Raspberry Pi Enclosure Assembly Instructions

Raspberry Pi Enclosure

Assembling your Raspberry Pi enclosure is relatively straight forward if you've ever built any t-slot based laser cut stuff before, but here's a full guide with lots of pictures to help you assemble the whole thing that'll have you housing your Raspberry Pi in no time.

Step 1: Prep the Parts

Removing mask from laser cut parts

The laser cut acrylic parts of the kit have a protective mask that keeps the parts from getting scratched up or marred during cutting. You'll need to peel this mask off all the parts before assembly.

Step 2: Insert the Nuts

Tape the 4 M3 nuts in place on the spanning piece with some scotch or masking tape. This step is optional, but can really make your life easier later on. Make sure not to cover up the light pipe holes (the 5 small, tightly spaced holes) in the process.

Step 3: Insert the Bolts and Install the Light Pipes

Now comes the time to bolt on the power/SD side and the USB/Ethernet side to the spanning piece. Don't tighten the bolts all the way in just yet, we'll need some wiggle room to install the rest of the parts. Pay attention to the tabs on the spanning piece and make sure they line up with the two sides with the labeled sides facing out.

Slide the light pipe pieces in at this time as well as shown above.

Step 4: Install the Composite Out/Audio Out Side

Now it's time to install the composite video out/audio out side. Carefully line up the the light pipe parts with the holes and slide the side on. Again, don't tighten the bolts down just yet. If you plan on using a ribbon cable extension (like this one) to access the expansion port externally, now is the time to get it slid through the expansion slot.

Step 5: Install the Raspberry Pi Board

Now carefully insert the Raspberry Pi main board without the SD card in place. It should stay in place from this point on without much effort, but you might want to insert the SD card after getting the board in the enclosure to help keep in in place anyways. Again, if you want to install a ribbon cable to access the GPIO port, make sure to have it in place and installed before continuing on.

Step 6: Install the HDMI Side

Now slide the HDMI side into place.

Step 7: Install the Bottom

Next, place the PCB standoff part and insert it into the bottom piece. Slide it into place with the PCB standoff towards the SD card side.

Step 8: Install Top

Install the top just as you did the bottom piece, tighten the bolts down, and you're done!

Your enclosure should now look something like this:

Raspberry Pi EnclosureRaspberry Pi EnclosureRaspberry Pi EnclosureRaspberry Pi EnclosureRaspberry Pi EnclosureRaspberry Pi Enclosure

Black acrylic kits are available here, and a limited number of translucent purple acrylic kits are available here. Oh, and you can grab the design files on Thingiverse if you need them!

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88 Responses to “Raspberry Pi Enclosure Assembly Instructions”

  1. [...] geregeld, Daar zitten ook een paar mooie stukken in vreselijk vrolijke kleuren tussen. Ik heb er een kastje voor de Raspberry Pi voor [...]

  2. [...] and working, complete with a switch. Now I needed something to house my Raspberry Pi. I found a laser-cut acrylic case from Built To Spec which I thought would work perfectly. It looked great and provided a flat surface to set the power [...]

  3. Ray Miller says:

    Several methods of highlighting labels in previous posts. A simple and permanent one: paint over lettering with a contrasting enamel (white model enamel works great), wipe off while wet – leaving the paint in the lettering, wipe lightly with a cloth dampened with paint thinner (mineral spirits) to clean any excess. After allowing paint to dry, wash with soap and water to remove any residual film. I removed the paper from the acrylic parts first, which is the standard practice, the paper is so thin that it may work to leave it on but I am afraid that paint would stick to the paper and muck up the result.

  4. Joe says:

    What an awesome little project box! Holding everything together as you assemble it (Especially the light pipes, which line up and fit through the six holes in both the spanning piece and the audio out side) was a royal pain to align. It felt like I needed six hands, and reminded me of one of those “Chinese puzzle boxes” I had as a child. But it all did all line up and fit, and it fit perfectly. If I can build this, anyone can! Have good lighting, go slowly, be patient, and eventually you’ll hear a very pleasant “pop” sound as all the tabs slide together. This case looks even better than I imagined, and I couldn’t be happier with the finished result.

  5. CHRISTOPHER KELLY says:

    I ordered your kit for the Raspberry PI on Wednesday, it arrived well packaged on Saturday. Thank you for the great quality and speedy delivery.

  6. John Daily says:

    I LOVE this design! I think you should design a rack-mount that holds 5 or 10 Pi’s in one of these cases, now that’d make me buy more pi’s and cases for them!

  7. Steve says:

    I just spent some time trying to fit my new pi in this case. Am wondering if they’ve changed the size of the face of the USB connector? My case won’t fit around my pi’s USB connector.

  8. Neil Higgins says:

    Lovely looking kit and nicely packaged (a spare nut & screw and spare light pipe, too), but if you’re ham-fisted like me it won’t survive assembly. There’s very little “meat” around the edges at one end – I broke a corner off my case while giving it a final polish. Rats!

  9. Craig says:

    Yes, soon after release I found out some of the new 2.0 boards seem to have a wider USB connector housing. Changes have been made to the current design and replacement parts were sent out for people that got cases in the week leading up to the release of 2.0 boards and the interim before the change was caught. If anyone happens to need a side with the wider USB port, just drop me an email (craig@built-to-spec.com) and I’ll send you a replacement.

  10. Craig says:

    Sorry to hear that, I’ll get you a set of replacements ASAP.

  11. Matt says:

    Just received your case (ordered Friday, received Thursday) and it looks great. I have the 512MB 2.0 board with the mounting holes and the USB connector fit well. Assembly wasn’t tricky but takes some patience. Thanks!

  12. While I’ll admit that I ignored the advice to tape the nuts in place, which would have made the entire assembly easier, I did manage to get it together more quickly than I expected. Everything fits perfectly, and provides a nice, sturdy case for the board. I can’t imagine how this product could be any better for the job it’s designed to perform. As close to perfection as we’ll achieve, on Earth! Thanks for a great product at a fantastic price!

  13. Roy says:

    Saw several articles on the web about your box and decided to give it a go. It far exceeds my expectation! It looks smart next to the LapDock I’m using for I/O. This little box is pure genius!

  14. Peter says:

    It is a great product.
    Thanks from Germany

  15. John OB says:

    just picked my case up today… LOOKS GREAT!
    i realize the pi is tiny…. and i don’t know what i was thinking, but i couldn’t believe how small the case is….

    fits the pi perfectly…

    went together easily….. too scared to take the wrapping off the outside of the plastic though, don’t want it getting all scratched up!

    i’ll leave it on ’til it starts falling off on its own….

    SUPER FAST SHIPPING! ordered thursday night (i believe) arrives in my box in MA on monday…

  16. Baltimore Dan says:

    The sides seem a little loose and I think it was kind of a pain to put together. I actually broke one of the tabs that kept one of the nuts from spinning so I super glued it back into position. The glued piece hasn’t effected the sides rattling!

    The case looks great sitting on my desk. I probably won’t buy another one of these cases when I get another Pi

  17. Craig says:

    Construction is a little difficult, but it’s a by-product of making the whole thing look nice. The sides shouldn’t be rattling too much based on the tolerances of the acrylic that I use for them, are the bolts snug (make sure not to over tighten though!)?

    I’ve tried to eliminate most of the headaches in assembly in new designs. The clear version of this case eliminates the bolts/T-slots all together which helps quite a bit.

  18. David Tigue says:

    I just received my case in the mail and I have to say this thing is a work of beauty. I love the black color of it and the fact that it has the ports all labeled is great. You can really tell a lot of detail was put in to the design of this product. I plan on buying about 5 or 6 more Raspberry Pi’s when time and money is available and I know now I will be buying this exact case for each one of my Pi’s as they come in. Thanks for an awesome product made in America by Americans! I love it! Now time to order the heat sinks (when they are back in stock) you told me would fit in this case. BTW, for future customers it would be nice if you linked to the heat sinks you told me about in the email.

    https://tindie.com/shops/ellisgl/raspberry-pi-copper-heat-sink-kit/

  19. Craig says:

    Thanks, ad let me know how the heatsinks work out!

  20. [...] schools. But just like the Arduino it can be used in a lot of ways. When you put a proper casing around the Raspberry it look more like a real computer. It has the ability to output 1080p video [...]

  21. David says:

    Love the case, easy to assemble.
    My only question is about the bottom spacer. After assembly, if I tilt my case upside down, the spacer tends to fall inside and I have to take it apart to retrieve.

    Have you ever thought of putting a block on the SD card end to sit just above the circuit board to keep it from moving?

    Specifically this will be a problem for others using a low-profile card microsd adapter.

  22. Steve says:

    Great product. Really looks sharp. The extra loose parts (nut, bolt, light pipe) were a thoughtful touch. Went together very easily.

  23. Will says:

    Great case, went together pretty easily, and looks fantastic. Arrived quickly, and came with spare parts.

    I found applying correcting fluid (white out) over the labels before peeling the protective masking paper off worked well.

  24. Rafael says:

    Excellent case and fairly easy to assemble. It does feel like you need an extra set of a hands. I ran through the install several times and here are some notes.

    1. Make sure not to tape the nuts “over the side” of the board as removing the tape later is a PITA.

    2. I lightly taped the sides as I installed them this stopped them from falling out as I wiggled the case together towards the end.

    3. It’s not perfectly clear unless you look very carefully but the light pipes go long way in with the short side sticking out the side. You do figure it out pretty quickly either way.

  25. Dan says:

    Love the case, today however, the little stand that the board sits on got knocked out of position. Now the board flops around inside and I have to take it mostly apart to get the stand-off legs back into position.

  26. Dan says:

    …and the worst part about trying to use the board if the feet have let go? you might drop your SD card into the slot :-(

  27. Kurt says:

    Overall this is a QUITE NICE little kit.
    PROS:
    1) Great packaging – I don’t see how these parts could get damaged in shipping.
    2) Nice tolerance – not too tight – with exception of light pipes – (see below) – and not loose- making it easy to assemble – even though it does feels like you’re putting a 3D jigsaw puzzle together at times.

    CONS:
    1) The design is okay – but I don’t feel that the board is secured in the box very well – the board seems to “travel” somewhat. I think if there were some little cutouts that could fit on the inside – they might hold the board in place better.
    2) The light pipe holes are a little tight – and it caused the plastic tab/groove to break. I’ll fix it with some superglue.
    3) The expansion slot could be made taller – or a box design that left the expansion area.

    Perhaps another (bigger) version of this enclosure could include an area that allows for a second prototyping board next to the expansion header would be cool. Perhaps even include that in the kit.

  28. Rogue says:

    Instructions show clear tape but I have found that black electrical tape works best. It’s flexible so it forms around the nuts. If the case held the unit a bit more secure would make this the perfect case.

  29. Anonymous says:

    the hole for the two USB ports is not big enough to let them go through.

  30. Dan says:

    Here here!! Kurt said “Perhaps another (bigger) version of this enclosure could include an area that allows for a second prototyping board next to the expansion header would be cool. Perhaps even include that in the kit.”

    I absolutely agree. There are no cases out there at all for expansion. Perhaps an extension or simply a taller case with knockouts. Try finding a case for the RP with space for a DB9 connector. It’s mind boggling looking at all the RP case pictures on Google.

    I think Built To Spec can capitalize on this big time. It’s an awesome looking case. It also doesn’t have the RP insignia which is great for generic purposes. I would order tons of them.

  31. Craig says:

    There was a design update in December that increased the size of the USB port opening. The files on Thingiverse should reflect this change. If you got a case from me, just let me know and I can send you a replacement side.

  32. [...] least expensive options for a professionally made Raspberry Pi case. The assembly instructions are here. Once you get all the pieces together, you probably won’t want to take it apart, as the six [...]

  33. Doug A. says:

    Are there any plans to design/offer varied-height “sides and ends” as a kit to allow add-on GPIO cards to also be enclosed along with the Pi? I realize there probably isn’t set “standards” among GPIO accessory boards as far as board height, connector (cutout) placement, etcetera since it depends on the accessory’s function. Sure, their use would be in a smaller niche market, but it would beat keep all the nice aesthetics and making the case taller instead of forcing customers to “glue” on extenders to increase side/end wall height. Thanks for your consideration.

  34. Craig says:

    I’ve been trying to come up with a good way to handle add on hardware in cases for a while. It’s a hard problem and the conclusion I’ve come to is that it would be much easier if enclosure considerations were speced out as part of the add on standard. Without cooperation between hardware and enclosure designers or a standard it’s going to be hard to come up with expandable, attractive enclosures.

  35. [...] you order one, be smarter then we were and check out the assembly instructions–while we enjoyed the puzzle-like adventure that putting the laser-cut panels together sans [...]

  36. Casey says:

    Fantastic little case, worth twice what I payed for it. I notice a very small amount of play up and down on the side panels, but well within tolerances for this type of material, doubly so when considering the bargain price paid for this extremely slick little case. I will definitely be recommending this case to all of my friends! Thank you for such a fantastic product!

  37. Robert Mulligan says:

    This is a great looking case and great price BUT it is the worst piece I have ever put together and in the end when I went to cinch up the screws the span piece broke because it has 2 large grooves that weaken that part. I did not save it because I just can not bring myself to glue it and start again…..great idea but needs better engineering.

  38. […] modèle conçu par Built to Spec impressionne de par sa qualité de fabrication. Le boîtier est à assembler vous-même sans outils, mais la tâche sera facile grâce à une découpe au laser des éléments […]

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