Apr. 16, 2015 | By Simon

For those who grew up during the heyday of coin-operated arcade games - particularly in the 1970s and 1980s - it’s easy to get nostalgic about the “simpler days” where video games were in 8-bit and had simple objectives.  Although the video game systems of today have afforded kids of all ages with an abundance of new technological breakthroughs including 3D scanning technology and near-lifelike graphics, it’s not surprising that many still find time to visit retro arcades or pull out the old NES every now and again.  

But rather than having to go to the retro video arcade every time you wanted your Tetris or Centipede fix, what if you could just have the arcade experience in your own living room?  What if this could be created using a 3D printer?

Thanks to Thingiverse user ‘malopezn’, this is now possible.  

“This is a project I started some ago (I still had a Prusa i3 3D printer at the time) and it took me some time to finish,” said malopezn on his “The Arcade Cabinet” Thingiverse page.  

“Those of us who are close to our 40s have always been touched by the idea of having an arcade cabinet at home; those playing machines we used to enjoy with a coin when we were younger. When I first started with 3d printing, this was something i wanted to develop.”

To develop his arcade cabinet, malopezn started by designing the actual design of the cabinet itself, which was done in SolidWorks.  At the time, he was using a Prusia i3 3D printer and was limited to a 200mm x 200mm build platform, so he had to break the larger assembly into smaller parts in order to print each part on the small build platform.  

“All of these blocks are printable in small printers, then, you just "stich" them with some nuts and screws and the machine comes alive. It's easy, don't be afraid,” he reassures.  

After roughly 10 hours of continuous 3D printing and a total of 1.25 kilos of PLA plastic, the parts were printed and ready for assembly.  

With the arcade cabinet housing complete, the next logical step was to create the “brain” that would run the arcade emulator.  To do this, malopezn integrated the use of a Raspberry Pi B into his cabinet and designed the internal support system around the dimensions of it.  As for a display for the arcade cabinet, malopezn sourced a 7” LCD display from China that he notes was both easy to find and cheap (he found his for roughly $20).      

Finally, with the computer and screen sourced, the final elements that were needed included a voltage regulator, a power supply, a joystick and buttons.  He used the voltage regulator to drop the current to 5V (Raspberry), a 12v power supply, a Sanwa Style joystick, and then divided eight buttons to control different parts of the cabinet.  These included four for gameplay, one for INSERT COIN, one for PLAYER START, one for ENTER and one for ESCAPE.  

For anybody else interested in creating their own 3D printed arcade cabinet, malopezn has provided all of the necessary STL files over on his Thingiverse project page as well as a more detailed build explanation in a blog post - however be forewarned: it is in Spanish.   



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive