A Lego RPi + Sense HAT case that you can DIY
I recently bought a Sense (aka AstroPi) HAT to go with my Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. I initially thought that my existing case would fit the Sense HAT. Needless to say, it did not. Then I figure that rather than spending more money to get a new case, why don’t I just use some Lego bricks to make one! So here is my Lego Case for a RPi 3 that’s compatible with a Sense HAT.
A Lego case with the RPi 3 and a Sense HAT
When completed, you will get a case that looks just like the photos below.
I’ve put together an instructions manual for the case that should walk you through the whole assembly.
I’ve also uploaded a hyper lapse video of me building the case here in case you need to review it further.
this has also got me thinking a lot about what it really means to be raising my kids to be makers. It’s not enough to just sign them up to all these coding classes and maker’s workshops. I strongly believe that it is equally important to raise our kids with a maker’s mindset as well.https://www.atpeaz.com/raising-makers-not-consumers/
The Lego bricks you need
Here are all the bricks that you will need. I’ve put them together in their set of layers to make it easier for you to see how it all comes together. I’ve decided to go with a monotone colour for my case, using only blacks, greys and whites for the case. The only accent the case have is a decision to use a 1×1 headlight brick with an orange transparent 1×1 brick.
This is the fun thing with Legos. You can choose to use any colour you like. I would also encourage you to make it your own with any cool customisations you want with the case!
The first two layers basically forms the base of the case
The next two layers are the walls of the case. The slopes are used to hold the RPi and Sense HAT board in place in the case. In a photo below, you will see how it does this quite nicely. I also used a 1×1 headlight brick here. If you don’t want that, you can simply just use a plain 1×1 brick as well.
The final 2 layers is the top “cover”. With the Sense HAT, you will need a wide opening to have a clear view of the LED matrix and access to the joystick.
The assembly of the case
Key highlights of the Lego RPi + Sense HAT case
Firstly, as mentioned earlier, I decided the use the slopes to hold the boards in place. Its a real coincidence that it just fits nicely.
Another point here to note is that I’ve configured my RPi to boot from the SanDisk Ultra Fit USB disk. Therefore, this case does not provide any way to access the SD card slot when it’s in the case. Also, as you can see, I used a clear 1×2 brick so that the power and I/O LED indicators can still be seen from outside the case.
Lastly, I’ve not really tested the use of the HDMI and audio ports. Just the micro-USB for power. If you do find the space restrictive, you can just remove the 1×1 bricks to have an open space to all the ports. The case still holds well even without those pillars.
Make it your own!
This guide is really just to share how you might hold a Raspberry Pi with a Sense HAT snugly with a Lego-made case. But as any Lego-made design, you can easily make it your own! If you made one that is really cool, I look forward to see it wherever you share it to the world!