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There is, perhaps, no better gadget for your DIY projects than a 3D printer 5 Cheap 3D Printers You Can Actually Buy Today 5 Cheap 3D Printers You Can Actually Buy Today A few years back, even the cheapest 3D printers were uncomfortably close to the $1,000 mark – now you can get a quality 3D printer for as low as $400. Read More . With a device capable of building every case, frame, arm, and more, it’s a must-have piece of kit.

Similarly, the Raspberry Pi is also a vital tool in the tech DIYer’s arsenal, suitable for everything from home media centers and smart home management Getting Started with OpenHAB Home Automation on Raspberry Pi Getting Started with OpenHAB Home Automation on Raspberry Pi OpenHAB is a mature, open source home automation platform that runs on a variety of hardware and is protocol agnostic, meaning it can connect to nearly any home automation hardware on the market today. Read More , to launching into space!

So what happens when you put these two DIY staples together? Let’s take a look at these 12 Raspberry Pi projects that are available to 3D print.

Gaming Projects for the Raspberry Pi

The PiGrrl Nintendo Game Boy Clone

Perhaps one of the most popular uses for a Raspberry Pi is as a retro gaming center Retro Gaming on the Raspberry Pi: Everything You Need to Know Retro Gaming on the Raspberry Pi: Everything You Need to Know Indeed, who in their right mind would have guessed that the little Raspberry Pi could prove so vital as a platform for so-called retro gaming, offering support for a vast array of emulators and different... Read More and this project takes the idea one step further, focusing the emulation on a single platform and building a suitable case.

The PiGrrl is, of course, a Nintendo Game Boy clone, developed by LadyAda, and you can find the full set of instructions on the Adafruit website, which also includes links to any additional hardware you’ll require. This build uses a cannibalized Nintendo game controller, but there are alternatives to this. We’re particularly impressed by the quality of the 3D printed Game Boy-esque case.

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The Super Game Pi, Game Boy Advance Clone

Still in clone territory, Adafruit has also produced instructions for what they call a Super Game Pi, which is essentially a clone of 2001’s Game Boy Advance handheld.

The 3D printer file contains more buttons than the PiGrrl, but again relies on a cannibalized SNES controller. Just as fun as the PiGrrl, this has a larger screen, too.

Gameboy Nano

Another great gaming 3D printer project for your Raspberry Pi, this relies on the Pi Zero, and the design can be downloaded from Thingverse.

While no formal details for this build are available online, it seems to require a small display and a compact controller, although you may prefer to simply add a dummy set of controls and connect a USB or Bluetooth controller to the Pi Zero, as the USB port is left open for this build.

Google Glass with Your Raspberry Pi

Want to get every fact and figure about every location you visit? Google Glass may have taken a back seat for now Google Glass Will Return, Woz Predicts The Singularity, and More... [Tech News Digest] Google Glass Will Return, Woz Predicts The Singularity, and More... [Tech News Digest] Google Glass will return, Woz warns humanity, Twitch gets hacked, Netflix has arrived down under, embedding Reddit comment threads, and Siri and Netflix clash. Read More , but it is a project that can be put together with a Raspberry Pi as the brain, with a 3D printer providing a home for the display, complete with clamp to hook it to your glasses!

The file to 3D print your own Google Class replica can be found at Thingiverse, while the display is probably the most important component, cannibalized in this instance from a pair of immersive TV glasses.

We’re not saying you won’t get the same level of dismay and ridicule wearing these as you would with Google Glass, but it’s got to be worth a go!

Raspberry Pi Laptops

You may know that the Pi Top started life as a 3D printed laptop project for Raspberry Pi devices, before a successful Kickstarter campaign brought them commercial success – but it’s not the only Raspberry Pi laptop out there.

Mobile Pi-To-Go

Not as laptop-like as the Pi Top, the Pi-To-Go is nevertheless an impressive project, with a tiny fold down display and keyboard thanks to this project file from Thingiverse.

Take a look at it in action here.

The lower portion of the Pi-To-Go is full of batteries pulled from an old Dell Latitude D600 laptop battery, while behind the screen and the Pi is a 64 GB SSD card 5 Things You Should Consider When Buying An SSD 5 Things You Should Consider When Buying An SSD The world of home computing is moving towards solid state drives for storage. Should you buy one? Read More .

It looks like a great project to try out; see the full guide for details.

Raspberry Pi Desktop Cases

We’ve already told you how a Raspberry Pi can be used as a desktop computer Use Your Raspberry Pi Like a Desktop PC Use Your Raspberry Pi Like a Desktop PC There are so many amazing things that you can do with a Raspberry Pi, from running your own space program to building a media centre. Although ostensibly intended as a compact computer that can be... Read More , so it makes sense to build a desktop-style case for your little computer.

The PiBook

The PiBook (3D printed file) is a Raspberry Pi in desktop computer form, with a base unit and a display sat on top.

Despite the name, the PiBook doesn’t look like a book (if anything, it resembles an Apple Lisa), but it should still satiate your need to slot your Raspberry Pi into something you just printed.

3D Printed Raspberry Pi Tablets

Several Raspberry Pi tablet projects are in circulation. This one is from Adafruit, with the file ready to be downloaded to your 3D printer available from Thingverse.

The CAD-designed case houses a Raspberry Pi A+ What Can You Do With The New Raspberry Pi A+? What Can You Do With The New Raspberry Pi A+? Curiously, this new Raspberry Pi doesn't feature any additional hardware. In fact, it has fewer ports. Just what are the Raspberry Pi Foundation up to? Read More and has a 3.5-inch TFT display. The example in the video may not have a touchscreen, but several TFT releases are available with capacitive overlays.

For a more standard Raspberry Pi tablet, of a decent, usable size, this next Adafruit project uses a Pi 2 (or perhaps a Pi 3) and you can download the 3D printed case file from Thingverse.

Awesome 3D Printed Raspberry Pi Cases

Finally, we’re going to take a look at some of the excellent Raspberry Pi cases that can be 3D printed. This is a massive area, so feel free to go off and look for some that you think will suit your project or mood. Along the way, you might spot some of these…

RetroNintastic

This superb Raspberry Pi case is clearly inspired by the classic Nintendo Entertainment System, and even features a door providing access to the Pi’s SD card, right where the cartridge slot would be.

Here’s what it looks like in action!

Not bad, we think you’ll agree. For more retro love, also see the Amiga 3000 case and PiStation One, and perhaps consider teaming these up with the RetroPie gaming distro How to Install Game Emulators on the Raspberry Pi How to Install Game Emulators on the Raspberry Pi Desktop computer, media center, an integral part of a budget space program - is there no end to the versatility of the Raspberry Pi? Seemingly not – because it also does games. Read More .

It Had to Happen: A Raspberry PIE

We’re certain that you’ll already be drooling over this delicious looking 3D printed Raspberry Pi case, which is, of course, a literal interpretation (well, almost) of the device name.

muo-diy-raspberrypi3dprint-pie

Yum.

Want an absolutely literal interpretation? Think 3.1416

Raspberries Everywhere

While we’re talking “literal interpretations” we could drop the “pi” and focus on the “raspberry”. The Very Berry Pi Case 3000 is one of the most stunning Raspberry Pi cases we’ve seen, and while bigger than most has enough space for cables and cards to be inserted.

muo-diy-raspberrypi3dprint-berry

Fallout-Style Pip-Boy Wearable Pi Case

While a big job for 3D printing, this project — which will also require a portable power solution for your Raspberry Pi Pi to Go? 3 Ways of Powering a Raspberry Pi for Portable Projects Pi to Go? 3 Ways of Powering a Raspberry Pi for Portable Projects Want to get your Raspberry Pi out of the house and involved in some mobile projects? You'll need a battery of some sort – but there are several options available. Read More – looks superb, and if you’re a Fallout fan or simply want to take your Pi with you everywhere you go, this would seem to be the ultimate case. Make sure you include a touchscreen display, however!

muo-diy-raspberrypi3dprint-pipboy

For more videogame-inspired fun, see this Halo case.

Raspberry Pi 3D Printed Case Compatibility

While we’re on the subject of Raspberry Pi 3D printed cases, it’s worth considering that differences between the various models mean that not all cases will be suitable. As such, when considering a Raspberry Pi case for your 3D printer, examine whether the case matches the port and LED locations of your Pi.

The Raspberry Pi and 3D printed projects go together like raspberries and cream, and as you’ll have seen, the possibilities are considerable. Have you used a 3D printer in one of your Raspberry Pi projects? Perhaps you have a 3D printed case? Tell us all about it in the comments, and share your favorite projects.

Image Credit: 3D printer by Scanrail1 via Shutterstock

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