These instructions are for Raspberry Pi 2 – 3 B+. Feel free to re-design for your device!
After discovering the NextcloudPi project back on the release of Version 12, I realized one thing was still missing… a case! Thankfully I have a background working with vector graphics and a lasercutter at my local hackerspace, Noisebridge. Click here for a list of similar spaces around the world. If you want to change the case files, please do! There is no need to re-make this exactly as I did.
Designing the Case
Inkscape — This vector graphics tool is freely used all around the world. Anyone can install and re-distribute it for free! You’ll want to watch some tutorials as understanding vector vs. raster graphics is outside of this article. It is very similar to Adobe Illustrator and is, in some ways, vastly superior. Here is a direct link to my NextcloudPi case file for 3mm cast acrylic as SVG + instructions on Github.
- If you 3D Print: You can design your own 3D Print version with a little gusto and patience. Please do let us know!
- If you want to make a case for a small computer that is not a Raspberry Pi: you are welcome to take from this case file; remember that there is a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on the Adafruit Pi Box. Even if you modify the files this license will still apply.
My design of the case as a multi-color inlay + rasters makes this vastly more difficult than a simple raster would be on acrylic or wood. To inlay you’ll need glue and scraps of acrylic to hold everything in place…
Adding Lighting inside the Raspberry Pi Case!
Lighting was added using a 5mm RGB LED, resistors, and stand-offs attached to some perfboard I had lying around. Everything was just guessed and soldered by hand: wired to 3.3v power, ground, and digital pins on the Pi. Lighting is controlled by Python using the three digital pins (1, 1, 1) for each corresponding color. If I can make this, you certainly can as well with basic soldering skills and patience. I can explain the lighting header I built in greater detail as a follow-up article… let me know in the comments below.
For the outside of the case I decided to a few more 3mm LED lights to use for… I don’t know why. I decided to mark these lights with the Activity App svg logo from Nextcloud, which I also added to the location on the Pi where it displays power and disk activity. See my github respository here for the files. Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments, and thanks for reading!