The Replica AstroPi case is your chance to own what must certainly be the coolest Raspberry Pi case on – or off – Earth.
When the AstroPi case was originally announced in may 2015 we were told that it was too expensive to make a consumer version. It is a complex design that required a 5-axis CNC machine. Folks at AstroPiCase.com have developed a simplified design that is machinable on Haas 3-axis CNC machining centre at Thinkbox Manufacturing. By keeping the case split line flat, making it a little less tall and keeping the connector port designs in a single axis they were able to cut the machining time and cost quite dramatically.
Some arm twisting resulted in the foundation releasing a set and many people have succesfully printed a case of their own. But it’s still plastic.
The replica case is made out of aerospace grade 6063 aluminium, just like the units on the International Space Station. The design of the case is based out of STL files released by the Raspberry Pi foundation for a simplified design that could 3D printed. After machining it is bead blasted and finally laser engraved.
The bare case is only part of the story. The AstroPi also needs a SenseHAT and six buttons, so they have designed a mezzanine board called the Switchboard. It provides a realtime clock and nice clean connections to the buttons. The GPIO connections are exposed and labelled for any future expansion plans you might have.