Vectrex Cartridge Case

by CNK, published

Vectrex Cartridge Case by CNK Feb 11, 2013

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Been sitting on this for a while, but now it's finally out:

A printable cartridge case for the Vectrex video game console.

The standard "Bottom" model is based on the design of the cartridge case used for the game "Rip Off" (ie. the black case in the images). The "Big Board Pins" version is based on the case of Richard Hutchinson's VecMulti flash cart (PCB shown in the last image). Note the "Rip Off" cartridge does fit in the "Big Board Pins" case.

Update, 23rd of May 2018:

I've added a couple of new case top designs ("switch hole") to suit one of the custom-programmed Vectrex cartridges that I have for sale at:

The hole in the top allows access to the game selector switch on the quad game cartridge.

I've also now tested the captive nut arrangement with the cart pictured and it seems to work well, though the nut had to be pressed in with some force using pliers.

Update, 7th of May 2017:

On request, I've made a new version of the top to suit securing the halves together using a captuve nut arrangement. It's sized to suit a 3mm nut and bolt, 1/8th inch might also work. A 25mm long bolt had to be cut down to 22mm so that it wouldn't stick out too far. "Top,_captive_nut.stl"

In response to another request, I also made a version with a hole for access to the SD card slot of the VecMulti multicart. "Top,_SD_Card_Slot.stl"

Finally, there's a version of the top with both of these modifications. "Top,_SD_Card_Slot,_captive_nut.stl"

I haven't tried printing any of these new versions myself yet, so print at your own risk.

I don't know if all original games are in "Rip Off" like cases or what other designs are out there. Also, this is very much a printable version of the cartridge case, not a very true representation of the original.

The text file is the measurements I made (mainly using a small ruler). The fact that the case works is little indication of the accuracy of these figures and in any case I doubt my strange terminology will make any sense to most sane people. Still it's up there just in case it's helpful.

I designed the models in an old program called Pro/Desktop that was a cut down version of Pro/Engineer (which is now called Creo, I think). The ".des" files are my design files in this program's custom format.

The prints pictured were made with a Makerbot Cupcake CNC. Yep, not everyone's moved on.

Oh, and sorry about the pictures, my digital camera is terrible.

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Depending on what you want the case to house, choose between the standard bottom and the "Big Board Pins" version. Then do whatever witchcraft you do to turn 3D models into funnily shaped lumps of plastic. I can just manage it without a raft (using a heated build platform, though that's probably a given nowadays).

After your usual print clean up routine, the two halves should fit together. Now I drill out the screw hole with a suitable drill bit, though if your printer is more precise, you might have a good enough hole already (I've broken cases with the screw when I didn't pre-drill though, so be warned). Then plop in your cartridge PCB (again, you might need to reshape some of the lugs if your printer isn't all that precise) and screw the case together, I use 20mm long 4G (=~3mm, I think) Wood Screws but other sizes might be better.

Wack the cart in the side of your Vectrex and revel in the wonder of vector video gaming. You might find the case is a bit tighter in the cartridge slot than the originals, but it should work fine (I always thought the originals were a bit loose anyway).

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Any chance you could make a modified top? i would love to see one where there is a notch so you could access the SD Card in Richard's multicart

Done: "Top,_SD_Card_Slot.stl"

I love Vectrex! Thanks so much for making this!

I made this for a friend and it came out really well.. Can I offer one suggestion

Rather than have a 'tube' for the screw to tap into.. Why not put a recessed 'hex' on the bottom side for a nut? So you could put a threaded (2.5 or 3mm) screw right through and then have a captive nut on the other side?


That's a good idea, I'll do it when I get the chance. Might be a while though, I've got a few free time projects lined up at the moment, though this should be a quick one.


I finally got around to it, the new version is "Top,_captive_nut.stl". Hopefully I made the recess for the nut the right size.

Dear CNK

nice 3d model We're also vectrex enthusiasts but we got a problem with the controller the whole casing is beaten up. Think you could help out the community by making a 3d model of the controller housing? because the controllers are very expensive and rare this could also open up possibilities for mods etc.

Kind regards multiple vectrex enthusiasts

I thought about doing that about the time I designed this cartridge case. The problem is that to open a Vectrex controller you need to pull off the plastic label with the logo and button markings on it, and I didn't want to make a mess of my only controller to see what was inside. Also, my old Makerbot Cupcake is a bit small for that sort of thing.

Maybe I'll give it a go if I ever come across a ratty looking Vectrex controller.

I miss the Vectrex. It was a great system. I wasted countless hours playing MindStorm with friends. I don't believe I've put in as many hours on a game since then... (Yeah, I'm an old fart...)

How cool! I have a Vectrex with all the games, including some that are just bare ROM cards. Time to get printing!