π64 (mini N64 RetroPie case)

by elhuff, published

π64 (mini N64 RetroPie case) by elhuff Mar 1, 2017
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UPDATE: 3/15/2018
Per request, I have added a version of the memory expansion lid with the letters removed.

UPDATE: 5/16/2017
Stemming from KyleARectors idea to use the game cartridge to house a cooling fan, I have added a new game cartridge to the build files that is designed for a 30mm x 30mm x ≤10mm fan to mount onto the bottom. I designed it to fit the Raspberry Pi fan sold by Adafruit (https://www.adafruit.com/product/3368) but any fan of the same size will fit. The mounting holes are sized for M2.5 screws.

UPDATE: 4/3/2017
I didn't realize that the link to the microSD extension was actually the wrong extension cable.
My apologies to everyone who bought the wrong cable because of my mistake. The link listed below is now the correct one.

Inspired by all of the brilliant RetroPie cases out there, I decided to create a new one based on my favorite video game console from my childhood. I give you the π64!

First off I must give credit where it is due.
• Bruno Amaral created an excellent model from which I started. You can find it here: https://grabcad.com/library/nintendo-64-console-1
• Thanks to my friend Andrew Holt for printing the parts for me on his FlashForge Dreamer.
• Thanks to my friend Jared Larsen for doing the soldering.

I wanted this to look and function as close to the original as possible. The case is built to house a Raspberry Pi 3 model B. Since the original N64 console has a door on top to access the expansion memory I made this the access for the microSD slot with the use of an extension cable. It has a functioning reset button and the power switch has a slot to accommodate a switch although I decided not to put one in my case. To use a reset switch a small amount of soldering does need to be performed on the PI. The original N64 console has a red power LED on the front. Rather than wiring in an LED I experimented with a fiber optic line that pipes the light from the power or processor or both LEDs to the front of the console. The light pipe idea works surprisingly well. I am quite satisfied with the results over all.
If you’re not into games you can always use your Raspberry Pi as a Kodi media player or anything else you like.

Required parts:

• 3D printed parts shown above (If you want to print the case in the proper colors I recommend the following filaments or you can print them in white and paint them like I did. All model units are in millimeters.)
For the console: Dark Grey filament from 3DPrima, http://www.3dprima.com/en/filaments-for-3d-printers/pla-175mm/primaselect-pla-175mm-750-g-dark-grey.html.
For the game cartridge and controller ports: Earl Grey filament from Faberdashery, http://www.faberdashery.co.uk/products-page/print-materials/earl-grey/

• Raspberry Pi 3 model B with power cord and video cable

• 8GB microSD card with software installed, https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/noobs/, https://retropie.org.uk/download/

• 7, M2.5 screws 6mm long (#3 1/4in long screws will also work)

• Super glue

Optional parts:

For relocating microSD port:
• MicroSD extension cable, http://www.ebay.com/itm/TF-To-Micro-SD-TF-Flex-Zip-Extension-Cable-Adapter-for-GPS-DVD-Mobile-Phone-TW/131878023354?_trksid=p2045573.c100505.m3226&_trkparms=aid%3D555014%26algo%3DPL.DEFAULT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D41451%26meid%3Da58424d4c10747dc8454a0a44f50975f%26pid%3D100505%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26 (remove the casing from the port end)

For installing a reset switch:
• A standard PC reset switch, http://www.ebay.com/itm/ATX-PC-Computer-Motherboard-Power-Cable-Switch-On-Off-Reset-Computer-Replacement-/360774703348?hash=item53ffd918f4:g:TWkAAOSwnDZT~faO
• A 2 pin male header soldered into the holes labeled “run” on the Pi board, http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Harwin/M20-9990246/?qs=Jph8NoUxIfWjw4WmyRvzag%3D%3D&gclid=CPLXg-zOhtICFRKRfgodGTsFUg (you can swipe one from any old computer motherboard)

For piping the LEDs to the front of the case:
• A short length of 1.8mm clear plastic cord, http://www.michaels.com/stretch-magic-bead-jewelry-cord-1.8mm-x-3m/10315671.html#q=bead+cord&pmpt=qualifying&sz=24&start=25

For installing a power switch:
• I’m afraid you’re on your own, but I did leave a cutout for a switch.

For the console and game labels:
• Print the included PDF at 100% scale. Labels look best when printed on photo paper.
• Thanks to "bobotrax" for creating the alternate game label.

Enjoy building your own!

Check out my other 3D print projects on my Shapeways page, https://www.shapeways.com/shops/optimal-inceptions

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Hello, awesome model. Got 90% of it done so far. Could you possibly make a second version of the memory expansion lid without the text on it? I was going to try myself in Tinkercad to fill it in, but with all the curves I don't think I have the skills to do it.

Sure. I should be able to get that done within the next day or so.

Can't seem to be able to download all files...

That has happened before. Try downloading each file individually.

Hello, any alternative sources for the filament color? I'm not seeing this color come up on any common filament resources. No one seems to have a grey this dark for some odd reason.

I haven't been able to find any other sources for that color. I printed mine in white and then painted it.

Hey, thanks for your model. Is it possible to print all parts without any support material? I tried to print the bottom part and only the feed start at level one. The "inner part printing" always starts in air. Thank you in advance

Unfortunately no it is not possible to print without support material.

Ok, thanks for your fast response. I tried it yesterday with support printing and it worked fine. The model is nicely made. The only parts I dont like that much are the small controller plugs. Is there a reason why the outter lay isn't flat shaped?

As you can think, I am new to this hole 3D printing. But it works really good so far.

I will post the printed pi64 when I am finish

I tried to stick as close as I could to the original N64 console. I'm excited to see how yours turns out.

Comments deleted.

[email protected]

si quiere ponerse en contacto conmigo le dejo mi email


hola eres todo un artista
mis felicitaciones
me gustaría preguntarte
si seria posible que hiciese el diseño de la consola sega master system 2 para raspberry pi 3
me encanta esa consola y no la encuentro adaptada para la raspberry
le estaría muy agradecido
un abrazo

I am a CAD designer and engineer and made this case for fun in my spare time. As far as designing things by request, I am open to that but it would be on a paid basis. If you're interested in that feel free to email me [email protected]

its nice I just wish the proportions were more accurate. the arch in the top is to low, the separation line is down to far, the feet are to big which throws off the controller port spacing. tried to modify it to be more accurate but at this point it would be easier to just remake it lol. still relay nice though.

Does this not download for anyone else?

Other people have had the same problem and I have reported it to Thingiverse, but apparently they still have not fixed it. Sometimes clicking on the files individually will allow you to download them. If that doesn't work, message me your email address and I will send them to you.

Comments deleted.

With the fan cartridge how exactly does the fan mount on it and fits in the case ?

The game cartridge has to be installed into the top of the case first then the fan mounts to the cartridge diagonally. Since I can't put pictures here in the comments section, I added a picture of the fan installed to the other pictures in the description.

How did you print the top part of the case? Did you use the support material underneath and then scooped it out ? My printer or slicer has problems with support material as it is nearly impossible to get rid of it all so i'd like to keep it to minimal.. Any suggestions ?

For the top of the case I had to flip it over so the inside was facing up, and consequently had to clean off support material from the outside of the case and do some sanding to get it to look decent.

brilliant thing!
(only a little ironic that a Pi can't emulate an N64 well... a few games excepted)

My Pi 3 runs N64 smash bros and Super Mario 64 60 fps after some fiddling with the emulator. There's a couple of things you can do including adding frame skips and installing some tools that help in a lower resolution.

For anyone curious about implementing a power button, this is a good resource for using GPIO 5/6: https://raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/13203/creating-halt-wake-button

I'm going to try implementing it with a sliding ON/OFF switch, which will probably require modifying the on/off button and the slot.

Regarding a fan, what about hollowing out the game cartridge and using it for a fan duct? The fan could be mounted to the back of the cartridge. Not super aesthetically pleasing, but at least it would be on the back side and keep the size small. Maybe a fan like this: http://a.co/3dc1tB0

Please do let me know if you modify the stl for a slide switch as I myself am not really good in modelling and such and would still be very interested in that modification

I didn't end up needing to change the model! I used this switch: http://www.frys.com/product/1945881

I mounted it to the bottom of the power slot with 2 tiny screws, and the slot provides just enough room to actuate the slider back and forth. You could possibly grind down the end of the slot a little to make it easier, but you can get away with using the standard model.

I used a little epoxy (I would probably use a less permanent adhesive in the future) to stick the power button on top of the sliding switch where I wanted it.

The cool thing about the linked switch is that it has 2 independent contacts for each slider position. You can use one set to perform the power options on the Pi, and the other set to run power to your fan. In that way, when the Pi is turned off, your fan will be also! Before that mod, my fan ran whenever the Pi had power, regardless of if it was on or off.

Those are good ideas. I will work on that fan.

Looks great, thanks for modeling it!

I've printed the top of the case, and will be printing the rest today and tomorrow. I hope to assemble this weekend.

Right on. Let me know how it turns out.

Thank you for sending my wife the files! She is super happy to begin printing it.

No problem. Just a word of advice. Print the top of the case either inverted so the inside is facing up or use a material that has a low risk of warping. I first printed it right side up in ABS and it warped badly.

This set of files is still doing it. Not Downloading...

I have contacted Thingiverse about this issue. Try downloading each file individually by clicking on each one, or email me at [email protected] and I will send them to you.

I've tried downloading these files from 3 different computers on different networks and they won't download.

That is very odd. I don't know of anyone else having problems downloading them. If you message me your email I will send them to you.

I'm having the same issue here. Macbook Pro, when I click the link it says downloading but nothing happens. Successfully downloaded dozens of thingiverse files without issue until this one. I don't see how to contact you via email so I'm not sure what to do. Really want to try this case though, it looks incredible. Thank you.

Please report the issue to Thingiverse as it is surely a problem with their site.
Email me at [email protected] and I'll send you the files.

do you think there is room for a fan in the case?

integrating a fan is currently being worked on. The paints I used were just common craft paint that mixed to get suitable colors.

It worked today. Any chance you can link the paints you used? Thanks!

Hey, i realy like the idea, but unfortunately my pi runs hot if we play mario kart in 4 player ;-)
can you please also provide the CAD files (solidworks or similar?) so i can add a fan mount?

Salut, vraiment chouette, je suis entrain d'en imprimer une.
Tu pourrais donner les sources des étiquettes je ne mettrai pas Retropie mais Recalbox dessus et j'aimerais garder le concept de Πintendo.
Merci, vraiment une belle conception.

Hi, really nice, I'm trying to print one.
You could give the sources of the labels I will not put Retropie but Recalbox on and I would like to keep the concept of Πintendo.
Thank you, really a beautiful design.

I added the Microsoft Publisher file that I created the labels in. Is that what you were looking for?

Le logo Πintendo en 3D c'est toi qui la dessiné ?
J'ai fait une étiquette pour Recalbox :
Si tu pouvais l'ajouter à ton projet ça devrais servir à d'autres.
Encore merci pour ton partage.

The logo Πintendo in 3D is you who drew it?
I made a label for Recalbox:
If you could add it to your project it should be useful to others.
Thank you again for sharing.

Thank you for the alternate game label! That is pretty cool. I added it to the files.
Yes, the logo was completely my idea. Just for fun I have added the print file for the logo as well.

Merci pour l'étiquette de jeu alternatif! C'est très cool. Je l'ai ajouté aux fichiers.
Oui, le logo était complètement mon idée. Juste pour le plaisir, j'ai ajouté le fichier d'impression pour le logo ainsi.

i love the SD card slot location on this case nice attention to detail

Is anyone interested in purchasing the parts for this in a kit which would include everything except the printed parts and the RaspberryPi?

yes. What would the price be?

The kit would be around $15.