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If you’re wondering how it can be used and why, please look at the introduction in the first article: Raspberry Pi Rack Server Mark I.

Raspberry Pi Rack Server Mark I and Mark II have been working pretty nice for 6 months already. They are based on a model that I found on thingiverse.com and inherited the basic design idea.

With Mark III, I completely rethought the design, which allowed to:

  • increase the number of raspberries in 2 rack units
  • significantly reduce printing time and plastic consumption
  • significantly reduce the time required for assembling and disassembling the server
  • reduce the number of parts
  • implement a modular design, which means that MARK III will be available in various modifications

The basic model, designed for 14x of Raspberry Pi and 14x of a standard 2.5″ SSD

Printing recommendations:

  • layer height 0.15mm
  • wall thickness  0.6mm
  • no supports
  • horizontal expansion  -0.1mm
  • without a skirt  

Please print one Tray and one Body part first and have a look at how they fit each other, as well as how it works with Raspberry Pi and your SSD.

Screws and other parts:

If you like what I do, you can always support me with PayPal:

Model for 18 Raspberries without SSD. Works with or without PoE hats

  • Shorter
  • Lighter
  • Active cooling highly recommended

Printing recommendations:

  • layer height 0.15mm
  • wall thickness is 0.6mm
  • no supports
  • horizontal expansion  -0.1mm
  • without a skirt  

Please print one Tray and one Body part first and have a look at how they fit each other. In case of problem play with “horizontal expansion”.

Screws and other parts:

  • Set of 5 fans Arctic F8 Value Pack, ACFAN0 0061 A – €17.60 incl. VAT
  • Power supply for fans 12V2A 7Tipps – EUR 13.99 incl. VAT
  • Adapter with 1 to 6 fans. Cutting off the extra male and female sockets works perfects Lüfter Adapterkabel 3Pin auf 6x 3Pin Molex (6x15cm) – €4.40 incl. VAT
  • Screws for fans M4 12mm 10 pcs. with nuts
  • Threaded rod M5 ~452mm  2 pcs. and 4pcs nuts M5
  • In case you don’t use the original PoE hat you additionally need 2x M2.5 with M2.5 nut for each Raspberry

If you like what I do, you can always support me with PayPal:

Model for 12 Raspberries with Samsung T5 SSD. Works with or without PoE hats

  • Completely repeats the functionality of Mark II
  • Shorter
  • Lighter
  • Active cooling highly recommended

Printing recommendations:

  • layer height 0.15mm
  • wall thickness is 0.6mm
  • no supports
  • horizontal expansion  -0.1mm
  • without a skirt  

Please print one Tray and one Body part first and have a look at how they fit each other. In case of problem play with “horizontal expansion”.

Screws and other parts:

  • Set of 5 fans Arctic F8 Value Pack, ACFAN0 0061 A – €17.60 incl. VAT
  • Power supply for fans 12V2A 7Tipps – EUR 13.99 incl. VAT
  • Adapter with 1 to 6 fans. Cutting off the extra male and female sockets works perfects Lüfter Adapterkabel 3Pin auf 6x 3Pin Molex (6x15cm) – €4.40 incl. VAT
  • Screws for fans M4 12mm 10 pcs. with nuts
  • Screws for T5 SSDs, M3x8 (or more) 24 pcs. with or without nuts (holes in plastic allows you don’t use nuts)
  • Threaded rod M5 ~452mm  2 pcs. and 4pcs nuts M5
  • In case you don’t use the original PoE hat you additionally need 2x M2.5 with M2.5 nut for each Raspberry

If you like what I do, you can always support me with PayPal:

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Fred W.
Fred W.
10 months ago

Looks great, have been waiting for the files for this!

Marius
Marius
Reply to  Ivan Kuleshov
10 months ago

So say we all!

Sven N.
Sven N.
10 months ago

Looking good! Are there advantages of switching to M.2 SSD?
How many Pi can you fit in 2U? 14 isn’t the max, is it?

dakaix
dakaix
Reply to  Ivan Kuleshov
10 months ago

Looking forward to the version without SSDs! Would also like to see a mod for with the sides fully enclosed for best temps – particularly for smaller bramble type use cases (4-8 PI’s).

Last edited 10 months ago by dakaix
Christian Lamar
10 months ago

Love the update.. I was having issues printing some of the longer panels on the previous one.
Just love there is still enough room for POE

NJD
NJD
10 months ago

Hi,

Great job.
I would like to adapt it to add an LCD screen. 
What software do you use?
Would it be possible to get the sources?

Filipe Neto
Filipe Neto
Reply to  Ivan Kuleshov
1 month ago

If possible, could you please check if you can adapt it to hold an “OLED SSD1306 Display I2C IIC 128×32 0.91 4 pin” more details about it in my github
https://github.com/f616/raspberrypi_oled_stats

David C
David C
Reply to  Ivan Kuleshov
8 months ago

Any chance you are at the point where you would be willing to share the source files?

TD74
TD74
10 months ago

Now this looks awesome! Any chance you could you do an attachment for Intel NUC?

I current have my own 3D printed version where I have 10 Pis and 1 Intel NUC 10 Tall version .. but nothing nearly as modular as this.

TD74
TD74
Reply to  Ivan Kuleshov
10 months ago

True and probably a not that common case to mix Pis and NUC to the same, but I have a pretty small self built rack cabinet and not much space left .. so I kinda need to be able to mix them to the same .. had some modules for USB power supplies also earlier, before adding PoE to the Pi’s.

Anyway NUC is 11.7cm wide, 5.1cm tall and depth is 11.2cm. So it could fit in horizontally in 2U, though probably would eat up about 4 of those raspberry pi slots .. but I could still sqeeze in 2 more Pi’s.

Maybe I’ll just play with the attachments a bit and see if I can get something that works for my NUC.

Steve
Steve
10 months ago

This is awesome! Exactly what I was looking for. Definitely following your projects.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Ivan Kuleshov
2 months ago

Hi, I have v1.0 (UPTIME Raspberry Pi Platform pi14ssd (v1.0)) and am now starting to populate it, what has changed between that and v.12 above? Will the trays fit in the older version? Cheers.

Alex Hamelin
10 months ago

I’ve seen that somewhere…
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1606631

Great upgrade guys, I designed the one in the link back in 2016 for a project at the time.

ixpict
ixpict
10 months ago

Very cool! Thank you!

Malasers
Malasers
9 months ago

I got excited and was thinking about building this but then realized, I don’t need a cluster of raspberries. What I would like to see(and I was looking for official measurements to make it) is a disk array enclosure that I can connect with a sata hub, using this design as a starting point. (Thanks)

kse
kse
9 months ago

Are there any plans on upgrading this with an internal switch board and internal power distribution? Otherwise you are waisting another U of the rack for something that is directly integrateable.

Gerry Creager
Gerry Creager
9 months ago

Any thought of going “diskless” and using either PXEboot or solely relying on the onboard microSD for boot, but talking to a NAS/SAN? I’m thinking tightly coupled numerical modeling, e/g/, weather models, so the SSD doesn’t add much for me. This design looks ideal for a Container implementation, and that’s something also likely on my radar, for a ham radio/weather server implementation.

Gerry Creager
Gerry Creager
Reply to  Ivan Kuleshov
9 months ago

Thank you! I’ll be interested to see that. I hope to continue with my weather modeling and want to try on the Pisafter I retire next year. Initial thought is 64 RPi, and build out a rather speedy file system, perhaps BTRFS but not Gluster, to run a relatively tightly coupled numerical weather model like WRF. I’ll ramp up CPUs if it can’t run fast enough to be useful. Love your design.

Toad
Toad
9 months ago

Neat job! I wonder how well this would do as a Ceph cluster w/ one OSD per pi.. even tho the I/O speed is somewhat limited by USB you can make up for it with lots of nodes.. Imagine a production level fully redundant ceph cluster in 6u (28 pi and 2.switches)! What do you all think?

Mik
Mik
9 months ago

Would you consider sharing the model files as well? I would love to adapt the holders for some other smaller devices like a Netgear 5 port switch, Arduino’s etc.

Haydon John Ryan
Haydon John Ryan
9 months ago

Would love to see a 1u version for less pis:)

Greg Cole
Greg Cole
Reply to  Haydon John Ryan
9 months ago

Why does everyone always want things for less. This is a custom piece and not from a factory pumping these out by the millions. Pay the piper or go away.

Sam
Sam
9 months ago

Thank you for the work on this, will be very useful for a project we have. We are using Samsung T5s, what are the chances of an adapter?

Yong Jie
Yong Jie
9 months ago

It will be great to have alternative ssd option like t7 or t5 holder for the tray but good job !

Greg Cole
Greg Cole
9 months ago

This looks absolutely amazing.
As a casual Pi enthusiast (running Pi’s at home for ad blocking and file and print services) So I’m new to the Pi industry.

Wondering two things.
What would one do with 14 Raspberry Pi’s? and,
What would one need with the Samsung T5 ?

Would this be for mining bit coin or surveillance systems or…

Sophia
Sophia
9 months ago

What is the height clearance in mm for the pi? I am powering my cluster through the 5v and ground pins and I’m not sure if the jumper cables are too tall or not. Thanks.

Robert Nelson
9 months ago

Careful, which version of the Sabrent, the 3.0 doesn’t work with usb boot on the pi4b with USB3 ports.

https://jamesachambers.com/raspberry-pi-4-usb-boot-config-guide-for-ssd-flash-drives/

Robert Nelson
Reply to  Ivan Kuleshov
9 months ago

I wonder if they have different sub-models? the packaging listed: EC-SSHD

[687665.543255] usb 5-3.4: new high-speed USB device number 33 using xhci_hcd
[687665.733481] usb 5-3.4: New USB device found, idVendor=152d, idProduct=1561, bcdDevice= 2.04
[687665.733484] usb 5-3.4: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[687665.733486] usb 5-3.4: Product: SABRENT
[687665.733486] usb 5-3.4: Manufacturer: SABRENT
[687665.733487] usb 5-3.4: SerialNumber: DB9876543214E
[687665.734636] scsi host5: uas
[687665.735186] scsi 5:0:0:0: Direct-Access   SABRENT          0204 PQ: 0 ANSI: 6

Bus 005 Device 034: ID 152d:1561 JMicron Technology Corp. / JMicron USA Technology Corp. JMS561U two ports SATA 6Gb/s bridge

I do like how small this adapter is with your design, as the Startek ones are a little bigger/tighter around the Ethernet cable.

Regards,

Tv-
Tv-
Reply to  Robert Nelson
9 months ago

Hey, I just upgraded the firmware for my cables and now they work just fine in USB3.0 mode. Found that from sabrents website.

Carl Cedergren
Carl Cedergren
Reply to  Tv-
9 months ago

Where did you find this firmware update? Please link it

Carl Cedergren
Carl Cedergren
Reply to  Carl Cedergren
9 months ago

Found it, and can confirm that it fixes the issue: https://www.sabrent.com/?wpdmdl=78709&ind=1588706035834

Carl Cedergren
Carl Cedergren
9 months ago

Have you actually tried booting from the Sabrent SATA Cable Adapter with the Rasberry Pi 4? I just cant get it to work and reading some other sites seems to confirm this. To bad i ordered five of them, you might want to update the recommendation to save others from doing the same misstake.

Carl Cedergren
Carl Cedergren
Reply to  Carl Cedergren
9 months ago

For anyone else coming here for this issue, update the Sabrent firmware and they will work, link is here: https://www.sabrent.com/?wpdmdl=78709&ind=1588706035834

Nick
Nick
9 months ago

Hi any chance you have the 18 pi version available as an STL? I’m network booting all my Pis so no need for the SSDs 🙂

Michael
Michael
9 months ago

What’s your method for attaching the fans to the fan power supply? The power supply is a 12V DC barrel but the fans are 3-pin

Dennis M.
Dennis M.
9 months ago

Ivan, this is great work. Thank’s for all your efforts. Any tips on getting the trays to snap in and out a bit easier?

Last edited 9 months ago by Dennis M.
Yong Jie
Yong Jie
8 months ago

It seems that the 18 pi rack for body there is some error.

Jie Yong
Jie Yong
Reply to  Ivan Kuleshov
8 months ago

The holes to join together one of the holes located wrongly

David C
David C
8 months ago

I know someone asked about the source files and you indicated you were not open to sharing right now. I am not sure if that changed or not. I was hoping to modify it to allow the pi to recess from the mounting rails a couple inches to provide clearance in the front for network cabling, thumbs drives etc.

Michael F
Michael F
Reply to  David C
8 months ago

I think this would be a great addition, I also found if the RPi was a little further recessed you would have better access to pulling it out with the grip/lever. Cables has been a slight problem with a glass from server rack.

Michal S
Michal S
7 months ago

I have purchased a pack of the same fan but with PWM capability here. It was only £4 more than a non PWM version and has a benefit of including PWM sharing capability and chain cables already. So there is no need to purchase separate cables or adapters.
As it has PWM I’m planning to use 12V FAN controller board with temperature probe (something like this or this or alternatively build RPI pico based solution).

Justin
Justin
7 months ago

i’m not really following how the fans attach to the body of the unit. Do you have more pictures that show that? I’ve got it all printed in front of me…

Justin
Justin
Reply to  Justin
7 months ago

managed to figure it out – threading those nuts through the rivet required a level of patience i wasn’t sure i had… end result looks super great! Thanks so much for putting this together.

My use case: run k3s HA and use rook to deploy a ceph cluster to provide storage to another k8s cluster. It works pretty well – did some general perf testing with only 3 pis and I suspect perf will get better as I add more (at 7 now, waiting for nand prices to drop before adding more)

manuel mota
manuel mota
7 months ago

Hi Ivan, I stumbled upon your design when searching for a rack to hold 12 raspberry pies for my 3d printer farm so that I can run Octofarm. I always try to 3d print things whenever possible and I think your rack mountable design is perfect for this. I have 12 Prusas MK3s and I was wondering if you can advise me as to which version of your design (MARK) is best for my project since I don’t think I need SSDs but I’m not sure about the individual fans on each pie, or the fans in the back. Please let me know your suggestion, it will be really helpful, thank you.

Last edited 7 months ago by manuel mota
Joe G.
Joe G.
7 months ago

Hi Ivan

Great job on the designs! can’t wait to see mk-IV

Did you ever get around to designing a T5 bracket for this model?

Thanks again for all your hard work!

Adam Bolsover
Adam Bolsover
6 months ago

I’ve printed it, and it works so well. Thanks for sharing this, I tried a similar concept, but I am no where near as talented and was giving up on having storage in the rack too.

I want to try and fit some Rock Pi Xs (https://wiki.radxa.com/RockpiX) in as well. The only problem is the bios chip and JTAG port on the rear of the Rock Pi X clash with the tray, so I had to cut part of it off to get it to fit. Would you consider releasing the tray file, so I can change the support?

Bjarne
Bjarne
6 months ago

Hi Ivan.
Thanks for your great work. I am having a great time printing and setting up my own RPI blade using the “Model for 12 Raspberries with Samsung T5 SSD. Works with or without PoE hats” design.
I use a 10″ small floor rack cabinet (does not take up that much place in my office :))
For disks I brought the Samsung T7 500KB SSD (what I could find at my local online webshops). But they work fine.

I have some suggestions on improvements/changes:
Since I use a small 10″ rack with fixed rails positions I cannot close the front door at the moment due to the fact that your left and right rack brackets have a fixed position. How about making a long rectangle (like on the front side of the brackets) so the whole body set can be put deeper into the rack ?

What about extending the Tray (where the RPI is placed on). And on the extension (behind the RPI put the Sansung SSD ? The reason I suggest it is the each PI’s CPU (I am using the Pi POE hat with has a fan over the CPU)’s fan just blows right into the SSD – not very effective cooling flow IMHO.

Also, are those big 80mm fans you use for the back really needed. I suggest extending the Tray up to 50mm and using 1 50mm fan for each tray with a RPI+SSD. That could even be installed on each tray so it would be completly autonomeus 🙂

What about (thin) wall seperation between each blade? To make sure cooling flow goes in front, direct over the RPI and SSD and out in the back.

Finally. I have single USB-2-TTL cable I use for debugging failed kernel compilations 😀 and PXE boots etc. I plan to buy cables for each RPI and it cound be neat to have a USB holder for that cable so I could just plug me into a RPI on the front.

(Its been around 20 years since I last worked with AutoCAD / 3D drawings, but would you interesting in sharing your 3D draw files? Would be easier to show suggestions… )

Keep up the great work!
BR,
Bjarne

Caoimhe
Caoimhe
6 months ago

Hi! What are the temps like in such a tight space? I know pis run cooler, but I imagine with them so tightly packed they’re high 40s at least

James Tatum
James Tatum
4 months ago

Hi, Ivan! Thanks so much for this beautiful design. I saw that you mentioned a 4 pi version on Hackaday – is this still planned?

Tony
Tony
4 months ago

Hi Ivan,

Just curious what material you used to print? ABS, PETG or PLA?

James Tatum
James Tatum
Reply to  Tony
4 months ago

I’m not Ivan but FWIW I printed this in PLA. I am not expecting the parts to be exposed to temps > 60deg C. At least, I hope they aren’t if my fans are spinning. The body pieces are slightly tricky to print – they are narrow pieces have to stand edge on and go up 150ish mm. Whatever material gives you the best adhesion is probably a good choice, especially for those.

Tony
Tony
Reply to  Ivan Kuleshov
4 months ago

Wouldnt that just shrink/grow both the pieces by the same amount and you would end up in the same place? Still not a bad thing to do though… Thanks for the tip.

Tony
Tony
Reply to  Ivan Kuleshov
2 months ago

Thanks Ivan, I ended up getting distracted modding and building an enclosure for my prusa, I’ll hopefully get back to it soon!

Tony
Tony
Reply to  James Tatum
4 months ago

I printed some test pieces yesterday in PLA but I think due to shrinkage the tray and body won’t go together (they get stuck after about 15mm). I am using a Prusa mk2s, the print quality actually looks pretty good, maybe just need to adjust tolerances.

James Tatum
James Tatum
4 months ago

Tip for anyone else dealing with freedom units AKA US Imperial – you can use a #10-24 or a #10-32 threaded rod (with the corresponding nuts/washers if desired) instead of the 452mm M5 threaded rod the design calls for. A 36 inch #10-24 zinc plated threaded rod was $2.50 at Home Depot and fits this project well.

Ericson
2 months ago

thanks for your project.

i have subscribe for PI 4 blade..

Fedya
Fedya
2 months ago

Hi Ivan, thanks for the awesome project! Could you please say if this will work with new PoE+ hat, old hat has small cut on the side, which is not presented on a new one.

HonestDev
HonestDev
15 days ago

Without IPMI this toy makes absolutely zero sense.