May 1, 2016 | By Benedict

Thingiverse user Ampersands has remixed Adafruit’s popular 3D printed Pocket PiGrrl to create the Pirakeet, a new Gameboy-style retro game console running Retropie. The console was designed to be printable on smaller 3D printers (80 x 104 mm) whilst still being easy to assemble.

Perhaps we’re almost at saturation point for 3D printed, Gameboy-style Raspberry Pi consoles, but the Pirakeet, an amateur reworking of Adafruit’s classic Pocket PiGrrl, is a solid addition to the canon which can be built for around $100. Although 3Ders only covers a handful of these retro 3D printing projects, there are plenty to be found on Thingiverse and other places around the web: a month ago, Danish 3D printing wunkerkind Rasmus Hauschild posted this impossibly small Gameboy Pi Zero, while we’ve also seen cool 3D printed revivals of other retro consoles such as the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Behind many of these nostalgic projects is the fantastic Retropie emulation system, which can turn a Raspberry Pi into a number of classic game consoles, such as the Gameboy, Atari, and Commodore. Ampersands’ Pirakeet also makes use of Retropie, in accordance with Adafruit’s Pocket PiGrrl guidelines posted in May 2015. The Pocket PiGrrl was originally posted by the talented Ruiz Brothers as a two-button handheld device, but a four-button version was later added to the site—this is the model that Ampersands has chosen to remix, and with some style too. Minor tweaks made my Ampersand include the removal of two selection buttons, a slightly modified body shape, and the abandonment of a sound module—a move which reduces the cost and complexity of the device.

As with most DIY projects of this sort, the Pirakeet can be downloaded and built by anybody who likes the look of its handsome, boxy aesthetic. The console consists of 11 3D printable files, including both sides of the case, buttons, and direction pad. Although Ampersands has not specified his printer settings of choice, his 3D printer is a Sunhokey Reprap Prusa i3, which has produced a reasonable end product. Adafruit, on the other hand, did specify settings for the Pocket PiGrrl: 10% infill and 2 shells for the case parts; 20% infill and 2 shells for the buttons. Materials should make little difference to the operation of the console, and colors are—of course—up to the maker.

Besides 3D printing materials, parts required for the Pirakeet include the $5 Pi Zero, an Adafruit half-sized breadboard PCB, an Adafruit TFT touchscreen, and various slides, switches, and cables.  Ampersands’ complete shopping basket for the Pirakeet totaled just over $100. Game on.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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