3

I want to build my own case for the Raspberry Pi 3 out of Lego. Do I have to be careful with something so that it works fine? I was thinking maybe it needs some air or vents so I don't build it completely shut? How do you work around the chips on the Pi - can they touch the plastic?

Sorry if off topic but I rather ask than ruin my Pi!

5

The Raspberry Pi is designed to be an embeddable device. So long as the environment around the RPi isn't exceptionally warm and humid, the RPi will be fine in an enclosed container. You will never get an air tight seal with a lego case anyway. I mean, you have to leave holes in it for the ports after all.

Since LEGO bricks are made of a nonconductive plastic, you don't need to worry about them not touching things on the board. Nothing is hot enough to melt them (unless something is very, very wrong) and plastic is non conductive.

Edit:

It's been pointed out that there may be some issues if the LEGOs are putting pressure on a chip. I had assumed that it was obvious that strong forces shouldn't be directed to the circuit board, but for clarity I'll add the warning: do not put pressure directly on circuitry.

  • Thank you for the edit. So I just leave some room and don't build the top plate directly on the Pi? How can I secure the board in my case? I would not want it to move around freely (makes it hard to plug things in). I assume this is not the place for Lego instructions... – Alexej Dec 21 '16 at 18:23
  • @Alexej: You should be able to build the walls relatively close to the RPi. The cases I've seen in the past had a very small gap between the PCB and the RPi. – Jacobm001 Dec 21 '16 at 18:28
  • @Alexej: If you really don't want it to move, you could hot glue it in place. Get some standoff mounts, and glue those to the lego bricks. It'll keep it from moving but still peels off easily. Do not put hot glue directly on the RPi! – Jacobm001 Dec 21 '16 at 18:29
  • I suppose it might be worth mentioning that some plastics are good for generating static electricity - most of us I presume remember science experiments where - I think - a nylon rod was rubbed with a cotton handkerchief then a charge would be generated between them...! OTOH if the RPi was on the inside perhaps it would be safe - though I think a Faraday cage has to be conductive which would make things a bit awkward if you had to line the Lego container with tin-foil. – SlySven Dec 21 '16 at 18:31
  • @SlySven: fair enough... edited the wording – Jacobm001 Dec 21 '16 at 18:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.