Chris Downing is an enthusiast of electronics and music. He’s also a salesmen and husband and acts as a moderator for the Modded by Bacteria website. Downing says that between 1998 and 2007, his life as a musician was his predominant passion. A guitar player, singer and songwriter, his marriage to wife Amanda in June 2010 has left the pair with “no shortages of projects.”
One of his latest projects, a commissioned console mod for a portable N64, relies heavily on a combination of 3D printing CNC machining.
The Nintendo 64 was Nintendo’s third release for the home video game console market, and it was named for its 64-bit central processing unit. Initially released in June 1996, the N64 consoles remained on the market until the system was ultimately retired in late 2003.
The N64 was primarily meant to compete with the PlayStation and the Sega Saturn, and it retailed for $249.99. Before it was over, the N64 sold nearly 33 million units worldwide and Time Magazine named it their Machine of the Year for 1996.
Downing says that while this version was printed in PLA, that was perhaps not the ideal choice as the low melting point of the plastic meant heat generated by the milling process gummed up the bits. He says subsequent versions will use ABS to avoid “a melted mess” which has to be monitored constantly.
This is his second N64p commission, and he says notable changes to this latest iteration include a new 5″ 16:9 aspect ratio screen with optional 4:3 setting, a relocated speaker to headphone kill switch, new vents in the top and the back of the system casing and PLA material vs ABS for the casing’s side brackets and face.
“This is also a Pal system – because my buyer is in the UK – so I had to get a power adapter for him for the battery charger and wall power,” Downing says. “This system was made using several different fabrication techniques which ranged from 3D printing to CNC machining and a little bit of old fashioned filling and sanding.”
He says the process was sped up considerably by the fact that just two weeks went between the two commissions. He adds that the second was a “very improved and tweaked model over the first version.”
“All in all I’m very happy with how this one is turning out and how fast it’s going. Should have this one done in a few more weeks as I have time.,” he says. “Still need to get the batteries but most of the tedious parts are done, now it’s just the wiring. More updates soon.”
You can check out the project details and find links to Downing’s projects and website here.
What do you think of this very professional looking 3D printed and CNC milled case mod for the N64? Let us know in the 3D Printed N64 Case Mod forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out a video and more photos of the project below.