I proudly present my fully working wooden Super Nintendo Entertainment Systems. Before I posted my manual how to build a wooden Super Nintendo Gamepad and now it is time to show you how to build the console. The wooden case is made out of multiple sheets of plywood, stacked and glued together. In the following steps I will show you how to prepare the files for lasercutting, what electronics you need, how to join everything and how to glaze and finish the console.
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Step 1: Preparing Parts and Tools
Raspberry Pi (A, A+, B, B+, 2, Zero, or 3) - for best performance use a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+
Cable hookups (to get all the hookups from raspberry to the outer case)
PC or Mac
Safe Shutdown Raspberry Python Script
Step 2: Lasercutting Files for the Case
First I tried to build the case out of a sliced 3D file, which I wanted to sand down later to get a smooth surface. But because of time issues regarding a tradeshow where I wanted to present my whole system, I decided to make a simpler version to get finished in time. You may proceed with the original plan so I post both ways of building it.
The 3D files sliced
I started with a 3D file of a Super Nintendo System, you can build one by yourself or get a stl file from the web, for example:
Now you have to slice off the solid object into multiple sheets, which are later stacked on top of each other to build the case. I use Slicer for Fusion 360 from Autodesk which you can get here:
First import your stl file. Then choose the object size, the dimensions are about: 240x200x70 mm, just choose one dimension with fixed ratio.
Now select “stacked slices” for the construction technique. I choosed a 90° angle to the bottom as slicing direction. But you can also try a parallel direction but then you get a lot more sheets. After checking the preview for errors you can now export the files. To avoid problems with stacking the parts on top in the right position, I placed a rack with a square in the middle which has the same position on every part. Later I used a square pipe to stack every part together in the right position. Don’t forget to place suiting openings for the extension plugs and the shutdown button into the case. Also think about an opening plate on the bottom of the case for modifications in the future.
The simple Version (which I finished)
I took 3 different parts from the sliced SNES and transformed them into simple shapes. Then I multiplied them to get a shape almost like the SNES. I simplified the air openings for a clean look. After adding the openings for the usb hub I made two extra files for the buttons and the cover for the usb hub hookups.
Step 3: Lasercutting
Now make your file ready for lasercutting, this means you have to make the right line colour and thickness settings fitting to your lasercutter. The same for the lasercutter settings, choose power, speed and resolution depending on the lasercutter and the material which you use. I used a Trotec Speedy 400 (80 Watt) from the makerlab called “Happylab” in Vienna! Big Shout out to them, thanks for the service and the great community! One notice at this point, I glazed my plywood for the top parts before lasercutting to get a nice engraving which would be overpainted by glazing the wood after the engraving. But there are different methods, you can also fill up the engraving with colour and sand the wood to get a coloured engraving.
Step 4: Glueing
Use a standard wood glue to put part by part together. To keep everything in the right position, use the square pipe and run it into the parts. After glueing almost all, except the bottom and top part, together you can cut the rack away with a little saw. After this you can glue the bottom and the top part to the other parts.
Step 5: Painting / Glazing
At this step I just went on with the simple version of the console.
Now it is up to you what colour or look you prefer. Raw poplar plywood look has its own charm but you can easy get a classier look by just colouring up the thing. I used two different glaze types. But I already glazed the wood parts before I lasercutted them. You may produce a few of the wooden top parts and try out what paint or glaze gives the best look for you. I did the painting after the cutting and engraving but I think it is in some case easier to do the painting before cutting.
Step 6: Electronic Components
The heart of the console is the raspberry piwhich acts as an emulator. There is an All-In-One System out there which is called “Retropie”. See more details at chapter “software”.
In order to connect up to 4 gamepads you need an usb hub, I choosed a flexible on with 4 wires like this:
You can also use a solid one but then you have to increase the gap for the hookups. I prefer this one because it is the smallest solution.
You also need an audio jack, Micro USB and an HDMI connection. To get the connections mounted in the case I bought extension cables. You can also build you own extensions with wire and plugs soldered together.
The Raspberry Pi needs a shutdown routine before you should disconnect it from the power supply. You can do this within the Retropie menu by choosing “shutdown system” or you can write a python script and connect a push button to the Raspberry Pi. You find a detailed instruction at chapter “software”.
Step 7: Wedding
Now it’s time to put everything together. Placethe extension cable plugs into the openings of the case and glue them in place. Do the same with the usb hub plugs. Connect the other side of the extension to the raspberry and place it in the middle of the case. Screw the bottom plate onto the case. In the end I placed a simple push button into the case. The small wooden button is glued on top of the button.
Step 8: Software
As mentioned, I used Raspbian and Retropie as OS.
“RetroPie sits on top of a full OS, you can install it on an existing Raspbian, or start with the RetroPie image and add additional software later. It's up to you.”
Shut Down Button for Raspberry Pi
Step 9: Conclusion
In the end I was very happy with the result of the Super Wood Entertainment System. I discarded the other solution, but maybe some of you will give it a try! Now the Super Wood Entertainment System is complete, the gamepad and the console. The full joy of wood and retro gaming! There is a wireless gamepad in the making. I will upload some picture when it is ready!
Thanks to all my supporters and happy remaking!
Participated in the
Game Life Contest