The Raspberry Pi Zero is certainly an exciting piece of technology by itself. On the other hand, a few finishing touches, like a case and multiple USB connections, can make something like this much more appropriate for life in the real world. In other words, somewhere besides your garage!
Matt Brailsford, AKA “Circuitbeard,” decided that he wanted his own case/USB hub solution, and instead of waiting on others, made his own. He designed and built it, using calipers to take measurements, in about two hours plus “a bit longer thinking of how best to fit them together.” According to his writeup, “We’re pretty sure someone will start selling a much better solution real soon, but in the meantime we hope this provides a manageable solution for the general maker right now that also looks pretty nice sat on your desk.”
As shown in the gallery below, the package does look very nice, allowing one to view the Raspberry Pi through clear plastic when in use. Access appears to be quite simple as well, since everything is attached together with nylon screws.
His solution is based on Frederick Vandenbosch’s design, but attempts to package things more neatly and avoid some soldering. The case is designed to be laser cut out of 3mm acrylic, and the drawing for it is available on his site. On the other hand, it would seem that a CNC router or maybe even a bandsaw and drill could also work if your skills are up to par.
As it’s assumed someone else will make a better solution available, Brailsford has no plans to sell this case/USB hub. For now, if you want one of these, you’ll have to make it yourself!
As you might suspect, this isn’t Brailsford’s first electronics project. We featured his programmable “Petduino” virtual pets in 2015. Though different in both form and function, it’s still obvious that both of these cool builds came out of the same mind!