Recently we designed a new case for RPi B+. This time we tried a different way mixing laser cutting with CNC.

Here’s the preview of this case: which is made up of 4 acrylic pieces. This is different with the cases you seen: if it is made using laser cutting, it is usually in 6 pieces; if it is made using injection – it’s better unibody. ^_^

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The upper body of the cases is bended, thus creating a rounded rectangle shape effect. It looks so much like it is made using injection-molded case.

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Tools

To make the case, you need following equipment.

Laser cutting machine

  • Common and affordable in hacker space
  • Cutting the holes for RPi connectors

CNC machine

  • you need special knowledge to control the monster
  • Drilling the T-holes to fasten two sides

And a special guest: Acrylic Strip Heater

  • super-duper-awesome tool
  • heating a controlled strip zone of plastic(acrylic), it will become soft and pliable

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Laser cutting

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The upper part is much bigger, you have to bend it to make it into a shell over the base later. Here’s how it look in real:

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To make you understand properly, here’s a comparison before and after it is bended.

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See?! That’s the “magic bullet” here. The base is much simpler with some holes on it.

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CNC

You have to

  • drill a V-shaped slot where the plastic should be heated and bended
  • drill normal slot for two sides

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You may need to repeat several times to determine the best parameter to make the cases really nice together.

Heating & bending

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I didn’t take a photo for this process, here’s a picture i found on google

T-Acrylic on Heater

The iteration

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We tried different types acrylic, I like the frosted one best!

Gallery

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The chamfered side on the base, we removed the possible sharp edges.

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Fasten the plates with rivets.

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The side is installed seperately: like adding the game cartridge to your old FC.

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Holes are reserved. ^_^