Mar. 2, 2015 | By Alec

While graphics of today’s games are absolutely stunning, part of me still feels the fantastical and magical sensations whenever I come across a classic, pixilated adventure game in the style of Link, Final Fantasy or Mario. But as my old GameBoy died years ago and pc-based emulators don’t quite cut it, it has always left me with a hollow feeling whenever I come across one. You might know what I’m talking about.

Fortunately, there is a 3D printing solution for our troubles. For designer and gamer Mike Barretta has come up with a perfect alternative: the Handheld RaspBMO, an emulator console that runs on a Raspberry Pi Model A+ and a Teensy 2.0 that perfectly fits in a 3D printed case resembling classic brick-like GameBoy. Best of all, you can play classic games on it with the exact same button layout of our childhoods.

Mike’s awesome creation features an 3.5" LCD, a pair of 0.5W speakers and a 2200mAh battery. Moreover, it’s completely free to download and he encourages everyone to recreate it for themselves. You can find all the necessary files (both the 3D printable components and the software that runs it) on Mike’s Thingiverse page.

The 3D printing part is relatively straightforward, as all parts can be done in both PLA and ABS at a very efficient 0.4 mm layer thickness. Mike himself found that the results were pretty decent. The plastic components themselves have been glued together using epoxy, though you can use any material you have laying around. More important is that all the internal hardware stays in its place, and for that Mike advises you to use small and simple screws. "In my experience this leads to good sturdy hardware connections about 90% of the time. On the off chance you wind up with a mounting hole too loose to properly hold a screw I found that adding a bit of hot glue into the hole helped to create a good connection."

There’s just one problem, and that is that Mike hasn’t really gotten round to writing an instructional tutorial for this cool project, so you’ll probably need a solid helping of engineering experience to complete it. However, he does provide a few helpful notes about the individual parts, which should help you along a bit. As Mike warns us, he isn’t a professional either, so if you come across any dangerous or incorrect comments, definitely contact him.

If you’re willing to tackle that challenge, this could shape up to be one of the most rewarding 3D printing projects you can make. Alternatively, you can also try out the more user-friendly Adafruit project for 3D printed classic gamepads, that hook up to your smartphone-based games. Whichever you choose, prepare yourself for a blast from the past with wonderful nineties games.

As you can see in the clip below, it works like a charm.




Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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Sam wrote at 3/9/2015 9:04:59 PM:

"3D printed case resembling classic brick-like GameBoy" ...Or... BMO from Adventure Time. Duh.

Sam wrote at 3/9/2015 8:25:30 PM:

"3D printed case resembling classic brick-like GameBoy" ...Or... BMO from Cartoon Network's Adventure Time.

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