Cool project! Via 3ders.org.
While most of us use our 3D printers to build fun little accessories and tributes the upcoming Star Wars movie, we are constantly reminded that it’s a perfect technology for manufacturing original electronic contraptions as well. Just look at this inspiring project by Dutch part-time magician Daniel Spies from Rotterdam. He has brought the eighties back to life with his Nin10do game station: a 3D printed console that uses a Raspberry Pi to play all those classes that made the NES such a revolutionary machine in its day. For why shouldn’t we be able to play Mario on an HD TV?…
…‘I thought that creating a professional looking gaming console on which I could play my favorite old school games would be a great choice,’ he explains. But to ensure that this is an educational project for magical purposes as well, Daniel forced himself to include programmable LEDs and a stepper motor for the lid as well. And after reading an article on 3D printing hubs, deciding on a manufacturing technology was easy as well.
But before kicking off, Daniel wisely gave himself a series of tasks to complete to ensure he got everything out of the experience that he could. Firstly, the Python script must be written in such a way that it can run emulator programs in the background without sacrificing speed Secondly, a fail-safe option had to be built into his stepper motor design to ensure that the lid can be opened and closed automatically by hand and automatically, but in such a way that it doesn’t jam up with accidentally opened or closed twice. Thirdly, the console would need a proper on/off switch reminiscent of classic consoles that can also be used without damaging software or the sd card. And finally, to ensure Daniel becomes familiar with 3D design, the whole case must be drawn in CAD software and be fully 3D printable.
In short, it was an ambitious project for an inexperienced maker, but a very educational one. After hours of design, the container of the Nin10do was ready to be printed, for which Daniel enlisted the services of 3D printing hub Printics. ‘They were really helpful. The print is done in XT Co Poylester and not in the more common available PLA or ABS. They sent me a sample in both PLA and XT and the difference was pretty big,’ Daniel explains. ‘The company did a great job getting rid of the access printing material (support) and I finished it in about 30 minutes.’
Assembly itself was fairly easy enough. An off the shelf 4mm cylinder and gear wheels were built into this console, as well as the Arduino, power cables, and SD-card port and four USB ports to serve as outlets for the controllers. The result looks absolutely wonderful, as you can see. The exterior looks professional, and the stepper motors and LEDs give the whole console a sleek appearance. With the press of a button, the lid opens to reveal the four USB ports, in which SNES controllers can be inserted.
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