3D printing the past: the GameBoy hack!

Status symbols are devices that transcend their specs and features, and become something beautiful and luxurious in their own right. They’re things that live on after the megapixel and megahertz wars move past them, beacons of timeless design and innovation. Nintendo’s Gameboy is absolutely one of them.

After 25 years since its creation GameBoy it’s still a fascinating device. Considering that is quite difficult to find on the market old models with games in good conditions, we would like to suggest a crazy hack: build your own Raspberry-Pi based GameBoy!

You could argue that it would be be expensive and complicated. If you are a DIY addicted, it ain’t so! Nowadays, the latest innovations in 3D printing and micro controllers give you the opportunity to build a device in just a few hours and spending just a small amount of money.

What do I need to start?

Adafruit recently published a DIY project that shows you how to build a DIY Gamegirl using a Raspberry Pi, a SNES Controller and 3D printed house. Here is a small guidelines list to let you start! Make sure you have all the necessary components around you:

Parts:  Raspberry Pi Model B, PiTFT Mini Kit, GPIO Pi Cable, PowerBoost 500, Micro Lipo Charger, SNES Controller, 2200mAh lithium cylindrical battery.

Tools & Supplies: 3D Printer, Soldering Iron + Solder, Wire Strippers/Cutters, Third-helping hand, Panavise Jr., Heat Shrink Pack, Fun-Tac, Putty.

First step: 3D printing the case!

You can follow Adafruit detailed instructions here and a brief video tutorial here.

First of all need a 3D model to have your case ready for 3D printing. The 3D printed enclosure will house all the components and can be printed in your favorite color. This design is optimized to print with no support material, and the tolerances are optimized for PLA filament, but you can also print it with ABS and other material types. You can download it here.

Since this DIY project uses a Raspberry Pi  computer, you can run different emulators on it. There’s also MAME support and maybe you could even hack-in support for your favorite old console!

What about the controller?

Adafruit also teaches you how to hack an SNES gaming controller and reuse the printed circuit board, buttons and elastomers.

The project also includes a rechargeable lithium ion battery, and a SD card slot so you can run various games.

This DIY Gamegirl is not designed for beginners and has requirements on soldering and wiring. But it is well an interesting project for any DIY hobbyists to try.

If you decide to hack it and to build up your GameBoy/GameGirl, please reply to this article or contact us. We would be glad to share your tips and thoughts with the community of Makers that follow this blog!

Have fun and stay updated with thingarage latest news!