The new Raspberry Pi 4 will not fit in any of the enclosures I have at hand and while doing preparation for a RoadTest I found that my Pi was overheating and throttling back.  A quick web search did not find what was desired and besides designing one seemed like a good learning opportunity.  The resulting design, done in Fusion 360, has the following features:

  • Pi 3 also fits the enclosure
  • Snap fit with no screws
  • Base enclosure has a plain, solid top
  • Camera slot can  be added to the print
  • Display slot can be added to the print
  • 30 mm fan can be added to the print

 

The additional features are added by altering their individual parameters which are kept in an easily accessible table.  Changes to clearances and key dimensions can also be changed if needed by modifying their parameters.  This might prove useful in printers with different resolution or if for example the case height needs to be extended to fit a hat.

 

The basic design is similar to one that was posted right after the Pi 4 came out.  This enclosure was designed separately from the ground up however and is not compatible.  To accommodate the difference in USB, multiple HDMI, etc. between the Pi 3 and the Pi 4  the case slots in these areas is open without dividers.  A camera slot, display slot, 30 mm fan opening, or any combination thereof can be added in seconds.

{gallery} Raspberry Pi Enclosure Print Options

Plain Enclosure

Plain Enclosure

Enclosure with openings for Camera and Display

Enclosure with Openings for Camera and Display

Enclosure with Openings for Fan, Camera, and Display

Enclosure with Openings for Fan, Camera, and Display

 

Printing was done on an ANYCUBIC I3 MEGA with the following settings:

  • Layer Height = 0.2 mm
  • Wall Thickness = 1.2 mm (Wall Line Count = 3)
  • Filament = 1.75 mm PLA
  • Print Temperature = 200 C
  • Bed Temperature = 60 C

 

Total print time for the top and bottom is around 5 hours depending on the wall thickness chosen and the slots.  The photo below shows the Pi 4 mounted in an enclosure with a fan on top.  At this point a heat sink has not been added - just the fan.

Pi 4 in Enclosure with 30 mm Fan mounted

As noted above, there was throttling prior adding the fan.  Raspberry Pi states that a warning is normally issued when 80 C is reached and throttling occurs at 85 C.  With the fan, temperatures did not exceed 72 C during the stress testing with the CPU at 100% for approximately 10 minutes.

 

Fusion 360 has amazing capabilities although I am still finding my way around it.  I am using the free one year trial for hobbyists.  I am very happy with the outcome and there are only a couple of small things I may change with the design:

  • Some of the openings are a bit large and could be reduced in size for aesthetics
  • The case width could be enlarged 1-2 mm as there is a tight fit on one side which makes removal of the top a bit hard

 

The fan also whines and I will probably cut some foam to fit between it and the case to dampen it.

 

Thanks for reading, comments and suggestions are always welcome.