Solarbotics Raspberry Pi 3 SAFE Assembly Instructions

The instructions for assembling the Pi v3 and the previous acrylic Pi SAFE are quite similar. The only difference between the models is the location of the LED light pipes, so these Pi3 instructions apply generally to all Pi SAFE versions.

1. Your Parts!

Step 1: Parts
  • 8 x 4-40 nuts
  • 8 x 4-40 x 3/8″ bolts
  • 2 x Clear acrylic light-pipes
  • 4 x Black acrylic spacers
  • 6 x Black acrylic SAFE sides (shown here with brown protective paper already removed)
  • 0 x Raspberry Pi (sorry – not included in the kit!)

2. The Baseplate

IMG_1379-Screws and spacers
Step 2: Baseplate preparation

Find 4 of the 4-40 x 3/8″ bolts, and put them through the baseplate, and press the spacers on from the other side. Thee bolts will sort of stay put until you can get the Raspberry Pi on the baseplate. (If adding to a VESA mount, do only 2 diagonal screws)

3. Adding the Raspberry Pi

IMG_1382-Pi_mounted copy
Step 3: Mounting the Pi to the baseplate

Slide the Raspberry Pi onto the bolts. The Pi is designed for metric M3 hardware, but we’re still using imperial #4 hardware, which is a smidge bigger. The bolts may need to be screwed through the holes in the Pi.

Add the #4 nuts, and tighten them down.

 4. Adding 3 of the 4 Sides

Step 4: 3 of the 4 sides to be added to the baseplate

Arrange the sides as shows. The sideplate on the top in this image has the long cutout to accommodate a ribbon cable from the 40-pin expansion port. The front faceplate on the right (with the label engravings face-down) is for the communications side. The sideplate on the bottom has the ports for the power, video, and audio I/O.

Align them all up on the baseplate, and use a pair of 4-40 nuts and bolts to lock them in place.

5. Adding the SD-Card / LightPipe Faceplate

Step 5a: Preparing for lightpipes

Lay the final side faceplate face-down beside the assembly, and pop the clear lightpipe parts out of their holder. It is not necessary to strip the paper off this part.

Sandwich the two lightpipes together, and push them into the lightpipe indicator hole. They will sit a bit loose until the faceplate is attached to the baseplate.

Step 5b: Lightpipe assembly

Carefully assemble this assembly to the baseplate, and finish attaching it with the remaining 4-40 nuts and bolts.

Step 6: Top Plate mounting

Notch the top plate into the slots in the rear faceplate, and gently flex the frontplate out to let the tab snap into place. You’re ready to power up, with full access to the indication LEDs on the Pi mainboard via the lightpipes!