest you in this case, maybe you will be interested in our next.

Bruce
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by SANGER_A2 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:09 am
I like the idea of a non-3D-printed simple, cheap, UK-produced case. Keep it up and keep us posted!
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by patberry » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:18 am
Hello All,

It’s Patrick from the Berry Box TM team.

We are still working hard on pricing and the required minimum amount of pre-orders. So far we can tell you that the price of the Berry BoxTM will be around 5 £ and we will require pre-orders of around 500 cases. However, we are still working hard to reduce these figures!

We are also working out the best way on how to start our sales, whether it is going to be a crowd funding website or Amazon. Again we are trying to work out what will be cheapest for you in terms of product price and shipping costs!

Please stay tuned for more information.
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by Themroc » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:41 am
patberry said:

So far we can tell you that the price of the Berry BoxTM will be around 5 £ and we will require pre-orders of around 500 cases.

About 12 years ago, we were told that the simplest and thus cheapest mold tools for injection molding cost at least 20 000 deutschmarks (~ 8 400 £). Can you tell us who will build them for just 2 500?
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by Phil Spiegel » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:14 am
Judging form the model railway market, I would suggest that the cost of making a mould has dropped considerably in that time! - it now seems economical to produce runs of models of just 500 or even 250! (For complex multi-part injection moulding)

CAD input combined or sourced from Laser 3D scanning seems to have shrunk both development time and cost .... how long before every home (/home modelmaker) has their own 3D printer! ....  if they get powered by a Pi, does that ove this thread into Projects or Applications?
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by Lolo34140 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:56 am
In france some companies can realise matrix for injection molding just for 1500euros.

it's not expensive to create a simple matrix for a Raspberry case.

After you need to add money for the power and raw material.
http://freakyshape.com/
cases for the Raspberry Pi available here : http://www.shapeways.com/shops/FreakyShape
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by patberry » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:16 am
Hello Themroc,


About 12 years ago, we were told that the simplest and thus cheapest mold tools for injection molding cost at least 20 000 deutschmarks (~ 8 400 £). Can you tell us who will build them for just 2 500?



The price of a mould tool really depends on many factors, let me try to sum it up:


  • Cost for the engineer to design the mould: I am a PhD student in engineering, my specialisation is: Injection Moulding ;) So I design the mould and I am not looking to get paid for this, at least not with the first batch we sell. Nevertheless, a professional and experienced mould tool designer will also have a look at our design.



  • Cost for the technicians to machine the mould tool: This strongly depends on the shape of the part to be injection moulded as this influences the geometry of the cavity within the mould tool. We are keeping our part simple and easy to machine.



  • Material Costs for the mould: Depending on how many parts you want your mould tool to produce, millions (steel) or thousands (aluminium). There are now aluminium alloys on the market which might not have been available 12 year ago. Aluminium as a material for a mould tool is cheaper for two reasons:

  • Although the price per kg is more for aluminium then steel aluminium is lighter, so in total it comes cheaper

  • Aluminium is much easier and quicker to machine then steel resulting again in savings in technician time and milling tools



  • The price for a mould tool strongly depends on the size of the part to be produced. The bigger the part the bigger the mould tool the more complicated and time consuming its handling and the more material you need.



  • There is a strong trend in the moulding industry to reduce mould tool cost, and to reduce ramp up time to produce injection moulded parts these days. There are mould tool suppliers who supply standardised parts and so called rapidbases for moulds, which makes it all cheaper again.



  • If you happen to have “half a mould tool at your hand” you do not need to pay for a full one ;)


To everybody who is more interested in some background information:

We should start our website this week including a blog, where we want to document everything in more detail.  This will include more explanations about the engineering topics, and generally we will talk about the experience we make while setting up a small business to launch a product.

Cheers,

Patrick
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by patberry » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:22 am
SANGER_A2 said:


I like the idea of a non-3D-printed simple, cheap, UK-produced case. Keep it up and keep us posted!



Hello SANGER_A2,

Thank you very much for your support:)
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by patberry » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:24 am
Phil Spiegel said:


Judging form the model railway market, I would suggest that the cost of making a mould has dropped considerably in that time! - it now seems economical to produce runs of models of just 500 or even 250! (For complex multi-part injection moulding)

CAD input combined or sourced from Laser 3D scanning seems to have shrunk both development time and cost .... how long before every home (/home modelmaker) has their own 3D printer! ....  if they get powered by a Pi, does that ove this thread into Projects or Applications?



Hi Phil,

Yes you are very right ;)
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by HansH » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:30 pm
patberry said:


To everybody who is more interested in some background information:

We should start our website this week including a blog, where we want to document everything in more detail.  This will include more explanations about the engineering topics, and generally we will talk about the experience we make while setting up a small business to launch a product.

Cheers,

Patrick


Hi Patrick,

Never designed cases before until I have found the Raspberry Pi, which got me interested in making my own case.. which was fun to do and I learned a lot about 3D prinring and its limitations.

Your information about injecting moulding is again a very interested read, so I will read the blog and hope you guys succeed in pulling this off....
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by Enlightenment » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:26 am
.

How tight is the vertical height inside the case?   If it isn't tall enough for me to plug a board on the GPIO (P1) connector and still be inside the box, then it is too short.

.
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