Introduction: Raspi Retrogaming Console Casing

This little device is the ultimate multi-consoles emulator, it consists into a Raspberry Pi 2 with RetroPie or any other distribution that allows you to play these old games you forgot about but will love to re-discover.

You've seen a lot of these Raspberry-powered consoles but no casing that matched your style ?

Here is my own design that i hope you will like, it is also very fun to build.

The white part is 3D printed and the wooden housing is steam bent. This particular woodworking technique requires to pay attention to what you are doing, but gives you these amazing round edges that look straigth from the 70's.

WARNING : here i won't be talking about how to install the program you need on the raspi to get it to emulate your favourite games, since TechTipsta will teach you better than me.

/!\ this intrusctable is not finished yet, please be gentle in the comments section, i am still working on it and will edit it very soon with more details, thank you.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

For this project you are going to need a large variety of tools and materials.

For the wooden housing :
- 6 sheets 0.8x250x95 mm ( the dimension 95 may be exceeded based on the sheets you are able to find at your local woodstore, you will cut it out after the piece is shaped )
- 6 sheets 0.8x120x95 mm
- A wood piece that is minimum 40x120x95 mm and some other scraps that you will use to prevent the clamps from damaging your piece.
- white glue ( 250ml shall do )
- A 30mm drill
- metal saw ( the cuts will have to be very delicate )
- A wood rasp and some sanding paper, 80 and 120
- 2 clamps that will open more than 15 cm
- 4 little adhesive foots, prefer transparent and at least 5mm tall

For the plastic part :
- a 3D printer and some PLA the colour you like

- 2 M3x12 screws, the head doesn't matter

- 4 M3x16 screws

Hardware :
- Raspberry Pi model 2

- A USB hub with the exact same layout, or you'll need to modify the plastic case.
- A 30 mm fan with a 2 plug connector
- A 5V 2000 mA alimentation ( 2A is a minimum, otherwise the fan will cause the pi not to start )
- A wi-fi dongle ( not necessary but very handy to transfer your games to the Pi )
- A class 10 micro SD card, 8Go is cool, but this depends on the amout of games you want to have in the console at one time.
- HDMI cable
- Any USB gamepad
- A bluetooth dongle is cool if you want to use bluetooth gamepads

Once you have all of these, you can get started !
I advise that you start with the print of the plastic part so that you can control the fit of the wooden housing while making it.

Step 2: Print the Plastic Part

Go to a FabLab, ask a friend that owns a 3D printer, use your own, or go to 3Dhubs to get the part printed.

You can download it from here.

If you want a good finish, you can use some metal filler on the front surface, this will help your part match the wooden housing better.

There is a FreeCAD version of the design that you can download, if you own another USB hub that doesn't match this design, if you do so, please let me know so that i can add a link to your design and make this project grow a little.

The features you need to edit are called USB Hub holes, Grid element and Grid.

Step 3: Cut Out the Mold

Before bending your wood housing, you will a mold to bend the wood on, because you wońt be able to acheive such a precise shape without it.

The technical drawing of the piece will help you.

The important dimension here is 120mm +- 1mm is acceptable, after you cut the wooden piece that length, control with a set square that you angles are correct.
Then trace the 15mm round angles on the corners and rasp them off, give the mold a smooth finish with your sanding paper, this will prevent your part from sticking to the mold.

Step 4: Steam It, Bend It.

This is the fun part. You are going to bend sheets of wood into one plywood elegant housing for your console !

First, boil some water while getting your 6 0.8x250x95 sheets wet, use a pot as large as possible, the more steam, the softer will you wood be.
I suggest before laying the sheets on the mold you start to feel their resistance, you might break one but that´s no big deal, you won´t make that mistake twice.

Once your water is boiling you can steam your sheets one at a time and do your lay up, the process is :
Sheet-glue-sheet-glue...sheet, do not hesitate to be generous with the glue, it´ll soak out.

/!\ To prevent the glue to go through the sheets and make the part stick to the mold ( yes, this happens ! ) you can use baking paper beetween your piece and the different parts of the mold, the glue won't stick to it.
Clamp this vertically, gently bend the sides and clamp them just as well.

Let this dry for AT LEAST one day, the whole thing needs to be dry before you unmold it, or the shape will be lost. While waiting you can get your software to work, using the link in the intro and some patience.

Step 5: Making the Lower Wood Plate and Assembling the Wooden Housing

Lay the 6 8x120x95 sheets together, and let the glue dry under a clamp, just like you did for the curved piece, but this time, there's no need for steam since the part is flat.

Once this piece is dry, release the clamps and drill the holes for the fan and assembly screw, be as precise as possible, this hole needs to align with the fan's mount in the plastic part, if you have already printed it, check before drilling.

After the holes are drilled, glue the two wooden parts together using a clamp. Make sure the two pieces are positionned accurately : that is to say the plastic part gently slides in and out.

Once this has dryed the hardest part is done. Sand it, and give it some varnish to make it shine ;)

Step 6: Assemble the Hardware Into the Plastic Part

This is the easy part, get a small file to correct the print defects and make everything fit, the right procedure is :

- Insert the USB hub
- Put the fan over its hole and screw it tight so that it doesn't shake, if you are able to find little rubber washers, they can prevent the thing from shaking as well.
- Insert your Raspberry Pi and screw it in place. Connect the fan to the GPIO of the Pi according to the image and test the whole thing : if the pi is powered and the fan doesn't spin, you need to invert the connector.

- Plug your SD card, Wi Fi and bluetooth dongle into the Pi, slide the plastic part in and put screw the whole thing together.

Once this is all assembled and your software is ok you can finally PLAY A GAME !

Step 7: YOU DID IT !

If you had fun doing this instructable or shall you have any suggestion about a part that was unclear, please leave a comment !

Thank you for reading, admire your work and have a wonderful day !