3D Printed RPI Rack

PI Rack Mounted in the Rack

I printed out the Raspberry Pi Blade Center found on thingiverse on my Ultimaker 2. This was a relatively easy set of units to print, with a majority of the time needed on it to be spent cleaning up the large number of pi holders. I assembled these with threaded rods and lock nuts. The threaded rods had to be cut to size but in the end, everything was assembled in about a weekend after printing was done. In order to fit RPI 3B+ with the POE hat, I did end up hand modifying some trays, which I don’t have a model for the changes so they can be printed in that form.

Before trimming the threaded rods
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Home Built Server Rack

Finished Product

In order to organize my lab a bit better, I decided to custom build a server rack. This was to be the same height as my desk and also be usable as more work surface area. I determined that a 15u rack would be the the best size, and it would give me some room to grow as well since i only currently have a few things that can fit in the rack (The Fractal Design Define XL R2 is far too big to fit, so its just the vhost, networking equipment and some RPIs). First off, the design, which ended up being slightly incorrect on sizing of one of the components.

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VHost Build

I started looking at servers for a new vhost for a few months, trying to determine what I would need, and what I could utilize. I was running out of RAM in my NAS to run virtual machines, and I was running into odd times when I wanted to reboot my NAS for updates, but didn’t want to reboot my entire lab. So I came to the decision to build a new server that would host the virtual machines that were less reliant on the NAS (IRC bots, websites, wiki pages, etc) as well as other more RAM intensive systems.  The new server was to have a large amount of RAM (>32GB maximum), which would give me plenty of room to play. I plan on leaving some services running on the NAS which has plenty of resources to handle a few extra duties like plex, and backups. The new VHost was also to be all flash, the NAS uses a WD black drive as the virtual machine host drive, which ends up slowing down when running updates on multiple machines. I may also in the future upgrade the NAS to a SSD for its cache drive and VM drive.

Here is what I purchased:

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NAS Build

I started my original NAS build with inexpensive quality consumer components, but by now its become a strange chimera of enterprise and consumer gear. The main goals: low power, quiet, high storage density

With the focus, the main decision was on a case, 8 hdd’s were the minimum number of bays, and having a few 5.25″ bays allowed me to use a 5×3 cage to add more hdd bays. From some research, it can also be found that another stack of hdd cages can be added to the case with relative ease, bringing the total number of disks held to ~21.

Case Fractal Design Define XL R2
CPU Intel Xeon E3-1245 v2
Motherboard Asrock Pro-4m
PSU Antec BP550
RAM Gskill Ripjaws X (32GB total)
HBA LSI 9201-16i
HDD Various
NIC Intel Pro/1000 VT, Chelsio dual port 10G SFP+
Extras Norco 5 x 3.5″ HDD Cage

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