Building a Retro Raspberry Pi Console

Introduction: Building a Retro Raspberry Pi Console

This instructable provided by the EXLAB at Georgia State University,

Using the supplies below, plus some tools found at the EXLAB, you can build a Retro Raspberry Pi console within a couple of days.

This instructable will explain how to:

  • Use Fusion 360.
  • Use objects from the real world in your CAD models.
  • Design a project in Fusion from Start to Finish.
  • Use EXLAB's tools to fabricate your project.
  • Assemble your final product.
  • Where to find resources to install RetroPie on Raspberry Pi.

Supplies

Building a Raspberry Pi console will require the following:

  • A Raspberry Pi: This tutorial uses a Raspberry Pi 3B+
  • An HDMI and MicroUSB cable: This is used to plug into an interface for the console.
  • A Computer with Autodesk Fusion 360 on it: This is used to design the console.
  • A 3D printer/Slicer: The EXLAB at Georgia State University provides 3D Printers and 3D Printer OS to slice the file we will create in this tutorial.
  • A Download of RetroPi: This will allow your Raspberry Pi to run retro games.

Step 1: Step 1: Downloading Fusion 360

The link to download Autodesk Fusion 360:

https://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/overview

Step 2: Step 2: Setting Up Your Project

Link to GrabCad to download the STEP reference file for the Raspberry Pi 3b+:

https://grabcad.com/library/raspberry-pi-3-reference-design-model-b-rpi-raspberrypi-raspberry-pi-1/details?folder_id=3899995

Step 3: Basics in Fusion

This video gives you the basics of Fusion 360 and how to build the base for your project.

Step 4: Building Walls for Your Case

This video adds walls to your base from the last video, along with explaining extrusions from a previously made body.

Step 5: Mounting the Pi

In this video, I bring in the imported cad file of the Raspberry Pi and add mounts to the case so that it can properly be assembled when printed.

Step 6: Making the Cover for the Case

In this video, I explain how to build the cover for the console plus some other details for assembly.

Step 7: Finishing the CAD Model

This video goes into making final touchups and adding better detail to your console. This is the conclusion for the CAD design portion of this instructable.

Step 8: Creating Step File for Slicing

To 3D print anything from Fusion 360, you need to export a step file. To do this select the component you want to print, in this case, the base, and navigate to the tools in the tab bar at the top of Fusion. Then click on "Make", then 3d print.

On the right side, it will say "Ok" and ask if you want to Send To 3d Print Utility if you have a slicer and plan to print outside of the EXLAB at Georgia State then click this option, if not just hit "Ok", and Fusion will save an STL file to your computer.

Step 9: Printing at the EXLAB: Optional*

The EXLAB at Georgia State University provides 3D Printers and a cloud-based slicer for students and staff. If you would like the ability to print at one of our locations, stop by and ask the front desk to be added to the iCollege introductory course.

3D Printer OS allows you to upload your exported STL to the cloud and print at one of the EXLAB locations. When uploaded try using a moderate amount of infill (10%) and a 1-2mm layer height in order to conserve filament. Then queue the print.

Step 10: Downloading and Installing RetroPi

https://retropie.org.uk/docs/Manual-Installation/

RetroPie's instructions for downloading and installing on top of Raspberry Pie are shown in the link above. The site gives you suggestions for ROMs or different installation methods. Keep in mind that during this installation you will need to plug in the Pi into a mouse, keyboard, and a monitor, to be able to get the software loaded onto it. The RetroPi manual requires simple usage of the terminal in Linux that is easily accessed.

*Note this tutorial assumes you have Raspian installed on your Pi prior to the RetroPie installation.

Step 11: Final Assembly

To assemble your Retro Pie Console, carefully place the Raspberry Pi console with Retro Pie installed, onto the case that you have just printed. Then run the HDMI and Micro-USB cables into the holes in the case. Then cover the top and you are done with assembly.

Note*: This is the prototype model shown in photos, the one made in the videos will be posted later due to a shortage of plastic caused by the COVID-19 Outbreak.

Step 12: Done!

These are some photos of the final product of the Retro Pie Console's case and its components. Installing this with a TV is very simple with an HDMI cable. The controllers are easily plugged in using the USB ports at the front. Indicator lights or start buttons can also be added by simple electronic components or drilling modifications to the case. The console is fun to play on and fits in most places. Its also a great first project to get into computer-aided design and working with Raspberry Pis.

Note*: This is the prototype model shown in photos, the one made in the videos will be posted later due to a shortage of plastic caused by the COVID-19 Outbreak.

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