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2022-04-25 07:25:53 By : Mr. Edward Zhang

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By Ash Hill published 3 April 22

Let’s cut to the case.

The Raspberry Pi is a barebones SBC. While an official case exists, the board does not ship with one by default unless you’ve bundled it with a kit. Nevertheless, it leads many makers down the creative path of creating their cases. Today we’ve got an impressive DIY option from maker Michael Klements who’s using a laser cutter to construct original Raspberry Pi cases from wood.

Klements’ YouTube channel focuses on a wide variety of tech, including microelectronics projects and reviews of whatever hardware interests him along the way. For example, he recently got his hands on a new Atomstack laser engraving and cutting machine. He used this opportunity to review the unit and break down his laser-cut case creation process for any interested parties.

In the review, Klements takes a deep dive into the specs of the new laser cutting machine while also dedicating segments to the Raspberry Pi project. We get a close look at how to create the design file used by the laser cutter and a few options for finishing the final cut pieces. Laser-cut cases can be found elsewhere in the Pi community, including Pimoroni’s early work and laser-cut case designs.

In this demonstration, Klements is creating a case for a Raspberry Pi 4 out of 3mm plywood cut using an Atomstack X7 40W Laser Engraving and Cutting Machine. The Pi resides inside, utilizing a series of M2.5 12mm brass standoffs and some 6mm screws. Klements even included top-mounted fan support, using M3 screws to secure it.

You don’t need expensive software to create compatible files for the laser cutting machine. According to Klements, all he needed for the Raspberry Pi case design was Inkscape—a free, open-source vector graphics application. The most significant investment for this project is the Atomstack X7 40W laser engraving and cutting machine.

If you want to recreate this project yourself, you’ll find that the support you need is somewhat accessible. Getting started with laser cutting can be rather complex. Still, with a specific goal in mind, like creating an extraordinary case for your Pi, it should be easy to push your way through the process using walkthroughs like these from Michael Klements. Check out the full video on YouTube to see how it all goes together and what you need to get started.

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.

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