Aug.24, 2013

We loved those awesome do-it-yourself portable game systems, but this time modder Dave Nunez has made something more impressive: a 3D printed NES portable.

Called NESPo, the portable NES used a Nintendo-on-a-chip (NOAC), an NES hardware clone, because Nunez didn't want to destroy an original console. He purchased an NOAC for $15 in the form of the Retro-BIT RES and opened it up to form the guts of the machine.

For NESPo's screen, he used a 4.3″TFT reverse camera screen, which goes for around $20. For the power source, he chose a 1500mAh NiMH rechargeable battery used in radio control cars that gives the device around two hours of gameplay. Then he built his own LM386 based amplifier for audio.

It is pretty unique that the case and buttons here are all 3D-printed. Using CAD modeler OpenSCAD and the Makerbot Replicator 2 3D printer Nunez printed them out in fourteen and a quarter hours - "3D printing is very powerful, but it is slow as anything", said Nunez. The parts included the front and back of the case, a separator tray which holds most of the electronics, Support beams to allow better gluing of the case halves, Tac switch supports to hold the buttons in place, the D-pad and buttons as well as the power light/logo. The material used here is polylactic acid (PLA).

Then it was the time to put everything together. It was not as easy as you might think, but the end result is a nice, chunky but playable portable NES. "The nice thing about it being so chunky is that it can stand by itself, which is nice for display." added Nunez.

This project took Nunez about two weeks and costs around $80. If you'd like to give this project a try, you can download the source files at Thingiverse. You can check out more details at Dave's blog.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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