Pi 5 Desktop Case For NVMe Base or HatDrive! Bottom

Today we’re going to be assembling a 3D-printed case for the Raspberry Pi 5 and Pimoroni’s NVMe Base or Pineberry’s HatDrive! This is an adaptation of my standard desktop case for the Raspberry Pi 5, with adjustments made for the bottom-mounted NVMe hat. This case also includes an adaptor so that you can still use the power button on the back of the Pi 5.

What You Need To Assemble Your Case

  • Raspberry Pi 5 – Buy Here
  • MicroSD Card – Buy Here
  • Pi 5 Power Supply – Buy Here
  • Case Kit (3D Printed Parts & Screws) either of the below:
    • Pimoroni NVMe Base Case Kit – Buy Here
    • HatDrive! Bottom Case Kit – Buy Here
  • NVMe Hat, either of the below:
  • Ice Tower Cooler (for the Pi 5) – Buy Here
  • 2280 NVMe Drive – Buy Here
  • Or Alternate Cooling Solution Below
  • Raspberry Pi 5 Active Cooler – Buy Here
  • 40mm 5V Fan – Buy Here

Ensure that you get the Ice Tower cooler for the Raspberry Pi 5, the cooler for the Pi 4 will not fit.

Assembling The Raspberry Pi 5 NVMe Base Case

To start, we need to install the M2.5x6mm brass standoffs that come with the case kit on the bottom of the case. These are installed with the male thread facing upwards into the case and are each held in place with an M2.5 button head screw through the base of the case.

Next, install your NVME SSD onto your hat. I’m using a Crucial drive on mine. Both Pimoroni and Pineberry also have a list of compatible drives that have been tested on their website. Plug your PCIe ribbon cable into the socket on the hat as well – make sure that the orientation is correct.

Place the assembled shield onto the brass standoffs and then use the M2.5x7mm brass standoffs supplied with your Ice Tower cooler to hold it in place. Don’t install an Ice Tower standoff on the hole nearest to the power port, this is where the button adaptor will go. Instead, install one of the female-to-female standoffs from your hat kit. If you are using the Pineberry HatDrive! then you’ll need to install a small 1mm black spacer from the case kit underneath this standoff as it is 1mm shorter than the Pimoroni ones.

Install NVMe Base and NVMe Drive - With Ice Tower

If you are not using an Ice Tower cooler with your hat, then install four female-to-female standoffs to hold the hat in place. You’ll then use the short screws included with your hat kit to hold the Pi in place on the hat. If you’re using the Pineberry Hat, you’ll need to use the four 1mm black spacers supplied with the case kit underneath the hat as the standoffs are slightly shorter than the ones supplied with the Pimoroni kit.

Install NVMe Base and NVMe Drive - No Ice Tower

Next place the Raspberry Pi on top of the hat and secure it with three of the M2.5x7mm brass standoffs that came with the Ice Tower cooler. Don’t install a standoff on the hole nearest to the power port, this is where the button adaptor will go.

Hold Pi In Place

Plug the PCIe cable into the Pi. The tab on the connector can be pushed down to secure the cable through the microSD card slot. Likewise, to release it, the tab can be pushed up through the slot as well.

Next, we can position the button adaptor over the remaining mount. Slide the button adaptor into position through the microSD card slot at the back of the case in the orientation shown below. It should go in easily – do not force it past the LED or button as you may damage them. If you feel resistance, rather try to remove and reposition it until it slides into place without interfering with the surrounding components.

Add Button Adaptor

Now we can install our Ice Tower cooler. Before we install it, we need to remove the fan by removing the four M3 screws in the corners. We’re going to be installing the fan onto the side panel.

Remove Fan From Ice Tower Cooler

Remember to add the thermal pad to the CPU before putting the cooler into place. Secure the cooler with three M2.5 thumb screws, one into each of the brass standoffs. Again leave the button adaptor unsecured for this step.

Install Ice Tower and Secure with Standoffs

Now use the M2.5x12mm button head screw that was supplied with the case kit to hold the button adaptor in place. You’ll need to add the thicker black spacer supplied with the kit between the button adaptor and the leg of the Ice Tower cooler as well.

Do not overtighten the screw as you need the button adaptor to be able to still move slightly to push and release the button. You should be able to feel the button press and release easily through the button adaptor.

To install the fan, we’re going to use the same method that I used on my other case designs where the screws do not go all the way through to the back of the fan. We instead press the M3 nuts into the front of the fan and the screws then hold these in place against the side panel.

It is easiest to press these into place by placing the nuts onto a flat surface and then pushing each pocket in the corner of the fan down onto the nut. The nut is in position when it is flush with the face of the fan.

Install M3 Nuts Into Fan

Screw the fan to the side panel using four of the included M3x8mm button head screws.

Then plug the fan into your Raspberry Pi’s fan port or GPIO pins (if you’re using your own fan) before screwing the side panel into place.

Close up the case with the two side panels and four M3x8mm button head screws on each side.

Your case is now complete and ready to run. Follow Pineberry’s documentation or Pimoroni’s documentation for instructions on booting your Pi from the NVME drive.

Michael Klements
Michael Klements
Hi, my name is Michael and I started this blog in 2016 to share my DIY journey with you. I love tinkering with electronics, making, fixing, and building - I'm always looking for new projects and exciting DIY ideas. If you do too, grab a cup of coffee and settle in, I'm happy to have you here.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Great looking case and one of VERY few that accept the Pimoroni bottom hat. Have you considered modifiying the case to include a 0.93″ OLED display? For me this would then be my perfect case.
    Simon

  2. I would absototally love a new bottom for the standard RPi5 case but with space for the nvme base.

    Anyone want to make a step file? I has SLS printer.

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