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2. Market Research

Hi! Today I am going to conduct a brief market research on Raspberry Pi cases.

It is clear that as long as microprocessors are being purchased, there always will be a demand for cases and enclosures as people want to store their belongings neatly and safely. We can find and buy huge range of cases on many different websites such as Amazon, Ebay, Etsy or Pinterest. It is possible to find a seller that creates unique and bespoke cases, which I will show you later in this post. Products form these websites can give you a massive dose of inspiration, they also will inform my research, ideas and future designs.

Acrylic Raspberry Pi Zero Case (£6.99)

First Raspberry Pi case that I am going to show you is this very simple and minimalistic case, found and sold on Amazon by GeeekPi Store. Actually, it is a starter kit set including basic components such as heatsink, HDMI adapter, micro USB female to micro USB male cable, OTG cable, male GPIO header, screwdriver and finally, the case. Essentially, this case is made of two clear sheets of laser cut acrylic assembled together with screws and nuts. It is simple and cost-effective design, allows for good ventilation and shelters the board from any damage, however it doesn’t protect it from dust, possible water spillage and contains small parts which could be easily lost or swollen (GeeekPi Store, Amazon, 2020). 

Figure 1. GeeekPi Store Raspberry Pi Zero Case.

Commodore 64 Raspberry Pi Zero Case (£21.99)

This is not your typical case, this Raspberry Pi Zero case is styled to mimic Commodore 64, a 1982 home computer. Commodore 64 case is listed on Etsy, labelled as handmade, it was 3D printed with “high quality print settings” (Retropicases, Etsy, 2020). It is funny and old-school styled case, which now-a-days has many fans, board slips into place being held by four rods sticking out from the base and top piece snaps into place. Overall it is funny and nostalgic object, however in terms of being functional, it seems like there is lots of unused space inside of the case, which could result in board sliding off of the rods and freely moving around the case, causing some damage to the board. In addition, top piece seems like it is not secure enough and could be easily opened by accident if being carried in a pocket or backpack. Case doesn’t have any ventilation and user doesn’t have access to the wire slots.

Figure 2. Commodore 64 Raspberry Pi Zero Case by Retropicases.

MagPi Raspberry Pi Zero Case

Third and last casing that I am going to talk about in this post is MagPi case. It is a simple yet creative casing, which utilises a rotating mechanism to open the casing. Top and base piece of the case are connected with a nylon screw, allowing for easy movement and access to the board, at the same time staying secure. Board is connected to the base with metal screws and nylon nuts making a snug fit, this makes sure that the board won’t be escaping the case. The only issue that the author had with the design was HDMI connector being too high and pushing the casing. Overall, I am pleased with this design, it is simple, secure, doesn’t trap any dust and allows for easy access to the board. My only recommendation would be adding some extra ventilation on the sides and perhaps some sort of slot on the top and bottom so that it could be stackable. 

Figure 3. MagPi Raspberry Pi Zero Case.

References

1.     GeeekPi Store. (2020) GeeekPi for Raspberry Pi Zero/Zero W Case, 7 in 1 Basic Starter Kit with Acrylic Raspberry Pi Zero Case, 20Pin GPIO Header, OTG Cable, Switch Cable, HDMI Adapter, Heatsink and Screwdriver (Clear). Amazon. [Online Image] [05/11/2020] https://www.amazon.co.uk/GeeekPi-Raspberry-Starter-Heatsink-Screwdriver/dp/B07MGFRHHR/ref=pd_sbs_147_5/257-1343370-2382635?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07MGFRHHR&pd_rd_r=862cae01-66b3-46e4-b041-c9fe7c1d805e&pd_rd_w=JrUXA&pd_rd_wg=SKEqR&pf_rd_p=2304238d-df78-4b25-a9a0-b27dc7bd722e&pf_rd_r=JEQ3BS1D46WM2CFRRM50&refRID=JEQ3BS1D46WM2CFRRM50&th=1

2.     Retropicases. (2020) Commodore 64 Raspberry Pi Zero Case. Etsy. [Online Image] [05/11/2020] https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/537575621/commodore-64-raspberry-pi-zero-case?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=raspberry+pi+zero+case&ref=sr_gallery-1-1&organic_search_click=1

3.     Matt. (2015) 3D Printed MagPi Raspberry Pi Zero Case. Raspberrypi-Spy. [Online image] [05/11/2020] https://www.raspberrypi-spy.co.uk/2015/12/3d-printed-magpi-raspberry-pi-zero-case/

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