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Metal cases and the wisdom of them

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:05 pm
by recantha
Just throwing a thought out there. Isn't it a really BAD idea to make a metal case for the Pi? I've seen a few people doing it, mostly before they actually have their Pi. Surely with all that exposed circuit board it'd be a bit of a safety risk? Or at least a risk of connecting two parts of the Pi that shouldn't be?

--
Mike

Re: Metal cases and the wisdom of them

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:23 pm
by Lorian
Insulator as a liner?

Re: Metal cases and the wisdom of them

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:07 am
by techsurvivor
There's nothing wrong with a metal case, they're rather nice and sturdy. You just need to insulate the board from the metal case and not have naked wires all over (use proper header cables). You just have to be careful. That said with the limited pi supply and how I use mine, I probably wouldn't at this juncture :) . it is rather easy to mess up and short something unless you're extremely careful. Like anything else it all depends on your use case.

Re: Metal cases and the wisdom of them

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:22 am
by IanH1982
I agree - my initial thought is that you're asking for trouble.

There's nothing wrong (IMHO) with a bit of lego - insulating, and perfectly sized!

Re: Metal cases and the wisdom of them

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:13 am
by recantha
And if you need to be a bit more creative, get some Polymorph thermoplastic.

Re: Metal cases and the wisdom of them

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:06 pm
by plugwash
Nothing wrong with a metal case provided it is correctly designed.

Personally I would not allow any metal parts to come into contact with the top or bottom of the board, in theory there is an insulating layer of solder-resist but it's pretty easy for that go get chipped so I would not rely on it. Use plastic fittings to mount the Pi.

Re: Metal cases and the wisdom of them

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:19 am
by ScottBouch
I love the idea if a solid machined aluminium case with matching lid, about 8 small cap-head screws holding the lid on!

It may seem excessive, but I love the look of something sturdy, that lives up to military standards!

You could anodise it any colour you wanted!

I think it'd cost much more than the gold plated stand already in discussion in another thread...

Cheers, Scott

Re: Metal cases and the wisdom of them

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:47 pm
by RaspiTom
photo 2.jpg
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photo 14.jpg
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My first prototype metal case. I cut the shape out of an old speaker grille. The fun bit is that the red led shines through the grid and display the Raspberry logo on the wall:)
There is a wooden base and I checked that there is no short circuit possible because all the casings of the various plugs are connected to ground. It feels solid.

Re: Metal cases and the wisdom of them

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:09 am
by raspfly
RaspiTom wrote:
photo 2.jpg
photo 14.jpg
My first prototype metal case. I cut the shape out of an old speaker grille. The fun bit is that the red led shines through the grid and display the Raspberry logo on the wall:)
There is a wooden base and I checked that there is no short circuit possible because all the casings of the various plugs are connected to ground. It feels solid.
I like your work. I feel its a good idea to have something like that, that not only provides a protective cover but also dissipates heat well. I have been reading abt heating problem in RP on many threads and in places where summer temp might reach 40 deg C or more, i think a metal case should rather be better than a plastic or wooden one. We have been encasing our computers since a few decades in metal boxes.

It would be nice if you could share a lil more info abt its construction and design. I was wondering, what kind of result we might get if instead of working on a metal box and modifying it in to a RP case, we rather start from sheet metal / perforated sheet metal, and cut it out as per the several print designs available on websites. I think u have also done something similar to that. I just wanted a little stronger design so would prefer good welding / shouldering of joints. What experience did you have abt this while making your RP Case ´╝čBecause bad joints not only look ugly but also has sharp edges.

Thanx for sharing those pics.

.

Re: Metal cases and the wisdom of them

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:29 am
by SirLagz
I'm gutting a PSU and using that as a case for my Pi.
I will be using a CD case to insulate it from the metal so it shouldn't be an issue.

Re: Metal cases and the wisdom of them

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:41 am
by RaspiTom
I followed this thread and felt a bit selfish not sharing my pics.
I'm not that proud of my case, but my criteria were heat dissipation, solidness galvanic shielding and I just love metal mesh.
I just happenned to have the speaker grilles lying about and I have a metal cutting scissor.
I could't find my vice (normally not a problem:)
I started with a cardboard model (like the Punnet) and transferred that to the metal which I then cut out and bent with pliers. I should have used my vice for a nicer bent. You are right the corners where very sharp so I filed them a bit. The sides fold inward and over the wooden base
It would be nice to spotweld or solder the edges together but then getting the Pi back out of te box would be a problem. I made a small plywood base so the bottom of the board would be protected. The board is stuck to the wood on the bottom with velcro sticky pads. The whole of the bottom is fastenned to the wood base with velcro and an old foam mouse mat.

Re: Metal cases and the wisdom of them

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:12 pm
by recantha
Finally finished my first Pi project - the PiPod.

Details http://raspberrypipod.blogspot.co.uk/20 ... ished.html are here along with pics.

Here's one just so this thread can see!

Image

Re: Metal cases and the wisdom of them

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:17 pm
by raspfly
RaspiTom wrote:I followed this thread and felt a bit selfish not sharing my pics.
I'm not that proud of my case, but my criteria were heat dissipation, solidness galvanic shielding and I just love metal mesh.
I just happenned to have the speaker grilles lying about and I have a metal cutting scissor.
I could't find my vice (normally not a problem:)
I started with a cardboard model (like the Punnet) and transferred that to the metal which I then cut out and bent with pliers. I should have used my vice for a nicer bent. You are right the corners where very sharp so I filed them a bit. The sides fold inward and over the wooden base
It would be nice to spotweld or solder the edges together but then getting the Pi back out of te box would be a problem. I made a small plywood base so the bottom of the board would be protected. The board is stuck to the wood on the bottom with velcro sticky pads. The whole of the bottom is fastenned to the wood base with velcro and an old foam mouse mat.
I was thinking of some aluminium box with a lid kind of arrangement but with perforation for heat dissipation. So may be i might have to make just the lid of a perforated metal sheet. I might have to redraw the design to achieve that. But to maintain accuracy, i would do that after i receive my RP. Wish it gets delivered soon :)

Which printable design do you think is the best ? Can u attach its link.
.

Re: Metal cases and the wisdom of them

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:35 pm
by scep
My PC has a metal case, as do things like my external hard drives, LCD mounting box etc. They all work good ;)

The material is not an issue: the design and manufacture is! :D

[p.s. moved topic out of For Sale section...]

Re: Metal cases and the wisdom of them

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:52 am
by willwach
I like my version of a metal case.

Image

More images here:
http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 45#p136445