I finished the box! At least I finished it enough to start using it. It still needs OctoPrint, lighting, and some RGB LEDs (doesn’t everything these days?). But, it’s usable now. Check out the Project Page for the full story.

3D Printer Box

The New Box

In addition, I’ve started designing a Raspberry Pi case for my OctoPrint Pi. First revisions are shown below. I thought I’d start with this case and re-print it as I add things to the enclosure, but I think I’m going to go caseless for now and work up to what I want the final design to be. This is the first Pi case I’ve printed, and I’ve learned a bit about fitment for the Pi along the way. I designed around the Rasbperry Pi 3, not the 4, since that’s what I’m using for my printer.

Case, With Pi

Case, With Pi

Case, Closed

Case, Closed

The biggest issues are:

  • The USB ports do not clear the enclosure, they need another mm or two. I should have accounted for the flange on the ports more carefully. The opening for the ports needs to be wider
  • The pegs which the Pi sits on are quite a snug fit, and I don’t know if I’d be able to get the Pi back out without breaking it. I need to loosen these up. I can secure the Pi with hot glue if necessary. The holes are spec at 2.75mm, my pegs are 2.6mm, I’m going to go down to ~2.25mm ish.
  • The analog audio jack does not clear. I can either move the Pi up by a bit, or make the walls thinner to leave a bit more clearance. I don’t really need 5mm thick walls, so reducing these to 3.5mm should leave enough clearance for the audio jack. I don’t actually use the audio jack, so it doesn’t have a hole through the enclosure
  • The hexagonal hole for the power port is designed to avoid printing a square hole, which will cave in a bit without support, but I realized later that I can make it slightly larger to clear both the micro-USB on the Pi 3 and the USB-C on the Pi 4, making the case universal.
  • I printed the lid with a very small undersize between the wings, which are supposed to friction fit to the case. Depsite making this a fraction of a mm, the case is very loose, and I should print it exactly to size next time.

Case, fitment issue

USB Connector Interference

In the future, I plan on expanding my OctoPrint setup and printing a new case dedicated to whatever electronics I come up with. Some things I’d like to include:

  • Large 5V power supply for LEDs and the Pi
  • Either all WS2812 type individually addressable LEDs, or MOSFETs to control the enclosure white LEDs plus WS2812 status indicators
  • Temperature and humidity sensor in the enclosure
  • Fan for the Pi and MOSFETs
  • Case design to support Pi 3 or Pi 4 with no mods (although the HDMI ports won’t be accessible in either case, since you don’t need them with OctoPi)

Follow along for more updates on this and other projects!