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Re: Raspberry Pi Lasercase

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:35 pm
While I, like many of you, am awaiting for the delivery of my Raspberry Pi B I thought it would be nice to share something with you and get your opinion.

I am a Dutch designer and working for about a year on a project called Leech, in which I try to give another function to existing objects with the addition of a small computer.
A few of these outcomes are from an artist point of view and a few from the mind of the designer in me. This one clearly fits the latter category.
The idea is simple; I have a few monitors and a beamer and I would love to be able to take a computer in my pocket and stick it to the image-provider nearest by.
The form I had in mind was simple; open for some air circulation and because I had to set some boundaries for myself I loved if it could be laser cut so it could be made open source in FabLabs worldwide or for easy manufacturing for myself.
With the addition of suction cups you could stick it to any smooth surface, be it the back of a monitor or a beamer.

Will measure the Pi before I make a first version so I know there is some tweaking to do, this is a first digital prototype.
Hope to find some rubbers for mounting the Pi board in a sort of shock-mount setup.

Please let me know if you would be interested in an affordable housing.

Thanks, Daan

Re: Raspberry Pi Lasercase

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:30 pm
by HansH
Hoi Daan,

looks great, but I think you need a different height for placing/mounting the board.

Take a look at Gert mechanic measurements of the beta board, that will be 99% correct.

The only new component is the sd card holder which stick out underneath the board for 3.5 mm.

I think I would want one without the suction cups... that would be easier to put in my pocket.

I am also dutch...

Re: Raspberry Pi Lasercase

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:37 pm
Hi Hans,

Thanks, I realize it I need some modifications and the suction cups could be optional or removable. Thanks for the input, will think about it.

Re: Raspberry Pi Lasercase

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:48 pm
Well, decided to convert the measurements by Gert into a C4D object (will post that file if people could use it) to see how the soldered element are placed on the board and found some to be a bit higher than I anticipated.
This design is just to get a feel for the part, so is not really designed in the Jonathan Ive sense of the word.

I have a few rules I've set for myself:
- Made from sheet material like acrylic or nylon or stiff cardboard, wood or metal.
- As little other bolts and nuts as possible
- Other elements should be readily available worldwide
- Two versions:
> One complex version that needs to be laser cut
> One simple one you can fretsaw and drill
- Since the Raspberry Pi was made with children in mind I like to keep it as DIY and low-cost as possible. It would be nice to let children choose from different versions of logo or image. I'm thinking shutter shade sunglasses or other stencil shapes.

Well, here is version 2, version 3 will be more pleasing on the eye : )

Re: Raspberry Pi Lasercase

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:30 pm
The fourth iteration of my design, finally in a stage where I can make a test to measure all things properly.
I came up with a radical new, much simpler design: I want to cut it out of plexiglass still, but that and a couple of tie-raps is all you need to assemble the Leech!
The outriggers can be set to either drill a screw in them or a suction cup and can be used inward or outward or be left out altogether for the sleekest setup.

If I decide to produce these I want to make all sort of custom options possible; all letters from the alphabet, illustrations and even your own logo's or names are some of the possibilities. Obviously different colors of plexiglass and tie-raps could be optional too.
Not sure about cost yet but aiming at about half the cost of the model A for a non-customized Leech and full customization at a slightly higher price, not sure yet.

This version is ready for a first try on the laser cutter although some tweaking is still necessary.
I want to share the design for free for all to cut on a laser cutter but I would like some feedback; do people like that or would you rather buy a cheap package I can send for you to assemble? If no one would laser cut it themselves I could check out for pricing; shipping should be super cheap since it is possible to put the Leech in an envelope.

Next pictures are hopefully of the first cut version.

Re: Raspberry Pi Lasercase

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:55 pm
by rurwin
It looks good. I see you have solved the problem with the board slipping about, although I don't like the big holes on the bottom. Surely that just adds cost? Or maybe you can get the spacers out of the spare material.

The leech is a more refined version of my Skeleton Box.

Since you're informed, what would be the likely cost to have those tops and bottoms made?

Re: Raspberry Pi Lasercase

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:10 am
Hello Rurwin, thanks!

Yeah, the holes in the bottom are not for aesthetic reasons, they are left when you cut out all the spacers, riggers, locks and supporters. Since the bottom is likely the side you least see I thought it to be a cost-cutter since you use less material.
The entire case could be cut from a 10x15cm piece op acrylic glass or wood or other sheet material, hope to make a first test version friday.
Laser costs are about a euro a minute so have to see how long it takes to cut this out.
If i can reduce the time it needs to cut by putting spacers closer together (and cutting multiple objects with one cut I might change the bottom design).
Will inform you about cost when I know more.

Re: Raspberry Pi Lasercase

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:50 am
by killor
Great idea and design.

I have also thought something similar without walls, so no problem of the location of the connectors.

Re: Raspberry Pi Lasercase

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:59 pm
Hi Killor,

Like your design as well, I thought about cutting pieces that would support each other at a 90° angle but eventually went for the stacking option because I really liked the tie-rap idea. Do really like the legs on yours, do they keep the Pi-board locked?

Just bought some clear and white acrylic glass to test with on friday, should be able to cut at least two examples, think I will make some alterations on one of them, will post the pictures here.

Re: Raspberry Pi Lasercase

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:17 pm
Working on the custom font for the case design.
I have been thinking about this case / shell from a child's point of view constantly and one of the things kids (and grown-ups too) really like is to have the idea that something is part of their identity. As a kid my father built me a BMW bike that had my initials painted on it and I would like to do something like this here.

In order to be able to produce these custom designs cheaply, and keep the look of the things somewhat homogeneous I would like to make a standardized setup and would love some input: What do you like best 1, 2 or 3 digits / letters?
Like an expensive bag or suitcase I am leaning towards the two letter option, this is fast to cut and distinctive enough I guess.
Hope to cut all three versions tomorrow though.

Re: Raspberry Pi Lasercase

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:32 pm
by rurwin
I was going to say that everyone has two initials, but some have four or more names. So Harry Albert Smith could always go by HS, but his sister Alice Mary Jane Smith cannot go by AMS or AJS.

But their half-brother John George Smith-Brown has a problem with two letters.

Falsehoods Programmers believe About Names

Re: Raspberry Pi Lasercase

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:01 pm
Haha, point 40 of the list taken: "People have names"

I recon that 2 digits still are easiest since Alice Mary Jane Smith could easily be AS.
We have a Samsonite around that works with the same two-letter system and even Louis Vuitton have done so for ages.

I don't know, will see how it looks, the larger the letter the thicker the material that supports the structural integrity of the letter is (the lines that keep the hole in the R floating I mean).

Re: Raspberry Pi Lasercase

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:48 pm
Well, first version of my Raspberry_Pi_Lasercase was laser cut yesterday!
First thing I realized when it came out was how tiny the Raspberry Pi is and how cool and accurate laser cutting in plastic really is.
After assembling I found out a few flaws that were partly due to my inexperience with the technique and partly because I bought too thick plastic (4mm) and made the design a bit to small, but other than that I turned out remarkably well!
Had an extra piece cut for some logo testing and also tested the typography to see if it was strong enough; it is more than strong enough. : )

Changes I will make in the next week / two weeks:
- Slightly bigger corners on the top and bottom for improved stability.
The version I cut now had a too small surface for the spacers (these are really tiny) but they performed remarkably well! Hope that the new version will look a bit more rigid too.
- Make an extra hole for a laser cut piece of plastic to provide extra stability.
- Try 3mm gloss black plastic
- Cut a little plate the size of the Rasp_Pi for testing.

Re: Raspberry Pi Lasercase

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:28 am
by killor

It looks very pretty, white chocolate seems :-))

The idea of ??taking small pieces of the base itself, is very efficient and practical!

Yes, it is not easy to find the solution to the first ..but these errors helps you see things not previously thought.

If the material is thinner, the laser cuts it faster and better.

I use 3mm thick acrylic for the boxes I'm doing.

encouragement and to keep cutting!

PS: I use a 30 W LaserPro Mercury

Re: Raspberry Pi Lasercase

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:37 am
Thanks so much killor!
Yeah the white turned out nice while it really was a poor piece of plastic. The acrylic glass I bought was the wrong kind so that couldn't be cut. Hope to make a gloss black version soon : )
I will make a re-design this week and cut a new version soon.