Mini NES Pi 3 Case (Customizable)

by LKM, published

Mini NES Pi 3 Case (Customizable) by LKM Nov 13, 2016

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This Raspberry Pi 3 NES case...

  • Is visually as close as possible to a real NES
  • Fits a Raspberry Pi 3
  • Has plenty of space in the case for additional parts
  • Is made in OpenSCAD and customizable
  • Is easily assembled and disassembled without screws (exception: the Pi itself is screwed to the bottom section of the case)
  • Provides simple access to all ports
  • Can be printed and assembled very easily (arguably, this one is a slight miss :-)

Please watch this video showing tips for printing, and how to assemble the pieces:

Picking a Version: Vents

There are two versions of the vents on the top part.

  • Square vents are closer to how the original NES looked, but a bit harder to print, since the height of the first layer needs to be perfect for the model's details to be visible
  • Rounded vents are easier to print, and look a bit more modern

See the "round vs square" image to see the difference.

Picking a Version: Raspberry Pi Orientation

There are three different versions of this case's top and bottom parts.

  • If you need access to all ports, and want to be able to quickly replace the MicroSD card, print the "upside down pi" versions of the top and bottom parts.
  • If you want a cleaner version of the case without the the ports in the back, print the versions of the top and bottom parts without "upside down pi" in their name; this version doesn't provide access to the MicroSD card, the ethernet port, and two of the USB ports, but the back looks a bit prettier.
  • If you want the cleanest possible case, go with the "sideways" versions of the top and bottom parts. These move HDMI, audio, and power to the back, and don't expose the SD card, Ethernet, or USB ports (although there is room inside the case to plug something into the USB ports).

If you're unsure, print the "upside down pi" versions of the top and bottom parts.


The Raspberry Pi uses M2.5 screw holes on its PCB. However, I've used M3 screws to screw the Pi in place. The reason for this is that the screws are threaded into printed plastic, so it's not possible to torque them tightly. By screwing M3 screws into the PCB's M2.5 screw holes, the screws hold the Pi in place perfectly, even if the screws aren't torqued into the printed plastic.

Having said that, you might not want to do this, since there is a chance that you might harm your Pi by screwing M3 screws into its M2.5 holes. Therefore, there's a variable in the OpenSCAD file where you can change the screw diameter the case uses. If you want to use M2.5 screws, open the OpenSCAD file, change the screw_size variable to the value you want, and render the bottom part of the case.


Unfortunately, the Thingiverse Customizer seems to be unable to render this OpenSCAD file. Therefore, to customize it, download nespi.scad and open it in OpenSCAD. This will allow you to change the text on the lid, and make some other changes to the model.

Small Build Plate

If your printer has a small build plate, and the model is too wide to fit on it, you can download the OpenSCAD file. There's a width parameter inside the file that's not visible in the Customizer. However, after you've changed the width, the inserts of the feet may overlap with the black ribbons. You can either not use feet, or just glue the feet on slightly offset, instead of inside the inserts.

Working Buttons and LED

By default, this model doesn't have working buttons, or a working LED. However, ElTacoLoco created a button and LED holder that allows you to make the LED and the buttons functional. Check it out here:


Print Settings

Printer Brand:



Original Prusa i3 MK2






200 Micron




Print all of the STLs with individual models once, except for the feet (four times) and the buttons (twice).

Print without support; the model has built-in supports that can be removed after printing. If you don't have a good part cooling fan, the built-in supports may fuse with the printed part; in this case, edit the OpenSCAD file to remove the built-in supports, or increase the margin between the supports and the printed parts.

I printed with 15% infill, 3 bottom layers, 4 top layers, 3 shells.

When printing the top part, make sure that the width of the first layer is such that you don't end up with slits between the air vents. You can do that by changing the layer width on the first layer, or changing the number of shells.

If you want your final print to look like a real NES, print each part using the color indicated in its name. For the light gray, I used E3D light gray Edge, which was the best fit for the NES's color I could find. For the dark gray, any average gray PLA should do fine.

The feet should be printed with flexible filament.


You need all of the printed parts, four M3 screws, a Pi 3, glue, and a screwdriver. Start by carefully breaking away the built-in supports for the top and bottom parts.

Note that the support pieces on the top part will actually fuse with the printed part; this is intentional, and is required in order to allow the printer to bridge the inset section.

To remove the fused parts, first carefully pull the long part like in the picture, either downward or forward

Next, use a pair of pliers to carefully pull off the smaller part. Be gentle so as not to break the printed part.

Glue the feet into the bottom part's feet inserts. Push them in all the way using a screwdriver.

glue the two buttons and the red LED to the bottom part (unless you want to use the buttons for something, in which case, don't glue them in :-).

Screw the Pi into the case. Note that this picture shows the non-upside-down version, which is most likely not what you want. For the upside-down version, flip the Pi upside-down so that the USB ports go in the back, and the SD card goes in the front.

Carefully push the top part onto the case. Again, in your case, you'll probably see the SD card through the slot, not the USB ports.

Slot the lid's left nub into the hole (we'll secure it properly in the next steps).

The two black ribbon pieces are not the same; find the one that has part of its insert cut off.

The one with the cut-off insert goes in the front. Slot it in at the bottom first, then at the top. This should secure the lid. Do the same for the ribbon in the back.

The lid should now open freely. To disassemble the case, open the lid, and use a screwdriver to pull out the top part of the front ribbon, then use the screwdriver to push out the bottom part from the inside of the case. As an optional last step, paint the text on the lid red.

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Great design! Thanks a lot for the *.scad file!

If someone is looking for the original typos, here is what I found which looks close to the original
• for "Nintendo" use the font Pretendo
• for "ENERTAINMENT SYSTEM" use the font Hemico Greek (all in capital)

But it's gonna need a small diameter nozzle............

Why isn't there a version with 2 usb ports sticking out on the front where the controllers should plug in?

What Am I doing wrong? The lid doesnt fit in the case.

FWIW - I had this same problem using the settings I normally use. After printing I watched the video again and noticed they stated they lowered the extruder width and speed of the print. I ended up cleaning up my over-extruded print with a knife and got it to work.

The model has very tight tolerances. If your first layer isn't perfect (e.g. your printer does something like this), or if you overextrude, the parts won't fit together. In that case, use a deburring tool, a knife, or a file, to fix the parts after printing them.

I'm happy to say I've made one with working buttons and led light.


I didn't print any text on the lid, I wondered if there are stickers to make it look authentic. Nintendo stickers, power, reset etc.

Mini NES Pi 3 Case (Customizable)
by stepea
Comments deleted.

Please can you tell me what brand/colour filament you used for the top part of the model in your first photo, and where you got it from? Thanks :)

I used E3D light gray Edge for the top part, and a cheap medium gray PLA for the bottom part. Check out some of the makes, people have found filaments that match the original NES very well, and have posted which filaments they used.

Comments deleted.

Ok it did it at 48 % , hit that ridge with the left extruder, 5th print, default settings for PLA, I wil take a close picture of that ridge for your comments, and it came from a fresh download..... I was printing the bottom_grey_upside_down_pi_with_fan_hole piece.

Bed was not perfectly level, that is the problem..................

Comments deleted.

I am using PLA for this model, can you recommend proper print settings I am using a Wanhao Duplicator Desktop 3D Printer and the PLA is not sticking to the bed, I am using green masking tape, and an extrusion speed of 10 mm / sec for the first layer but it is not sticking. I don't want to use a raft because I want this piece to turn out nice... Russ

It's very difficult to diagnose a problem like this without a lot more evidence. If I were you, I'd try posting it to Reddit's FixMyPrint subreddit at https://www.reddit.com/r/FixMyPrint/, and make sure to provide a lot more information (e.g. bed temperature, hotend temperature, pictures or movies of what's happening).

Comments deleted.

Thanks for the design , I am printing the bottom half now now..... I am doing the bottom half inred and the top half in green as thats the only PLA that I have access to at the moment.

Probably a stupid question, is there a way of adding a fan without making additional holes in the case. Wondered if there is a printable fan mount for the pi.

Yes, there probably are mounts that attach the fan to the pi directly, but since you want to pull air in from the outside of the case, it's probably better to just make a bigger hole in the case, and attach the fan there.

How would I rotate the pi in OpenScad if I want it upside down but with sd card to be on right side of case and hdmi and power on back. I'm trying to remix it to be similar to the Retroflag version. I'll need to edit bottom to have the 2 usb ports in front by the ribbons and a Ethernet port in back side.

Thanks for this design, I ordered this printed last week and it turned out to be very nice indeed. Especially combined with the power and reset switches that you link to in the description. Very, very cool!

Thank you, I appreciate your kind words very much!

Has anyone created a lid with Nintendo Entertainment System - like the original.

If you download the .scad file, and use OpenSCAD, you can do that yourself quite easily by changing the .scad file.

What size fan would one install in the cooling version?

The screw holes are set up for a 30mm fan.

What's the best filaments to reproduce the colours of the NES.

I used E3D light gray Edge for the top part, and a cheap medium gray PLA for the bottom part. Check out some of the makes, people have found filaments that match the original NES very well, and have posted which filaments they used.

thanks for the build/files
is there anyway we can get a sideways version with USB front ports exposed where normal NES controllers go? easy enough to source USB internal headers and wire an extension.
maybe larger vents in the bottom too?

this is the only thing that'll stop me from goin from the sideways version
cheers mate

The black clamps on this model are holding the top and bottom parts together. This means that I can't easily make holes for the USB ports through the front clamp. Doing so would require a pretty major redesign of the model.

thanks for the response mate.
i'll have a go at cutting a hole - worse that can happen is that i'd need to reprint the thing

Hi there! Awesome project mate.
I’ve downloaded all the files but can’t find the rounded vents version. Is it included in the the rar?
Many thanks

Not all possible combinations are included as STLs. You might have to use the OpenSCAD file to create your specific version if you can't find it as a prerendered STL.

All is awesome so far with my build but one issue. With the normal setup with the usb ports coming out the front i can't access the two ones on the bottom because they're blocked by the plastic. Any solve to this problem ? Greatly appreciated

There's no way to solve it. You could use them for something like a small bluetooth dongle, I guess, but you can't plug in anything with a cable.

That's a shame since i can't use 2 controllers and have my roms plugged in at the same time

You can use an USB hub, or you can print one of the versions of the case that exposes all USB ports.

Impressive model! looks so professional and fits perfect. The only thing I did not like is the second line on the lid does not look very nice.

Thanks for the kind words!

There's nothing I can do about the second line on the lid; it's just that current FDM printers aren't printing at a resolution high enough to print that line nicely. I'm sure that'll get better in the future :-)

Yeah, I guess but makes the model lid bad :P I though it was my printer settings, but tried all the settings and the fonts are never properly rendered.

Also the support of the upper part makes that seam look rough, what's wrong with the support generated by the slicer?

In any case, besides these minor glitches, the model is awesome.


Yes, that's why there's also a version of the lid without text provided :-)

And you can make your own version with your own text using the OpenSCAD file.

As for the built-in supports, you can remove them using the OpenSCAD file, as well. The reason I put them in there is that many of the sections where there are built-in supports would be printed as overhangs otherwise, and would not get automatic support from your slicer. Also, there are a bunch of odd situations where the slicer's auotmatically generated support doesn't result in an easily printable object (e.g. long narrow slices of support).

This is awesome! So, I am very new to all this. I have simplify3d, and openSCAD. If I want to customize the lid, I open it, it opens all files. How do I just customize the lid, and print just the lid? That is all I have to print now, is just the lid. Sorry for the trival question, but I have beat my head against the wall long enough now. :)

At the top of the file, there's a variable called "part". If you want to render just the lid, set this to "lid_light_gray", like this:

part = "lid_light_gray";

Thanks! That was easy! I really need to learn OpenScad. I am clueless when it comes to it.

Will this fit a Pi 2?
Sorry for the noob question :/

Thank you so much, can't wait to make one :)

Please post your make when you're done! :-)

I printed one and it looked like it came out flawless... but the top and bottom parts wont snap together, there does not appear to be any warping.... anyone else have this or a work around?

You might have to bend and push them a bit, but if the print hasn't warped, and the two parts are using the same material, so they're not shrinking unevenly, you should be able to snap them together pretty easily.

Will this fit the original raspberry pi b without any modification?

Hi, I tried the same scad file by uploading it to Thingiverse (but didn't publish) and it seems to work fine in customizer.


Maybe it's because it's a combined upload of scad and stl files? Did you mark the checkbox for customizable thing?
Of course I can publish it as a remix, but I didn't actually change anything.

Thanks for testing this!

Hm, maybe Thingiverse fixed something with its OpenSCAD renderer. I've disabled the "Customizer" checkbox because it didn't work; I'll enable it quickly and see if works now.

Edit: Nope, I'm still getting an error when I actually try to render the OpenSCAD file. Turning the Customizer off again... :-(

Only thing I can think of is that I only uploaded the scad file and no stls.

Maybe LKM can upload the customisable lid as a separate thing on thingiverse if it works when you separate the files?
If i understand correct it worked for you bjorntm when you did it? Did the rendering also work without errors?

@ElTacoLoco: The OpenSCAD file can be rendered, it just can't be rendered on Thingiverse directly. So what you have to do is:

  • Download the nespi.scad file from this thing
  • Download OpenSCAD from http://www.openscad.org
  • Open the nespi.scad file in OpenSCAD
  • Change the variables so the lid has the text you want
  • Render the lid

Now, you are correct that I could upload a .scad file to Thingiverse that contains just the lid, and Thingiverse would probably render it just fine. However, the problem is that each Thingiverse thing that is customizable can have only one .scad file, so either I'd have to remove the full nespi.scad file from this thing (I don't think that's a good idea), or create a new thing that is just the customizable lid (which may be acceptable, but is a bit confusing).

I think the simplest way to go is to just ask people to render the file locally in OpenSCAD, and hope that Thingiverse will fix the Customizer so it can render this file at some point in the future.

Well, it rendered the image but when I actually wanted to download it I got an error. Some confusion on the term 'rendering' I guess :)

That sucks :/
Let's hope that some kind soule that are good with the customizer/openscad will be kind and fix the problem or atleast present a solution on how to fix it, one can hope atleast :)

Great case, I wish I knew OpenSCAD to modify it to fit my Orange PI PC.

looks great have bottom printing now,, on the lid i tried the one that says raspberry pi ETC... and i didn't get text i got a few bumps and ideas????? in the rendering of the .stl file it clearly shows the text but upon printing i get what looks like brail,, theres nothing else wrong besides the text

What resolution and nozzle are you using?
Personally i use 0.2mm nozzle with 100nm layerheight, 0.4 nozzle works with the top row of the text but with the lower row i noticed i needed 0.2mm nozzle in order to be able to print so smal text. Also the text looks cleaner with 100-200nm layer height, takes a bit longer but worth it for the lid.

Given it's size, its so cute! I love it!

Tried printing this yesterday. Right side came out fine but the left side came out kind of swerved. Was curious if anyone had any suggestions on how to correct this? I don't know how to post images on here. :( The print didnt shift during printing (i wouldnt think) because one side came out perfect.

Can be lots of reasons but it looks like maybe it's not adhered to the bed or your belts/rods are not tight enought?
Also could maybe be overheated stepper motor drivers module or something?

Which side do you consider the "right" side, and what do you mean by "swerved"? Pictures would really help a lot; if you can't post links to pictures here, you can also try FixMyPrint on reddit.

From your description, it sounds like you might be saying that the print warped? If so, did you print using ABS? These models (particularly the top and bottom parts) are very hard to print with ABS without a heated chamber; it's very likely that they will pull off the bed during print and warp. If that's the problem you're seeing, you can try either changing to a different filament type, or make sure that the bed temp is correct, or use some kind of adhesion to make the print stick to the bed.

Ive posted a picture under the things ive made. Any help is appreciated.

I used Hatchbox PLA. I'll try and figure out a way to get a picture on here. I appreciate your help bud. :)

Definitely looks like your print is shifting somehow. Whether it's not adhered to the bed correctly or if you're using glass on your bed it's shifting, etc. Not much else will make a wavy print like that.

Yeah, it doesn't look like the print is shifting on the bed. I think that would likely produce a less regular pattern. The layers seem to shift in one direction (either x or y, depending on how the part is placed on the bed, but not both). They also don't seem to shift by clear increments, so it's probably not the belt shifting (then you'd see increments of belt notches), and it's probably not the stepper motors (then you'd see degrees of stepper motor increments). To me, it looks like something else is shifting.

The only thing I can came up with is that the grub screw on the stepper motor's belt pulley might not be properly tightened, which may cause it to shift very slightly over time, producing the kind of small, incremental layer shift.

Ok. I figured it out. For some reason, when I place the model anywhere in cura. It prints at the home location no matter what (need to figure out how to change that) but it was hitting the boundary of my print area and pushed the layers over. Thanks again for everyone's advice. :)

Ah, that's why it's shifting so smoothly! It's literally using microstepping to shift... That's a new one, I have to keep that in mind if I see something similar in the future! Congrats on figuring it out!

Comments deleted.

I'm relatively new to 3D printing and I've only printed a few STL's that required no customization, other than some scaling. However, I'd love to print this but it doesn't fit on the bed of my Monoprice Select Mini. Would anyone be able to offer some assistance in tweaking this with the OpenSCAD software so that it fits on my bed? It's so close, but just not quite big enough...

Actually, looks like someone posted this:

I printed this on a MPSM it printed fine. When you slice in Cura15, you just have to change your bed width settings to 124mm, instead of 120mm to TRICK Cura into thinking you have enough room for the model. (which you do have room if model is 120mm)

I'll give that a whirl...

My co-worker informed me of this site because of the $5 filament. But they have larger rolls and are reasonably priced.

I looked through the "Made" section, was hoping to see some of the "sideways" orientation shown but didnt see one. This would be my preferred orientation, are there any pictures of this you can show? I would prefer to run all cables in the back. Thanks!

I've got one printing that way now, I'll try and get the pictures up tonight...

Awesome, thank you!

Still a lot to do to tidy up but you can see hopefully how it looks... the hdmi and power sit a bit closer to the edge but I've got no screws atm to hold it still.
Hope this helps

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/shares/11Pc1H

Are you able to assemble it with the SD card inside? Otherwise, I might have to change the model a bit.

Yes, there's about 1-2mm clearence on the one i built :)

Can anyone recommend the best filaments to use to match the original light and dark grays of NES? I order two reels that looks good on Amazon but weren't close IRL.

I used Prima Select PLA, light grey and dark grey... They seemed a pretty good match


I'm not sure about the dark grey, but the best light grey I found is spoolWorks Light Grey Edge:

I'd love to hear what other people have found, too. It's extremely difficult to judge greys from pictures.

I used chinese no name brand for the dark gray and for the light gray i bought:

Have not tried it so far though (got the spool a few days ago so have not had time to try it out)

I printed mine in black abs and sprayed the seperate parts the "correct" (what was in ace hardware) colour.

One question though, once the locking ribbons are in place, how can you remove them again?

To disassemble the case:

  • Open the lid
  • Push up the bottom part of the front ribbon, and pull it away from the case
  • Now you can pull the top and bottom part of the case apart, and remove the front ribbon
  • Use a screw to push out the bottom part of the back ribbon
  • Take the top and bottom case parts apart, and take off the back ribbon

Case looks awesome, congrats....
Im new to all this 3D printing so im probably making a simple mistake.
Do you have any idea whats causing this to happen??
Seems to curl up, any help would be appreciated :)

Basically, this happens because the printed plastic shrinks when it cools, so which deforms the printed model, and pulls the printed layers up. There are many different parameters that affect this, so without knowing more about your printer and the filament you're using, it's impossible to say.

In general terms:

  • Some plastic shrinks more than others. ABS shrinks a lot, PLA shrinks much less, so you're more likely to have this problem with ABS than PLA.
  • Since cooling causes this effect, environment temperature matters. If you're printing in the cold garage, you're more likely to see this than if you're printing in a warm room, or if your printer has a heated build chamber.
  • Bed adhesion matters a lot. If you have a heated bed with a PEI sheet, and/or use something like 3D Lac spray, you're much less likely to get this problem than if you print straight on a plain cold glass bed.

You might want to join an online 3D printing group like FixMyPrint on reddit, and post some pictures there. Make sure to give as much information as possible (what filament you're using, how hot you're printing, what printer you have, if it has a heated build plate, what the build plate is made out of, anything else you can think of).

Thanks for the info, sorry should've thought to put printer type etc in.. :D

It's a flashforge finder using prima select pla. No heated bed on it and it's in a bedroom so fairly warm. I'll get on Reddit tomorrow and try again.

Thanks again for the reply

Such severe curling is unusual with PLA, even without a heated bed. Maybe you got a bad batch...

Make sure that your first layer sticks to the bed well. You could try applying some hairspray to improve bed adhesion.

Layer shifting (weak pegs) (Maker Select 3D Printer v2 - Monoprice)

as of late I am experiencing a problem that I believe has to do with layer shifting, thus making the inner 2 motherboard holding pegs so weak with the slightest touch they snap right off, I have been dealing with this for weeks and so far have gne to the extreme of replacing my nozzle with a Microswiss all metal hot end, replaced my extruder gear with a high quality gear, upgraded bed to glass and adjusted x & Z axis gear screws, I realize it could have to do with my Z axis but I do not see any way to adjust the screws but can and did level the height on both right and left sides.

as you can se ein this photo I "Tried" to incorporate the button holder right in to the design but they broke off too


today upon observing the design up-close in Cura however it noticed it "looks like" there are layer shifts in the design.

can anyone else confirm or deny this please ?

It's driving e crazy.

Looking at the picture you've posted, there seems to be pretty severe underextrusion in some areas of the print. This makes layer adhesion weak, and is what causes the pegs to break off. My initial guess would have been that you have a partially clogged nozzle, but given that you have replaced the nozzle, this is probably not the culprit.

Looking at where in the print the underextrusion occurs, one guess I have is that you are retracting too much. So when the extruder moves across the model from one printed area to another, and starts extruding again, there's no or too little plastic coming out the nozzle initially. This could explain why you have underextrusion on the pegs and the button holder, but not in other areas. Take a look at the button holder. The bottom part looks okay, but the section with the smaller protruding bits, where the extruder travels and presumably retracts filament, have broken off. That points to retraction being a possible reason for these issues.

So right now, looking at the picture you've sent, I would check this first. Turn off coasting, turn off retraction, and see if the problem is still there. You don't want to do actual prints with these turned off entirely, but in order to diagnose the problem, I'd just turn them off and see if the problem goes away.

Another possible culprit could be temperature. Since the underextrusion is inconsistent, you might have temperature fluctuation. If the temperature goes too low, your printer might not be able to push out plastic fast enough. This explanation does not seem to be consistent with where in the model the underextrusion is happening, but it's a possible explanation. Check if your filament diameter is consistent (though that's unlikely to be the issue). Check that the filament is feeding into the printer to the extruder easily (preferably through a PTFE tube). Is your extruder clicking, or grinding the filament? If so, try decreasing printing speed, and the extruder tension. What's the speed you're printing at?

The STL files don't have any layers, Cura generates the tool path from the STLs, and thus generates the layers. So there can't be any missing layers in the STLs. My guess is that the STLs or Cura aren't the issue, but if you're seeing something odd in Cura, can you post a picture of what you're seeing?

Thank you for this n1 video. Good work. I can not wait to put my PI in such a smart housing.
Thanks a lot.

Thank you for your kind words!

How big is this case? Wondering because i want to make it on a friend's 3D printer but don't know if it will fit. His is 120x120x120.

I printed this on a MPSM it printed fine. When you slice in Cura15, you just have to change your bed width settings to 124mm, instead of 120mm to TRICK Cura into thinking you have enough room for the model. (which you do have room if model is 120mm)

The case is around 120×100mm, so it might just barely fit. Worth a try, I guess.

That´s to small.

Contact me. I print it cheap for you.

Any chance we can get an updated model to accommodate a WD PiDrive next to it?

Hi, did you make it? would love to do it

I’ve made the original but haven’t tried to modify it to include a PiDrive

There's a chance :-)

I've been trying to pick up a PiDrive, but haven't seen them for sale anywhere nearby. The OpenSCAD file for this case is available, so if you have a PiDrive, you're free to make changes to the case to accommodate it, and publish your version of the case.

Awesome! Love the design and would take my Pi project to the next level :)I wouldnt even know where to begin trying to edit it in OpenSCAD im new to it all

PLA or ABS? pro's vs Cons for Either?

I used PLA and E3D Edge, but you can use whatever works best for you. Due to ABS shrinkage, using both ABS and PLA for different parts might make the case slightly difficult to assemble, though.

First of all: Great print. It looks amazing. Unfortunately i destroyed one pi 3 with it.
Reason: I printed the upside down version with the USB ports in the back. Unfortunately, the socket on the left front is very close to an IC and ripped it off the board while tightening the screws. Take care near the sockets!

Really sorry about that! I can see how this can happen. I've updated the model to add a bit of clearance around the IC so this won't happen to other people.

Thank you for letting me know, and again, apologies for destroying your Pi 3!

If anyone is interested, this is how i got the led and buttons to work on mine with a basic button/led holder.

Button and led holder for Mini NES Pi 3 Case

If anyone is interested this is how I implemented ELTacoLoco's Button holder and set it up using Recalbox.


so recalbox is a fancy version of something like retropie?

Amazing! Thank you for posting this!

Thank you for the awesome work with the case.

Anyone who's made this - have you made the button functional with Power / Restart, and added a LED to the Pi with the given space?

Yes i did one yesterday and made a basic button/led holder: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2011955

Button and led holder for Mini NES Pi 3 Case

Would this wiring configuration and script be functional/usable with a retropie setup?

If you check my guide http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2011955 there are a link in the instruction to a guide for the power button, it's for normal debian release but works perfect with retropi cause it's also based on debian, i have tried everything in my guide on retropi.

Button and led holder for Mini NES Pi 3 Case

Although I can not ascertain for sure, I do not believe so. as the script has to be invoked and perform the proper operations.

Please bear in mind however there are hardware alternatives that will work with any configuration for reset and Power LED but...NO POWER ON/OFF

The Pi3 has two contacts that can be used for a hard reset button that will work at any time


And you could use Pins 1 (3V) and 6(Ground) of the GPIO for a permanent LED light


There are multiple different ways to achieve this. You could probably get the button to work as a power button by gluing a switch behind one of the buttons. You can find tutorials on the Internet on how to wire it, and how to set up the software.

Another option would be to use something like the Powerblok PCB. Here's a remixed version of the bottom part of the case that supports the Powerblock board: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2005086

(Could you kindly delete the duplicate comments? Thingiverse has had some issues lately where it pretended that comments weren't posted when they really were.)

Remixed Pi 3 NES case bottom with Powerblock

Anyone who's made this - have you made the button functional with Power / Restart, and added a LED to the Pi with the given space?

Anyone who's made this - have you made the button functional with Power / Restart, and added a LED to the Pi with the given space?

I was able to download and print this successfully (thanks!), but your installation instructions say to use M3 hardware. The drawings of the RaspberryPi say 4x M2.5 mounting holes, drilled to 2.75mm+/-0.05. Not sure how you were able to use M3 hardware? I definitely can't thread mine into the board (but it does drop into the printed piece just fine).

You're right, the Raspberry Pi board has M2.5 mounting holes. There's a problem, though: when you're attaching a Pi to a printed part, and use M2.5 screws, you'll have to torque the screws a bit to attach the Pi securely; otherwise, the screws can wiggle in the mounting holes. However, if you try to torque screws on a printed part, you're likely to strip the threads you made in the plastic.

By using M3 screws, they hold on really securely to the Pi, without any wiggling, and you won't have to torque them to attach the Pi in a fixed position. Just loosely screwing them into the plastic will be enough to hold the Pi in place.

Getting the screws into the board never turned out to be an issue for me. Admittedly, using M3 screws in M2.5 mounting holes is a bit idiosyncratic, and now that I know that it causes problems for people, I'll probably change it... In the meantime, you can change the OpenSCAD file and print your part again, or just fill the holes in the printed part with something that makes M2.5 screws fit.

I have this issue as well. My board is 2.5 and the holes are M3. I don't feel modifying the PI holes when I can print a new piece.

I've added a variable to the OpenSCAD file where you can change the screw diameter. Change the screw_size variable to the value you want, and render the bottom part of the case.

Thanks. Will definitely help others. I ended modifying it by hand, but better to have a variable.

After grabbing an allen wrench and spending some time on it, I was able to get them threaded through the board, it just took more torque than I could do free hand. It feels sturdy and M3 are more readily available to me, maybe just a note for future prints to be aware of it, but not necessarily alarmed by it. (Sorry about all those duplicate comments).

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How can I adapt this to use a Pi B (the one with composite video)?

You'll have to change the position of the nubs that support the Pi, and the position of the cutouts for the port in the case. Since I don't have a Pi B, I really can't offer much more help than that.

For non-upside-down version how does the RPi 3 fit with the Micro SD card installed? I just finished the print but cant install the RPi 3 if the card is installed.


Dang, I'm really sorry, I just noticed that there's a problem with the STL I've uploaded. There should be a little notch in the back of the bottom part that makes space for the SD card, but it's not in the uploaded STL. I've just fixed and uploaded it, so if you download bottom_dark_gray.stl again, you'll get the correct version.

Sorry for screwing up your print!

No worries at all my friend. Print is just fine, I cut a small notch in it by hand and have been enjoying it ever since. Very pleased with this creation of yours.

Thanks again for sharing it.

Glad to hear that, and thanks for letting me know about the problem with the STL!

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Just printed out the whole model on my makerbot. The bar underneath the lid on the top portion always breaks where the front ribbon attaches. The wall it connects to is extremely thin. I could glue it back, but I don't think it will hold. Do you have any suggestions?

This is basically a single-extrusion wall. I've never had one break, but I can see how that might happen. I'll have to take a look at the model, and see if I can make it thicker.

You are right, it is only a single wall. If you add a few 2-3 layers going back, even with the bump in the back for the ribbon clip, it should hold. However, you would need to adjust the lip on the bottom half by removing a few walls to make up for the tops increased depth. Does that make sense? Lol. I really need to learn how to do 3D modeling.

Yeah, I know exactly what you mean :-)

I made pretty much exactly that change yesterday, and printed it out overnight. I'm going to make some adjustments and print it out again tonight, so if all goes well, I'll upload the improved versions tomorrow.

Awesome, thank you!!!

I've uploaded the new OpenSCAD file and STLs. Can you take a look and see how that works for you?

The new files worked great! A lot more sturdy. I have another quick question for you, I tried removing the "entertainment system" text on the lid using customizer because it's not legible on my prints. However, I keep getting an error message as the file is being created.

The Customizer is broken for this model, unfortunately. I'm trying to figure out what the problem is, but so far, no luck. You can download OpenSCAD and open the nespi.scad file directly. There are two variables at the top of the file, logo_top and logo_bottom. You can change the text on the lid there.

I've also uploaded an STL of the lid without any text. If that's what you want, you can just download lid_light_gray_no_text.stl.

Thanks! I'll give it a try and let you know!

if you are planning on making this front facing with a raspberry pi3 while it looks great, your ethernet port and 2 USB ports are actually blocked by the front trim piece. its a tough situation thought because the PI must be located where it is so that you have access to the side panel hdmi and power.

There are three different versions of the model. The default model blocks the ethernet port and two USB ports, but the upside-down version makes all ports available. Check out the "Picking a Version: Raspberry Pi Orientation" section in the description.

Yeah I think I missed that initially! Really nice design though!

Does the Customizer work? I have not been able to change the text on the lid. Am I doing it wrong? I select the Lid, change the 'Raspberry Pi' text and delete the 'Entertainment System' text and I just get errors. Any help would be much appreciated.

Love the Part, I am a big fan, would just like to change the text....

Unfortunately, the customizer is broken for this model at the moment. It works fine in OpenSCAD itself, so I don't know what the issue is. I'll try to figure it out, but in the meantime, the way to customize it is:

  • Download the OpenSCAD file from the Thing Files section
  • Download OpenSCAD from www.openscad.org
  • Open the OpenSCAD file in OpenSCAD and change the variables at the beginning of the file
  • Render the file, and export as STL

Sorry for the inconvenience.

no worries,

I tried that first, but when I render it and export it to an STL file, only the bottom is exported in the nespi.stl file.

I bet it is something I am not doing in the OpenSCAD program - I have never used it before.

-Thanks again

At the very beginning of the file, there's a variable called "part". If you put "everything" as its value, all of the parts should be rendered. Let me know if that works!

Worked like a charm - thanks so much....

I can not wrap my head around how you created this in open.scad. I'm blown away! Excellent job! I'm printing now in anticipation of my first RetroPie build.

Thank you very much for your kinds words!

Sorry I'm very new.
Is a flexion extruder necessary for the flexible filament feet? Which one specifically? Is there a certain nozzle too?
What is the model/size of fan you use in your youtube video?

Is a flexion extruder necessary for the flexible filament feet?

No. A lot of extruders print flexible filaments. Also, there are different kinds of flexible filaments, so if your extruder isn't great at printing flexible filaments, it might still work with one of the less flexible options.

However, if you want predictable, consistent results, using an extruder that was specifically made for flexible filaments makes sense.

Which one specifically? Is there a certain nozzle too?

I'm using this extruder for flexible filaments: https://flexionextruder.com

I'm using a coated Micro-Swiss 0.4mm nozzle.

But neither of these things are necessary. Chances are that your printer already prints at least semi-flexible filament reasonably well.

What is the model/size of fan you use in your youtube video?

The fan in the video is a normal 12V 30mm fan, but I'm actually not using a fan in my own Mini-NES. I just used it to show where you would put the fan if you wanted one.

Thank you! Brilliant project. Can't wait to try it out.

Let me know how it goes!

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Just printed the top upside version and the support plate for the front was stuck together in the left side. It ended up breaking when I tried to pull it off. Can you modify it so it's a thinner support plate in the left side. Also one of the holes to mount the lid was sealed up. It was the right side of the print

Just printed the top upside version and the support plate for the front was stuck together in the left side.

This is intentional. The printer has to bridge, so there has to be something it can bridge to. To achieve this, the support plate actually connects to the printed part. You'll have to be careful when removing the support parts; I should probably add an explanation on how best to remove them to the print instructions.

(I've now updated the instructions to explain how to pull off the fused support parts, and I've added a video that shows how to remove the support.)

Also one of the holes to mount the lid was sealed up. It was the right side of the print

The actual hole is mostly in the black ribbon, not in the top part, so once you put everything together, it should work.

Great design, LKM. I'm sending to print the upside down version next week. Does the Pi 3 need a cooler to work properly inside the case? Can the case house a 30x30mm cooler?

Thank you!

So far, I haven't needed any active cooling myself, but I can't make any promises. It's possible that you'll need a fan, depending on what the Pi is doing.

There's definitely plenty of space for a 30mm fan inside the case, but I'm not sure where the best way to place it would be. It might actually make sense to change the model slightly to better control the air flow, but since I haven't needed to put a fan in my case so far, this is likely not something I'll be working on any time soon.

Without making any changes to the case, it might work to put the fan sideways in the right-hand side of the case, so that it pulls air up the bottom left and pushes it out the top right (or vice-versa).

Thanks for the quick reply. I intend to use the Pi with RetroPie and would love if it could run some PSX or N64 games.

I agree with you about the sideways position of the fan. However, and easy solution in the model would be to copy some of the bottom slits from the right side and place the fan directly under the Pi.

I would try with the sideways fan first. How do you recommend to fix it to the bottom part?

Can't comment on PSX and N64. I've mainly used it for older systems, so it's possible that these newer systems could be an issue.

Yeah, putting the fan directly under the Pi is probably the best approach. I've added this as an option in the OpenSCAD file. If you go to the Customizer and show the bottom part, and then switch to 30mm fan in the Raspberry Pi tab, you'll see the fan position, opening below the fan, and screw inserts. Was that what you were thinking?

BTW, how are you going to power the fan?

I was thinking exactly that, LKM. I'm new to the Pi universe, so maybe I'm wrong, but I would use the 5V out of the Pi to power the fan.

It's great that you already made the modification to house the fan. Maybe I can print that and then make the test with the fan and comment about how everything works.

Thanks for all the support.

Yeah, please let me know how it goes!

I'm sorry, I see the option for the fan housing, but can't get to generate the .stl.

Is there any chance that you can upload it? Thanks.

For some reason, the Customizer doesn't want to render the file. The easiest solution is to download OpenSCAD from http://www.openscad.org, download the OpenSCAD file from the Thing Files section, and render it locally on your computer. If you can't get it to work, send me a message with your email address and the settings you want, and I'll send you the STLs.

Love this NES! sadly is just a few mm too large for the M3D,

I've added a width parameter to the OpenSCAD file, but:

  • It's not accessible via the Customizer, so you'll have to download the OpenSCAD file and make the change locally
  • After you've changed the width, the inserts of the feet may overlap with the black ribbons. You can either not use feet, or just glue the feet on slightly offset, instead of inside the inserts

Your build plate is 109mm x 113mm, right? Sounds like you'd need about 10mm off the width, too...

Nice work! This is the best NES pi case ive seen on here, but It's too big to fit on my Monoprice Select Mini's print bed :( Any chance you could do one thats 110mm wide?

The model is currently 120mm wide, and there's plenty of space inside, so it would be possible to cut 10mm off the sides. However, that would mean that the proportions wouldn't be correct anymore, so I'd also have to shave about 10% off the other dimensions, which means that the Pi wouldn't fit inside anymore. I could turn the Pi around so it's inside the case sideways, but then the lid would be useless, and you wouldn't have access to the SD card anymore. And all of these changes would require changing things like the vent holes, the ribbons, the size of the lid, and so on.

So there's no simple way to take 10mm off the current model.

Making a smaller version with the Pi sideways would be an interesting project, and I might take a stab at it, but it's unfortunately not something I'll be able to do with a few quick changes to the current model.

If you want to have a go at it, feel free to use my OpenSCAD file as a starting point, it's licensed under the Creative Commons - Public Domain Dedication license, so you're free to do with it whatever you want.

I totally understand. Wasn't sure how difficult it would be. I disabled my skirt, and giving it a go. It hits the limits of my bed, but think it may just make it.

If that didn't work out, I've added a width parameter to the OpenSCAD file, but:

  • It's not accessible via the Customizer, so you'll have to download the OpenSCAD file and make the change locally
  • After you've changed the width, the inserts of the feet may overlap with the black ribbons. You can either not use feet, or just glue the feet on slightly offset, instead of inside the inserts

Let me know how it goes!

Can you modify the top so the Pi mounts with the power and HDMI ports coming out the back?

Do you still want access to usb and ethernet as well?

As long as I can plug in the adaptors I use, Wifi, keyboard and wireless controller, I should be ok. If I need access to the SD I'll just pop it open.

I've uploaded "sideways" versions of the top and bottom parts. Power, audio and HDMI come out the back in this version, Pi needs to be inserted upside-down.

Question about PICADE ^^
U did it (if yes, you have plans blueprint ?) ? U buy it (if yes where ?) ?
Thks u ^^

I bought the kit when they did the Kickstarter. You can buy the current version here: