6 pi custom case

A cluster enclosure for 6 Raspberry Pi computers.
Photos by Kim Sung-Taek.

Update 08/21/15: The project creator has uploaded the enclosure templates as downloadable Illustrator and EPS files on GitHub, and we now have a step-by-step project here on Make:

There’s just something about the low price of a Raspberry Pi that compels people to buy them by the handful. The next logical step, of course, is to link your Pis together into a poor man’s supercomputer. To showcase his 6-Pi, Kim Sung-Taek created a custom enclosure out of acrylic with enough room to fit his six Raspberry Pis, a USB power supply, and an 8-port network switch.

This cluster runs Apache Spark/Hadoop in cluster mode and has been stable so far, according to Kim. His only complaint is that the 30cm USB cables stick out further than he’d like. A commenter on his blog later pointed him to some 15cm cables that might tidy things up.

Acrylic case for Pi

Here you can get a better sense of the custom-cut acrylic shape used for the Raspberry Pi cluster.

While a 6-Pi cluster is nothing to sneeze at, we have seen clusters up to 40 and even 120 Raspberry Pis. That said, at $40 each (for the Raspberry Pi Model 2) a cluster of 6 seems a relatively reasonable expense for those looking to dabble in supercomputing.

Be sure to check out our round up of 47 different Raspberry Pi projects, or my favorite Pi project, the Pi Home Arcade.

Photo by Kim Sung-Taek.