C64 Raspberry Pi Case
I’ve been using Blender 3D for a while and have recently bought a 3D printer.
This little Raspberry Pi case was my first experience with trying to design something useful - It’s easy to make something which looks fine in Blender but doesn’t fit well together in the real world.
Someone on Twitter asked if I had any additional information, so I’m going to describe the steps from printer to the finished article here.
I might write more in future on the earlier ‘iterative design’ stages, but skipping all that for now, here’s how the current version looks in Blender:
… And here’s how that looks while printing:
I use a Wanhao Duplicator 4S printer. It’s a pretty solid clone of the Makerbot Dual. It has two extruders (print heads) and can print in two materials at the same time, but that feature isn’t used here.
This case comprises three parts, which are printed separately (Base, Lid, Keyboard).
There are various tips, techniques and cheats for getting things to actually print well with these FFF printers. “Simplify3D” is my tool of choice for converting the .STL exported from Blender into the instructions that the printer can use.
If all goes well when printing is complete you’ll end up with something looking like this:
In this image you can see the support structures which provide something for the overhanging areas to print on top of. All of this has to be manually removed.
If you’re wondering how the parts look ‘off the printer’ with no further processing - There are a few rough edges but they actually don’t look bad at all:
It takes around 14 hours of printer time to print these three parts.
There’s a slightly roughness where the layers are visible if you look very, very close, but I could live with one of these printed in the right colour of plastic.
That said, with a bit of Filler Primer, wet & dry sandpaper and manual labour, we can do better:
As you can see with a bit of effort, the layers aren’t really visible at all any more.
At the top you can see the raw print with one coat of filler primer applied. Then we sand, spray again, sand again, spray again, sand again… And finally add a coat of grey primer, which we need because our C64(ish) final paint colour is closer to grey than to the filler-primer-orange.
With one final coat of paint, we have - Another mini C64! The top one is the new one. It’s an improvement on the first attempt for various reasons (More solid base, resists warping and makes the clip force stronger).
This one just needs logo stickers and it’s done.