Feb 6, 2016 | By Benedict

The Pipboy 3000 MKIV, a beloved wrist-computer featured in the ever-popular Fallout series of video games, might be one of the most in-demand 3D printed cosplay items of all time. Ever since Bethesda Studios decided to offer a small number of Fallout 4 buyers an extremely limited “Pip-Boy Edition” of the game containing a smartphone-carrying plastic Pip-Boy replica, seemingly every gamer has wanted one. With those official wearables selling out in no time at all, it was left to the 3D printing community to give fans what they wanted. We actually discovered our first 3D printed Pip-Boy 3000, designed by an Instructables user named “Dragonator”, back in 2013. By the summer of 2015 however, a new Pip-Boy 3000 by maker Yvo de Haas had become the authoritative 3D printed Pip-Boy—so authoritative, in fact, that 3D Hubs brought the de Haas model back into the public eye with a streamlined Pip-Boy purchasing plan on the eve on Fallout 4’s release.

On Thursday, February 4, Adafruit’s Ruiz Brothers decided to throw the “if it ain’t broke…” rule out of the window, releasing a tutorial for an all-new, self-contained 3D printable Pip-Boy 3000 MKVI—no smartphone required. What’s more, if its specs are to be believed, the Adafruit Pip-Boy might have blown its rivals right out of the water. Noe and Pedro’s 3D printed model is powered by a Raspberry Pi, uses an Adafruit 3.5” PiTFT, and features an audio amp and speaker which can play the score and background music from Fallout 4. Its 2200mAh battery can be recharged over USB, and a bright yellow LED, rotary encoder, speaker grill, and faux gauges make the Pip-Boy look just like its in-game inspiration. That, however, is just the beginning.

With one very cool feature, the Ruiz Brothers’ 3D printed Pip-Boy 3000 MKVI takes real-world imitation of the legendary wrist-computer to the next level. The retro-futuristic aesthetics of the Fallout series constitute one of the major reasons for its universal acclaim and adoration. For every barely-believable piece of futuristic weaponry, there’s a delightful 1950s technological oddity. With this in mind, the Ruiz Brothers programmed their Pip-Boy’s dedicated python program to include OpenStreetMap (OSM) for map data, allowing gamers to explore their real-world terrain in “glorious retro green graphics”. This delightful feature, a perfect blend of past and future, makes the Adafruit Pip-Boy one of the most functional cosplay props out there.

In spite of its plethora of electronic gizmos, the Adafruit Pip-Boy is, at its heart, a 3D printed device. Its 3D printed enclosure fits the Raspberry Pi like a glove, even featuring cutouts for most of the mini computer’s IO ports, allowing for easy addition of peripherals like a WiFi dongle, keyboard, and mouse. The Pip-Boy consists of fourteen 3D printed parts in total, each designed by Noe and Pedro using Autodesk Fusion 360. The two expert makers tested the prints using a Flashforge Creator Pro and an Ultimaker 2, and recommend PLA as the ideal material for the flashy wrist-computer.

Although 3d printed Pip-Boy 3000 MKVIs were already floating around the web, the Ruiz Brothers certainly don’t deserve a slap on wrist for slapping these beauties on our wrists. Is their 3D printed Pip-Boy the best version yet of the legendary Fallout wearable? Could it even be the greatest 3D printed cosplay accessory of all time? 3D print your own and then decide!



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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