Biz’s LEGO case – the Boreatton Scouts hit Germany.

Biz, age 12, is a member of the Boreatton Scouts Robo Club. When we featured them in a post a few weeks ago, we had a number of requests for instructions on making the LEGO Raspberry Pi case she’d created. She’s sent me some instructions and photos – thanks Biz!

The Scouts are in Mannheim, Germany today. They’re representing the UK in the FIRST LEGO League Open Robot Championship; judging is taking place today. We thought you’d like to see the extremely swanky uniforms they’re using for the contest, and Cazz, another Scout, agreed to model them here. (Note left arm.)

Over to Biz for case instructions. Thanks again, Biz; and good luck to all of you in Germany!

First make a two layer base – we had to use blue and red because that’s what we had – it is 13 splots by 9 (awkward!)

Now we add some flat bits to hold the Pi so the solder bits don’t get scraped when we plug things in and out.

You can load the RasPi in now or wait until the end!

Now build the walls – one layer at a time! Again we just used what bits we had.

Going up!

Oops! A bit fuzzy!

Tah dah!

Now we need a lid – again the lego sizes are a bit inconvenient and so we have a notch in the bottom edge and a corresponding hole that we were short of bits to fill.

Actually that turned out to be quite handy as we have an easy detachable half lid that gives access to pinouts and test points.

Now for the cute bit...

Here are the bits...

Had to make it double thickness and again ran out of a splot - but that doesn't show!

And finally a round mini-splot to attach to the case (and hide the hole in the roof).

Cute!

And that's Biz's RasPi case!

75 comments

Jez avatar

Excellent, great case.

liz avatar

I’m a bit embarrassed to remember my own LEGO efforts from that age. Biz has done a lovely job, hasn’t she?

DJ Regan avatar

Liz…

Biz’ case nothing less than pure genius!

Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

Sincerely,
–DJ

Paul avatar

Good instructions and a nice and simple build. Like the cute logo on the top too!

Gordon Henderson avatar

Excellent. Love the Raspberry logo!

Aniello Del Sorbo avatar

Very nice one! But, as an Italian, I would NOT go to Italy with that sweater !!! (CAZZ is a very bad word in Italian) :/

teomac avatar

AHAHAH… yes, it is! :)

Whoop John avatar

Yeah I noticed that. One has to be so careful.

Max avatar

Cool! It would be even cooler if that cute bit could be used as a power switch; twist it and the Pi goes on/off.

mtrx avatar

That really is a job well done, Legos will always have a special place in my heart. Wish I could go back in time and stop myself from selling them all.

Mattt avatar

Treat yourself to some LEGO Mindstorms, you get to play with LEGO and pretend you’re learning about Robotics ;o)

Matt avatar

Oh Mattt if I see the phrase “LEGO Mindstorms” once again I won’t be able to stop myself from buying it :D – I was in the US recently and they were at about u$s 300, which is way cheaper than my country – and I resisted. But maybe no more. By the way my excuse would also be to learn robotics hehe.

Paulglaubitz avatar

LEGO Mindstorms… ;-)
You might also check your country’s FIRST Lego League web site many teams are looking for a technical mentor / coach. I’ve been a coach for several years and it’s a lot of fun!

Peter Fisher avatar

Really nice case. Good luck in the championships

Steve Anderson avatar

Brilliant. I’ll be doing the same when mine arrives (still waiting…) although my 48k Spectrum case is pretty sweet too…

Sven avatar

The instructions are really clear! I’ll have to go and collect some Lego from my parents (they’re still holding onto all my old Lego after twenty five years) and build this case. Well done, Biz!

MarcoA avatar

Great!

m0ntala avatar

Well done Biz… and good luck in the Championships!

Bernd avatar

Really nice instructions. BUT: whoever buys a Raspberry PI is usually a person that does not really need instructions for lego cases. Or am I so wrong?

I haven’t a lot of experience with Lego. But creating a case with Lego without having expert level knowledge is exactly what makes me buy a Raspberry Pi instead of buying a full fledge TV-station/Linux-Server/you name it. :)

Misel avatar

I was just gonna suggest Lego Design by Me (http://factory.lego.com/) but it appears that it’s taken offline :(

Paulglaubitz avatar

Lego replaced Design by Me with another program, see http://lego.cuusoo.com/#. If it goes into production they get some royalties from it.
Could also get parts at bricklink.com.
Sharing your design demonstrates you apply Gracious Profesionalism beyond FLL! Good luck at the Championship!
— Moderately Confused (Team 1063) Coach

Stephen Roth avatar

Replaced with ldd.lego.com. Never knew it existed. Saves me form going through my old legos my nephews are hoarding looking for the right parts. Awesome idea!

cirrus avatar

I just got email last night stating my pi has been shipped , i will deffo be making this case with the tons of lego i have in attic that my kid discarded a few years back , great work cazz tyvm

Conor avatar

Brilliant work, as soon as my PI arrives I will outsource this case construction to my son. Top marks to the kid.

plaster avatar

May be we should send the pictures to LEGO and see if the will produce a Raspberry Pi building set, for all of us how gave away our Lego years ago and don’t know anybody who still has some

Justin avatar

Splots? Those are pippers!

Seth avatar

I think the hardest part is finding the right pieces. Is there kit that has them?
First Post Sam mentions in his blog that he got some pieces À la carte from the Lego store, but the store closest to me is 500 miles away.

Dimitre avatar

Disagree. The hardest part is getting a Pi. Been waiting for 3 months now. Best response from Allied: “We know nothing and care not”. RS cares not to even respond. If the Pi wasnt so unique and lovely I would have canceled the order and showed them “customer loyalty” long time ago…
:-(

QuantumLeaper avatar

I got my Raspberry Pi, on June 5, so they are shipping. I just wish I knew what I did with the power supply I am going to use. If I can’t find it, I guess I will have to buy a new one this weekend.

Dimitre avatar

Are you in the UK or US ?

OlivierW avatar

I cancelled my order a long time ago. I’ll order a raspberry Pi only when shops I trust will sell them (like Seeed Studio or Adafruit). The current shops doesn’t care about their customers.

Chris avatar

Sadly that’s true, Farnell and RS are the worst shops ever. I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone.

Charles avatar

Really? I live in Massachusetts in the USA, I just received my Raspberry Pi today from RS. I received the e-mail last month that I was able to place an order, I did, and saw that it was due to ship within 4 weeks. Almost exactly four weeks later, I received an e-mail that it had shipped, with tracking information, and two days later now it was brought to my door. I didn’t have (or need) any interaction with RS customer support, but I’m very happy with their service. I’d never heard of them before, but I wouldn’t be averse from ordering from them again.

Ferdia avatar

Really, really good case! I built the same thing only a few extra layers. Below the Pi is a 4 aa battery pack soldered onto a micro usb cable, and above is a space my bluetooth mouse! On each side there are holders for different usb cards (Large card for music and videos, Fedora and lots of other distros)

Whoop John avatar

It’s the biz, Biz. Awesome work.

Dimitre avatar

Cool ! Awesome! Thanks for sharing !

Paul avatar

Stunning little Lego project and the logo is brilliantly clever touch. I have one Pi in hand and another on the way I will be ordering extra Lego to make some cases.
Very well done Biz and best of luck at the Robo competition.

Markavian avatar

Oh go on then, (here’s my version):
https://plus.google.com/photos/117867005802904356740/albums/5751848591341300401

Thanks for the measurements guys :)

Wombat avatar

i’ve got the case now all i need is the filling……..

kesterto avatar

Great idea for a case – thanks. Had a go with some spare Lego bits (didn’t have all the right parts so improvised) and it works perfectly,

Cloudane avatar

Excellent, I appreciate the clear pictures as it gives me the option of ordering just the pieces I need from lego.com (I don’t have any, gave them up many years ago!). It seems very rare for such detailed build instructions to appear so I’ve not bothered thus far.

bush_rat avatar

Splots? Pippers?!?! I think you’ll find their dwidgets and or thingies!

Matt Hawkins avatar

Excellent design and nice instructions. Good to see a British Scout Group leading the charge! This is the sort of thing the Pi was destined to encourage in kids …

My LEGO case isn’t quite as neat but I had to negotiate the supply of bricks with my son : http://www.raspberrypi-spy.co.uk/2012/06/my-raspberry-pi-lego-case/

fritz avatar

Great to see kids involved in IT at such young ages and what better place to start is using Rasberry Pi. Nice job, kids! Good luck in competitions!

PiFan avatar

awesome :)

James C avatar

http://i.imgur.com/fF5pX.jpg is our combined effort this end – even at 24 and 49 we still had a bunch of fun!

Kev avatar

Has anyone mentioned that the first Google server was also encased in Lego?
http://infolab.stanford.edu/pub/voy/museum/pictures/display/0-4-Google.htm

Wombat avatar

Looks more like Duplo….. but then google is for kids!

Kev avatar

I took some Duplo bricks for a friend’s child when I was visiting Russia, and I was told that the name was a rude word in Russian.
I cannot verify this, but it made me laugh.

Kev avatar

PS: I’m in awe of the ingenuity demonstrated by Biz’s lego construction, she deserves a job in Jonathan Ives office for sure. Off to the toy shops the moment my Pi arrives. ;-)

Christophagus avatar

Excellent work, Biz! Not only will this be the first thing my boys and I will do with the RPi when it arrives but it might also convince my 7 year old that the Scouts/ Cubs etc will be much more fun than simply emptying the contents of his toy cupboard all over the house each evening after school…

Dirk avatar

Really nice work/idea….!!!! Hope, i will get my Raspberry as soon as possible.

Salva avatar

Wow :D that’s a very very good case :) This little girl is great! I’ll buy some Legos to do my own case using these instructions :D

xevil avatar
Andy avatar

Brilliant design Biz – just dug out my childhood Lego and managed to find just enough red bricks to make one. Your design goes together wonderfully. Now awaiting my RasPi which should arrive tomorrow.

asda445 avatar

Where do you put the debian sd card?

Roo Reynolds avatar

Here are my two efforts in Lego:
1: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rooreynolds/7155708427/
2: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rooreynolds/7159652835/
(I like Biz’s more though!)

ken dakin avatar

That’s a really cool case. Love it.
[Mod edit – please don’t advertise your eBay auctions here.]
[Mod#2 edit: Or on the forums for that matter.]

Roo Reynolds avatar

(The mod is talking to Ken rather than me, right?)

liz avatar

Yes, they are. :(

Tim avatar

Loving the lego and forced to rely on the down the side of the sofa collection of bits to make my inelegant contribution to the collection.

http://user41554.vs.easily.co.uk/pi/legopi1.jpg
http://user41554.vs.easily.co.uk/pi/legopi2.jpg

Kjell avatar

I made a similar case (9×13) but the PI board didn’t fit…must be a different production batch or something.

Marcus avatar

Thanks for the inspiration. Picked up my old lego from the basement yesterday and here is my result after I followed some of the pictures above.

http://www.marcussite.se/2012/08/12/raspberry-pi-lego-case/

Daniel avatar

really nice Idea

Lamyrus avatar

So after this article I had to “brush” up on my Lego skills. It involved my laundry machine for the Lego had been sitting in my attic for at least 30 years and had done some dust gathering. I managed to find a transparent two block which is making the led’s activity visible. Works like a charm. (My nephew disliked the idea for he saw a lot of pieces disappearing for his building activities. Might have to buy some extra pieces now ;-)

Markus avatar

Hmm. The Rpi fits suspicously well inside 11 x 7 lego-dots, is this something the designers had in mind from the beginning i wonder? :)

liz avatar

As it happens, no, it wasn’t! Just lovely serendipity.

HTDutchy avatar

Thanks for this!
While waiting for my own raspberry pi I’ve taken my own spin at it using different pieces but the same overall plan, I didnt end up with the hole :>

While at it I’ve also created a case for my ‘old’ router that goes with it!
(was a bit of a bit of a challenge to find a spot for the 3! wifi antennas, ended up not having to cut any pieces)

Even at 20 years of age, playing with lego never gets old! Serious thanks for making me pull out my big box from the attic again!

HTDutchy avatar
jesse avatar

i also made 1, not the best, i purely looked for the parts that fitted the best, but i do have an inbuild van that starts blowing as soon as the pi boots!

Jay McGlone avatar

just made the case to exactly how that looks, took 4 hours trying to find the parts!!!

Madhura avatar

Very nice idea Biz!!! Good design!!

Ryan avatar

i have been looking for a case that gives me room for the couple thing’s i’ve added to my pi.

tempted to buy it just because it would be easy to customize.
the more i think about it, the better the idea sounds…might add a little bit of super glue to make it stronger

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