Friday, 13 July 2012

Cases

OK so with the essential accessories ordered and on their way, time to think about cases.  Not entirely necessary, but I think probably worthwhile to protect my Pi and for the cool factor.

So I thought I would take a look at what's out there.  Obviously I haven't tried any of these out, so no guarantees on quality or functionality, just my thoughts from browsing the websites.

The Lego Case


I had to start with this one because it is so awesome.  Designed by a 12 year old from the UK; open source design from readily available parts: pure embodiment of what the whole Raspberry Pi project is about.  You can get the build instructions from the official Raspberry Pi website here and buy a kit with all the parts (£13.95 ~ $21.72) from the Daily Brick website here.  Although at time of writing they are listing an approximate wait of 1 week.

Downsides - there is no slot for a ribbon cable off the GPIO pins and it doesn't look particularly dust proof from the pictures.  But for sheer cool factor this has got to be a strong contender.

The Metal  Case



Looking for a seriously cool looking, seriously tough aerospace grade aluminum case which actually costs $10 more than the Pi itself?  Then look no further, the Billet Aluminum is the case for you.  Available for sale on eBay at $44.99 or for extra bling you can get it custom engraved with your own design!

Downsides - Cost! and again no slot for the GPIO ribbon cable.  But if you want to show you are not buying a RasPi because it is cheap, but because it is cool, then this could be the case for you.


The Shapeways Options

For anyone who hasn't seen shapeways before it is a site which allows users to upload 3D designs which they will print with a 3D printer and send out to you.  Further more you can then sell these to others.

So there are a number of Shapeways RaspPi cases:







This is just a quick selection of what is available.  My thoughts on them as a whole are:
  1. They seem a little expensive.
  2. I'm not entirely sure what the finish of a 3D printed object will be. (Mainly because I have never held one in the flesh.

The Plexiglass Case


Available on Amazon.com* at $18.50 this case allows you to protect your Pi while still basking in the glory of its beautiful design.  Hinged lid gives you access to your Pi plus we have a slot for the GPIO ribbon cable.

(* - Affiliated link - I will make a commission if you buy through this link.  If you don't like, don't click.)

The Adafruit Case


Similar in design and style to the Plexiglass case, the Adafruit case comes with the pedigree of a well established makers site.  This looks like a well built quality product and coming in at $14.95 one of the cheapest cases we have seen so far.  Again we have a slot for the ribbon  cable and we also have labelled ports.

At the time of writing there is a 1-2 week lead time on this case.

The Built To Spec Case



Another laser cut case, but this time in a sleek looking jet black.  This case come in at the cheapest of the bunch at $12.50 from the BuiltToSpec website.  It's a nice solid looking case, again with labelled ports and the ribbon cable slot. It appears perhaps slightly taller than some of the other cases,but has some definite style and at a price which seems right at home with the Raspberry Pi project.

Again looks like a popular product and at time of writing has a 5-7 business days lead time.

So what am I going to buy?

Right now?  I can't decide.  It seems like there is a lot of choice out there and I'm not quite sure what is going to work best for me.  I think I will wait until I have my Pi in hand and revisit the options at that point.  Maybe I should make my own custom case?