Introduction: How to Build Your Own Claw Game Structure

I, along with many other people, have childhood memories of walking into a movie theater, grocery store, or arcade and seeing a large glass box filled with toys. There was always that one toy either buried or perched right on top that I wanted. All I had to do was get some money from my parents and move the claw over the toy and press the button. In my childish innocence, it seemed so simple.

However, as many of you can probably guess, I soon found out I was wrong. It was nearly impossible to grab any toy, let alone the one I wanted.

Since I have such "fond" memories of the claw game, I decided that I wanted to have one of my own, and give everyone else the power to create their own.

Since I have a background in FPGA design I decided to turn the Basys 3, a Digilent FPGA, into the brain of one of these devices.

This Instructable goes over the steps and files to create the acrylic enclosure for the claw game. First you'll need to cut and 3D print the pieces, then you'll assemble the structure.

Being that this is such a big project, I’m going to be making Instructables for each piece, and putting them into one collection. You can view this collection and the Instructables that I’ve created thus far in The Claw.

If you are interested in my journey of the claw game, more about why I made it, or where it is going go to the Digilent Blog.

Step 1: Gather Materials

What Materials you'll need:

- 7 .25" x 36" x 24" Sheets of Cast Acrylic

This is a link where you can order the sheets with no extra fuss. How ever to save money you can order a larger sheet from eplastics and have them cut them down to size

- 1 Pack of 3/4" (length) Pan Head Screws (100 pieces)

You are going to use 56 of these so don't freak out when you end up with extras

- 1 Pack of 1" (length) Pan Head Screws (100 pieces)

You only need 8 of these but they only come in packs of 100

- 1 Pack of 1/4" (width) Square Nuts (100 pieces)

You are going to use 56 of these so don't freak out when you end up with extras

- 1 Nexys 4 DDR or Basys 3

- 1 arcade button

- 1 PmodJSTK

- 1 PmodJSTK Bracket (File in step 3)

-1 3D printed JSTK (optional) (File in step 3)

- 1 3D printed Prize Buffer (optional) (File in step 3)

What Tools You'll Need:

- Laser Cutter

- 3D Printer

- Screw Driver

Step 2: Cut the Panels

The first step is to cut the panels of acrylic into the various pieces of the Claw Game Enclosure. To do this we used a laser cutter that is capable of cutting 2 foot by 3 foot acrylic sheets. The dxf files are attached in this step as well as PNG versions of the cut lines.

Step 3: Print the 3D Printed Pieces

Print the Joystick, optional if you want a larger joystick, ramp, 4 standoffs, and the joystick bracket.

The STL files are attached to this step. You can view all the files for the entire claw game, on Repables.

Note: The repable link contains 3D print files for the entire claw game assembly. For the Acrylic assembly you will only need the 4 I attached in this step. The other files will be used in the next instructable.

Step 4: Note the Screw Assembly

All of the pieces are attached in the same way. there are holes for the 3/4" screws that match up with holes in the adjoining piece for the screw and nut.

First put the square nut into the hole parallel to the edge.

Then put the screw in the circular hole.

Then push the two pieces together forming a corner and screw the screw into the nut.

Note: All acrylic assembly will use the 3/4" screws.

Step 5: Attach the Button and Joystick

Obtain the smaller piece from "claw machine sheet 1".

Using the 1" screws and square nuts attach the Nexys 4 DDR or Basys 3 as shown.

Using the 1" screws and square nuts, attach the PmodJSTK as shown also using the PmodJSTK bracket.

Unscrew and attach the arcade button.

Step 6: Form the Box for the Control Panel

Obtain the smaller piece with an angled side from "claw machine sheet 2", the same angled piece from "claw machine sheet 7", and the smaller piece from "claw machine sheet 3".

Using the screws, square nuts and screw assembly procedure from step 3, attach the 3 new pieces and piece from the previous step to form a box as shown.

Step 7: Finish the Control Panel

Obtain the remaining smaller rectangular piece from "Claw Machine Sheet 7."

Attach this piece to the front of the control panel box from the previous step. Use the screws and the screw assembly from step 3.

Step 8: The Finished Control Box

The finished control box should look like the image in this step.

Step 9: Build the Prize Container

Now we are going to begin the assembly of the larger box.

Obtain the two remaining smaller pieces from "claw machine sheet 2."

Put the two sheets together locking the longer side with the tabs in with the longer side with the holes as shown to form a corner.

Attach them with the screw assembly shown in step 3.

Step 10: Attach the Prize Buffer

Obtain the large piece from "claw machine sheet 2".

To make sure the prizes don't fall hard and break we added a 3D printed ramp.

Attach this with two screws as shown.

Step 11: Attach the Bottom and Prize Chute

Obtain the prize container you built in step 8.

Attach the prize container to the bottom piece from the previous step so the prize buffer is enclosed.

Secure using the screw assembly from step 3.

Step 12: Create the Prize Platform

Obtain the only piece cut from claw machine sheet 4. Attach the four 3D printed cylinder stands.

Step 13: Attach 2 of the Sides and Claw Track Support

Obtain the two side panels from "claw machine sheet 5" and "claw machine sheet 6", and the top support from "claw machine sheet 7".

Attach the two side panels to the bottom sheet and top support as shown.

Secure using the screw procedure from step 3.

Step 14: Attach the Front and Back

Obtain the front panel from "claw machine sheet 3." Obtain the back panel from "claw machine sheet 1."

Attach the front so that the larger hole is in front of the prize shoot. Secure using the screw procedure from step 3.

Attach the back panel and secure using the screw procedure from step 3.

Step 15: Hang the Control Box on the Large Box

Hang the control box you finished in step 7 on the large enclosure you just finished. There are holes in the front panel for the control box to hang off.

Step 16: The Built Claw Machine Enclosure

Congratulations! You've now finished the Acrylic Claw Machine Enclosure.

If you haven't already visit the claw machine collection where I will be continually adding more Instructables on the various parts of the claw machine.

The next step is to build the track that the claw machine will move around on.

Big or Small Challenge

Participated in the
Big or Small Challenge

3D Printing Contest 2016

Participated in the
3D Printing Contest 2016

Gaming Contest

Participated in the
Gaming Contest