First, you need to know what you want. What should it look like? What size should it be? What materials am I going to use?
For us, we already decided on the size of a full size arcade cabinet, about 180cm high and about 60cm wide. However, if we wanted to fit our fridge inside, it needed to be at least 60cm wide on the inside. (fridge measurements are: 60cm x 60cm x 85cm)
Our first design was inspired by someone else's MAME machine, called 'project mame'
. But the fridge wouldn't fit inside and we didn't really love the design yet.
We scrapped that design, and set off to make our own. Which was mainly inspired by the Neo Geo MVS
. It's big, red and doesn't look too complicated to build. We designed our cabinet in Google SketchUp
(a free cross platform 3D design program), and we were very sure to design every single little bit to make sure that we wouldn't run into trouble halfway through the build. You can find the design files below. Feel free to use them or change them in any way you want as long as you don't sell them and mention us as a source if you (re)upload any of them (GNU public license).
We weren't out to replicate a Neo Geo MVS, although it was a big inspiration. The control panel artwork is similar to the one on the Neo Geo but a but simpler. The marquee design was totally designed from scratch, because we wanted to keep the design general (not specific to a single game) and we didn't want 'MAME' written all over it either.
We designed the artwork in Adobe Illustrator, the design files and the .png pictures will be uploaded as well. I've also tiled the artwork files so you can print them on A4 paper.
Again feel free to use them or change them in any way you want as long as you don't sell them and mention us as a source if you (re)upload any of them (GNU public license).
What you want to pay attention to:
While designing you want to pay attention to these points:
-Will it fit where i want to put it?
-Will it still fit through my door / in my car to transport it?
-Can i fit it on a round number of MDF (or other material) sheets? (you don't want to buy a whole sheet for a few centimeters)
-Is it easy to saw out of the material i'm using?
-Did you think about the thickness of the material?
-How will I access my electronics on the inside? (we went for two big holes, both for access and cooling of the electronics and the fridge)
These are just some key things you might want to think of. It's just to save you that stupid feeling when you, for example, find out it doesn't fit through the door.