Wouldn’t it be nice to sit back and relax while a 3D printer churns out a video game console or a stylish controller?
It sounds unrealistic to say the least – but this seemingly futuristic production process is already happening!
We’re not talking about Xbox One’s and PS4’s being produced en masse – but rather, about retro gaming and innovative peripherals making a return thanks to 3D printing.
Courtesy of Adafruit, a New-York based outfit that incorporates 3D printing in certain products, the open-source community has received a major boost.
3D Printed Game Boy
In collaboration with the ground-breaking Raspberry Pi, 3D printing now boasts the quarter-century old Game boy in its arsenal. Created by Adafruit, Raspberry Pi – easily mistaken for a small motherboard – is actually a mini-computer you can plug into your TV or keyboard.
Capable of smooth emulation, all the Raspberry Pi requires to transform into a Game boy is a few hours of dedication and the necessary components. The video below directs viewers to a user-friendly assembly guide.
Once its assembled, all that’s left is to download your favorite old school games, (in ‘ROM‘ format) upload them onto the SD card and begin button bashing.
Broken buttons on your new Game Boy after hours of playing? Malta 3D Printing has you covered!
Sure, a Game Boy isn’t a revolutionary product that’s going to change the world, but it definitely highlights 3D printing’s versatility. It can easily take devices that are decades old and breathe fresh life into them.
3D Printed Guitar/Controller
Adafruit once again provides the cornerstone of this 3D printed guitar, in the form of Bluefruit EZ-key. This nifty Bluetooth device allows users to turn any game-pad – or DIY project like the EZ-Key MIDI Guitar – into a fully functioning controller.
Besides looking totally awesome, the EZ-Key MIDI Guitar is multifunctional – serving either as a MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) instrument, DJ controller or a regular video game controller.
You could customize your own case in a material you desire, without worrying about 3D printing, but where’s the fun in that?
Printed in four separate pieces, this project is not for an amateur technician.
However, should you have the time, tools and patience available at your disposal, this guitar will definitely turn heads.
You can upload data from your musical masterpieces on the web, or quench your thirst for superficial crowd approval on Guitar Hero. You can even make playing everyday video games extremely challenging, by attempting to use it as a normal controller!
All 10 buttons are customizable, and there’s even a mic inside the casing which allows the LED lights to change depending on sound levels.
Our favourite product from today’s post is the Portaberry Pi, another DIY project that uses Raspberry Pi.
Unveiled on 3DPrintBoard‘s online forum by a dedicated hobbyist, Portaberry Pi is the result of dozens of unselfish man hours aimed at providing gaming aficionados with a new toy to play with.
It may not be as recognizable as the Game Boy, a symbol of gaming culture – but it’s certainly easy on the eye and definitely captures the retro gaming feeling.
Recently featured on LifeHacker, the Portaberry Pi has been described as a “fantastic retro game machine,” and the best part about it – the files are all available for free on Thingiverse.
One can only hope that this mentality continues to proliferate throughout society, allowing people with technical know-how to share their knowledge and wisdom with others.