Old-school arcade gaming fans take note: You can now produce your own miniature arcade-style gaming cabinet with little more than a Raspberry Pi 1 and a 3D printer with a build volume of 15cm x 15cm or greater.
Well, some programming and electronics skill is required, too, but one of the coolest things about the DIY movement is the encouragement that’s often implied rather than directly stated to learn as you go, even if that means you’re going to have some moments of complete bafflement along the way.
This is a more recent project by a really industrious and smart French 3D printing, programming, and Raspberry Pi enthusiast: Yann Morere from Metz, France. He’s updated a previous, similar project by adapting the design to be printed on his PrintrBot Simple Metal. Morere, who uses the screen name “ian57” on Thingiverse, shared his expertise and his .stl files for producing the small-scale Raspberry Pi 1 Nano Arcade Cabinet. He described the project as “a tiny tribute to classic 1980s games.”
“This is my nano arcade cabinet for Raspberry Pi 1 using Raspicade distro,” he continued. “It is based on the Cupcade project but has been heavily modified.”
If that all sounds completely alien to you, then this may not be the project for you. However, for the sake of clarity, here’s what we think Morere means: “Cupcade” is a previous, similar project. “Raspicade distro” is a fully-supporting keyboard or keyboard encoder.
You can download (for free) Morere’s latest version of Raspicade, which now includes, says its developer, “new emulators for hardware such as Atari 2600 and Gameboy Advance.” The caveat is that the newest versions of Raspicade were in part created to pair with the Raspberry Pi 2 (note that this project uses the prior version, the Raspberry Pi 1).
Morere doesn’t provide much in the way of instructions for producing the mini arcade cabinet, but he does provide a shopping list, which includes, of course, the Raspberry Pi 1 as well as a touchscreen display module and mini-buttons that are installed on the front of the cabinet like a life-size arcade game cabinet along with instructions for converting a joystick from analog to digital.
Morere, who seems far more like a video kind of guy than one for writing out lengthy instructions, provided links to a number of videos, which demonstrate how the device works, how to navigate the electronics and coding, and how to assemble the 3D printed parts to accommodate the electronics. He’s also detailed the process in a (French-language) forum.
On an Adafruit how-to page that described how to produce a similar, previous retro mini arcade cabinet, maker Phillip Burgess provided some insight into his own maker ethos, which seems to combine the best of the new with that of the past–at least where gaming is concerned.
“Much of the mystique of the originals (arcade games), lay in the cabinets and controls.” He went on, “Anyone can load a game onto a smartphone or tablet…but the physicality of the arcade machine and its clicky buttons made them rare objects of desire back in the day.”
Have you made a 3D printed arcade game? Is this the sort of project you might take and put your own spin on? Let us know what you think in the 3D Printed Arcade Cabinet forum thread over at 3DPB.com.