Helado Case: a cool, sweet topping for the Raspberry Pi!
Helado Case: a cool, sweet topping for the Raspberry Pi!
A solid aluminum enclosure that sinks heat for overclocker's and cloaks it with a heavy-industrial aesthetic.
A solid aluminum enclosure that sinks heat for overclocker's and cloaks it with a heavy-industrial aesthetic. Read more
About this project
Welcome to Qsine's Raspberry Pi Heatsink/Enclosure Kickstarter project.
Please note: we do not sell the Raspberry Pi boards themselves, just this enclosure. If you want to know what a Raspberry Pi is or does please see my introductory info below. Also please see the trademark info below.
Edit: we've changed the name to Helado. My wife, Rika inspired the A la Mode name but I was just reminded of the Arduino shield adapter with the same name. My apologies to them.
We are on Kickstarter to raise sufficient funds to justify a production run of these enclosures. I designed and built this heat sink/enclosure for my Raspberry Pi's. I was so pleased with people's reaction to the end result, I felt compelled to bring it to Kickstarter and see if others want one too. If we can build this in multiples, the costs come down and we have more options for shipping logistics. Please see the risks and challenges section for information on how we plan to get our product to you.
The main features of our enclosure are:
1) It's machined from solid aluminum and doubles as a heat sink and a case.
2) It has a chimney to conduct heat away from the processor which can be helpful for overclocking.
3) It is attractive in a heavy-industrial sort of way.
4) It comes with a durable anodized finish so your fingers won’t go black and you can chose from 3 colors:
- clear (natural aluminum)
- Please note we experimented with blue, red and violet and found a quality problem with these parts so we are not offering them.
5) The top recess is purposely left plain and flat so you can personalize it easily:
- print and cut out a simple paper design and glue it in
- have a print shop make a puffy decal and look like a pro
- engrave through the anodizing for a classy look
- use a DVD label maker if you like
- or anything else you choose
6) The RPi is edge mounted which will work universally (not all RPi’s have the 2 test fixture holes of the modern design). The case clears all circuits and will not short the board. I have run them un-anodized.
7) There are several options to finish the bottom:
- it comes with four #4 plastic screws to keep it from scratching surfaces
- it can be left open (the most inexpensive option)
- we have a plain aluminum cover to keep fingers out
- we have various VESA standard mount plates that will attach it directly to the back of a flat panel monitor or TV.
- you can glue on felt or rubber across the whole surface if you prefer
- two sided tape can hang it vertically
- glue on velcro if you want to hang it and remove it without tools
Goals and Stretch Goals:
We have set our goal on this project at roughly 100 cases with a cover of some sort. This will allow us to build the cases but we won't have enough to secure a shipping contract.
If you catch an early bird special but want a VESA mount instead, we will give you an opportunity to pay the difference in upgrade price from the basic cover to the VESA mount of your choice. Please note the price will include the difference in cover price and shipping. And we may have to do the payment through credit card or PayPal.
We have limited the quantities to what we think we can deliver in Feb-2014. If these sell out, we will add more rewards with later deliveries as required.
For now we only have our first stretch goal:
$60,000.00: this is essentially 750 cases with a cover option. If we achieve this goal we will have just enough to secure an entry level freight contract. We will add a mouse pad and a fridge magnet to all backers who have chosen a case and a cover with the money we save on freight.
This enclosure was originally built for my XBMC media player so it does not give convenient access to the i/o header but wiring can still exit the housing quite easily.
When I first got my RPi, I was just going to buy an enclosure for it. After seeing the diverse, interesting things people were doing, I was inspired to build one my own way and put a Qsine touch on it.
Qsine is a 9 person, custom design and manufacturing business that my father started 1968. Our regular business is providing custom industrial machinery (mainly stainless and aluminum products) that our customers cannot purchase over-the-counter. We do a lot of interesting projects for our clients and since we have the ability and tools, my co-workers and I often do interesting things for ourselves.
For this, I worked up a design in 3D CAD, tool pathed it in 3D CAM and spun up a few prototypes on our intriguing 9-Axis mill/turning CNC center. We anodized them to see how they looked in full color.
Trying to market a product like this is completely new for Qsine. I am grateful and excited to be born in an era where we can experiment with concepts like Kickstarter. We are eager to contribute by both bringing our ideas forward and funding projects we like.
Please feel welcome to visit us at qsine.ca to find out more about us.
More about the Raspberry Pi:
I have been surprised to discover many technically competent and even computer nerdy people that have never heard of the RPi. They all seem intrigued by it so we put together a few little videos on some things a Raspberry Pi can do, hoping we can aid in the discovery process.
The other reason I wanted to do these videos is to set proper expectations for people who want to try out the RPi. Depending on the tasks performed, the RPi can please and delight or sorely disappoint. This was information I had trouble finding when I did research on the RPi. I learned a lot of what it can't do after I had it. And while I talk about those things, I hope it comes across as informative instead of negative.
These videos are just campfire-type-talks about the RPi, not technical. You can learn how to do anything I demo by searching Google and YouTube; that's how I did it! And one caveat: you need to be quite computer savvy to setup the RPi.
We used YouTube videos to provide selectable quality and closed captioning.
Overview on the RPi:
Video, picture slideshow and music demo on RaspBMC:
P.S. I forgot to mention Netflix is at best very hard to play on the RPi and in HD impossible, as far as I know.
Thin/remote client (running 3D CAD) with the RPi Thin Client project:
P.S. I forgot to mention there are many VM clients in this too.
Here's a link if you are curious and want to learn more about the RPi:
Have fun with your Raspberry Pi! And we hope you want yours with Helado!
The machine that builds the enclosure is an interesting subject in itself. It is 2 lathes, a milling machine and a robot material loader, all combined into one. To see the machine and robot loader in action, we have a video on the web page linked to "our intriguing 9-Axis mill/turning CNC center" above or see it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySj7FmxfXB4
Special thanks to Van Lai, our resident high-end-TiG welder/IT-man/promotional photographer and now video cameraman/editor!
Please note that "Raspberry Pi" and the Raspberry Pi Logo are registered trademarks of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Please see http://raspberrypi.org.
The Qsine logo is a registered trademark of Qsine Corporation Limited.
Risks and challenges
Technically there is little risk in this project. The prototype is built, it is a simple project and we have tested the finishing.
The only real concern I have for our backers is we only have one machine that can produce this part. It is quite a complex machine and there were times in the past when it went down and was time consuming to get operational again. But this would only delay delivery, not prevent it.
From Qsine's perspective, the risk is we have no idea how to predict the popularity of this product. Quantity makes a significant impact on shipping and material costs, manpower requirements, etc. so we really don't know how our budgeting will work out.
We are hoping this project is popular enough to justify using the robot loader highlighted in the video discussed above. I have not set a stretch goal for it but it would be in the thousands.
Shipping logistics is one of our main unknowns. For now, we expect to ship via the postal service. Courier companies like FedEx, UPS, Purolator, etc may become candidates if we can meet their contract demands but they are very non-committal with quoting and won't tell us what they will actually do until we have real parcels to ship.
We plan to use a less than 8 day parcel service with tracking inside Canada and the USA.
For other international destinations, we expect to go surface without tracking. Unfortunately, this is a 4-6 week service. To go air for the RPi case is quite expensive. An example of typical destination for the case shows that mail parcel service goes from $20 by surface untracked to $86 for air and tracking. Volume contracts can change that a little but not very much.
What we can actually offer depends on the volume we achieve on Kickstarter. One of our goals is to get the best service we can for what we have budgeted. We will look at the practicality of giving our international backers the option to go air if they want to pay the extra charges. But we can only do that once the campaign is complete and we have a better idea of what service we can actually provide.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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