I normally use these 3D printed sleeves from Thingiverse for the newer Raspberry Pi models (B+ and 2 B). I have versions printed in all kinds of materials, but this one here is in temperature sensitive plastic, meaning the hot parts change from blue to white as the Pi warms up…
But, now I have a couple of Pi boards which are basically running all the time, with plans for one or two more. I wanted a neat rack for them and while there are a few already on Thingiverse, there are none that I particularly like.
I also wanted to add a cooling fan. Preferably a large, slow and quiet one.
So, I designed the basic parts for a new rack in Blender, borrowed a fan grille design and printed this prototype. It’s definitely still a prototype, with a lot more separate parts than necessary: I like to be ale to physically move the bits around before deciding on the final layout.
The Raspberry Pi boards slide & clip into the rack in exactly the same way that the individual sleeves work.
It’s difficult to tell from the shot above but the idea is that the rack is cube shaped, with the overall size determined by the 120mm fan on the side. The large fan means I can run it at 5V and it’s basically silent. It’s easier to see the cube shape from the corner:
I will probably change the fan grille & have the same design on the opposide side, but I might have different panels for the front & top.
The only other thing to mention is that you can also see here that I’m powering everything other than the switch (for now) from a single 6-port USB charger, which again is just neater & more reliable than a pile of seperate micro USB wall sockets.
Once I’m basically happy with it all, it’ll be back to Blender to finalise the layout & design in clips to hold everything in place.
One thing I’m not yet happy with is the side i haven’t shown, where the micro USB cables plug into the Pi boards. In order to fit neatly into the case I’m going to need a set of right-angle power connectors. They’re on order, so watch this space…