3D printing hands on: Adding a case and a camera to the Raspberry Pi and LulzBot Mini – ZDNet

July 22, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ 3D Printed Articles

When I bought the Raspberry Pi kit from Amazon, I decided not to get one of the very inexpensive cases that came with some of the kits. My reasoning was that since I have a 3D printer, I’d make my own. While it was a fun project, it was also probably more work than was necessary. Still, I got to experiment with how 3D printed parts can be assembled using regular screws, which was cool.

There were a few other new elements in this project. One of the big reasons I wanted to get the LulzBot Mini was to start learning about filaments other than PLA.

PLA (polyactic acid) is a very capable and flexible filament. Since it’s made out of organic materials, it’s not nearly as toxic as some plastics. But PLA is not quite as strong, flexible, or suited to heat. I built a grill tool mount using PLA. Very shortly after putting it out in the sun, it started to sag.

ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), on the other hand, is a strong material that doesn’t snap or crack as easily as PLA. If you’ve ever used Legos, you’ve had a toy made from ABS. But ABS is a more toxic plastic.

When I used ABS filament to print the Raspberry Pi case, there was an nasty, unmistakably melting plasticky stank in my garage. I wound up having to open the garage door to the 97 degree Florida heat to dissipate the odor.