Im a truly 90’s Kid and grew up with all those Consoles from the past. Since i had some Parts laying around and wanted to build some Cool Case to run those Arcade Games from it was no question to Print it out of my 3D Printer.
You can use the Bartop Completly without additional Controller or Displays. If you have a Powerbank, run it from that to have it portable. For best Experience i recommend to use a Bluetooth Controller (8BitDo or Playstation Controller will work fine). Additionally you can Plug in the Pi to a bigger Screen with the optional HDMIout Backplate.
The Printing of the Parts will take some time, but every Part should Fit a Standard Prusa or Printers with same Build Volume. The Parts are designed to Print with several MultiColor Techniques. Feel free to choose your favourite one.
Now Have fun to Build your own cool Arcade Machine. If you have any Questions or Tips, feel free to Contact me.
Bill of Material
1x Raspberry Pi (3B+/4B 4GB)
1x MicroSD Card (at least 64GB)
1x USB-C/Micro-USB PowerSupply (Official Raspberry Pi recommended)
1x Official Raspberry Pi 7″ Touch Display
1x Picade X Hat (Pimoroni) or DIY
1x Arcade Parts Kit (Pimoroni)
or 1x Retro Joystick + 10X Arcade Buttons (2xBlue/2xYellow/2xRed/4xBlack)
1x Set of Cables (eq Pimoroni Wiring Loom) or DIY
1x On/Off Button (with or without integrated LED)
1x 3″ Speaker 4Ω (5W) (Pimoroni)
1x 30x30x10 Fan 5V
1x Raspberry Pi Camera Cable – 30cm (for the Display)
1x Micro-HDMI to HDMI Cable (For External Display) (Amazon)
x Bluetooth Gamepads (8BitDo tested)
Some Bolts,Nuts and Stuff:
28x M3 Threaded Inserts (M3x5/M3x6)
36x M3 Allen Bolts SocketCap (M3x6/M3x8)
4x M3 Allen Bolts SocketCap (M3x20)
12x M3 Washers
8x M3 Nuts
LED-Strip or Neopixel Bars to Put behind the FrameBar for Cool Effects
1-1,5 Kg for the Complete Build (depends on Print Settings)
Recommended Print Settings:
0.2mm Layer Height
20% – 30% Infill
2 Perimeter or more
Supports needed for some Parts
PLA Filament works fine
Step 1: SD-Card Preparations
Before we start to assemble our Case, we need to prepare our SD Card with Retropie and Configure Wifi and SSH.
First download the appropriate Image from https://retropie.org.uk/download/ depending on your Pi-Model
Now Download your favourite Program to write the Image to the Micro-SD Card.
For Windows: Raspberry Pi Imager, Etcher, or Win32DiskImager
Win32DiskImager requires an .img file extracted from the .img.gz image downloaded.
You can use a program like 7zip to do this.
For macOS: Raspberry Pi Imager, Etcher, Apple Pi Baker, or the dd command
For Linux: Raspberry Pi Imager, Etcher, or the dd command
MacOS/Linux users can optionally extract the .img image from the downloaded .img.gz
by using gunzip (macOS users can also simply double-click it)
For Wifi use:
Create a file called wpa_supplicant.conf in the boot partition using the following template. (This will be moved at boot to the /etc/wpa_supplicant directory). Replace the Country with yours.
# RETROPIE CONFIG START
# RETROPIE CONFIG END
Make sure to include the RETROPIE CONFIG lines as shown in the Template to ensure that the RetroPie-Setup wifi configuration module will be able to cleanly edit/delete your configuration if you wish to change it later.
Wifi will not start up if you have an hard wired ethernet connection. After disconnecting the ethernet cable you’ll need to reboot to get Wifi started.
If you want to enable ssh by default as well, you can create a blank file called ssh in the boot partition too. This is a ‘flag’ file and will be deleted during boot after ssh is enabled.
When everything is finished, you can unload the Micro-SD Card from your Computer and put it into your Raspberry Pi.
Step 2: Prepare Printed Parts With Insert Nuts
Before we start with the Assembly its neccessary to prepare our Printed Parts with the threaded inserts. So ist time to fire up your solder iron and get those Inserts melted in.
We need the following Parts prepared:
Do not hurry on those steps, as the Tolerances are very tight and you will get in Trouble if the Inserts are not Lined Up correctly. Especially on the Display_Top Part.
Step 3: Buttons, Speaker, Joystick
For this Step we need all the Panels (If you chose the HDMI Backplate, we are going to prepare this as well) and the Button_Joystick Part. The Buttons have a tight fit and do not clip in fully, in Case you wonder. The Tight fit is enough to hold them in place.
If you printed out the HDMI Backplate you have to prepare the micro HDMI to HDMI Cable First. Take some sandpaper and sand down the sides if ist too tight. Just a small amount on both sides.
Step 4: Raspberry Pi Placement
In this Step we are going to put on our Raspberry and the Picade Hat X. Dont forget the Fan to cool down the Pi. This is essential because the Pi is getting really hot when emulation 3D Games.
Before screwing the Pi onto the Baseplate, gently screw in those M3 screws through the Pi. The Pi comes with M2.5 screws, so we have to widen them to fit M3 screws.
!!! Be very careful in this step as it can Damage your Raspberry Pi !!!
After the Raspberry Pi was tight-fit in place we put in the Micro-SD Card and Plug-In the Display Cable. After this step we can Put on our Picade X Hat. If you Have some Cooler on the Pi (Recommended) dont push the HAT too much onto the GPIO Panel as the Board may collide with the Cooler. Leave a 1mm gap between those. Kapton- or Isolation Tape is also Recommended to Prevent a Short.
When everything is in Place, we can Clip in our Fan. To prevent it from Falling off, we support it with a drop of SuperGlue. Check the AirFlow before placing the Fan onto the Drop of SuperGlue
Step 5: Display Part
To Prepare our Display, we need 4 M3 Screws and 4 Washers. Optionally 8 Neodym Magnets if you want to hold the Display in the Case when ist not tight fit.
Put in the Display so the USB port is looking to the Right.
Screw in the Screws with some washers. Add more Washers if your Screws are longer, so you dont damage the screen. Dont tighten them. Adjust the Display so it fits and then tighten one screw after the other.
If you need the Magnets, just glue them into the holes. Watch out for the right direction
Step 6: Put All Together
After we prepared all our Parts needed, ist time to assemble everything.
First start with the Backplate and the Side Panels. Screw in all the Bottom Screws.
Do not overtighten.
In Case you want HDMI output, plug in the micro-hdmi cable into port 0 (Labeled with HDMI0)
Before we place our other parts, we should connect the Buttons to the Picade x Hat.
Take the 4x Pair Cable from the Wiring Loom Kit and connect the Buttons to the correct Plugs on the Picade (Utility Header).
Also Plug in the Power-Button. Be aware to Polarity of the LED if you have a button with LED.
Step 7: Power Cabling
As we need to Power the Fan and our Display. Its Recommended to build a Y-Cable for this. Take some Jumper Wires and solder them together. If you planning to power the Lights for the Light Frame without extra micro-Controller, Add an additional Pair to the Y-Cable.
The Male Wires go into the Picade Hat and connects to the Fan. The Female connects to the Display Board (if you want a direct connect, leave this Female Cable longer)
Step 8: Display Top Part and Light Frame
Now its time to Put on the Display_Top Part. If you want some Lights for the Sign (you WANT that!! 😊 ) its time to prepare it with your favorite LED Strip or LED-Bar…
Attach the Strip with some 3M Tape or Double-Sided Tape. Leave the Cable long enough and put some JST-Connectors on it for a clean cabling.
At the Moment of this Manual, i used some ATTiny USB to power the Lights. Feel free to use any MicroController you want or Connect your Strip through the Hack-Header on the Picade X Hat. If you are Planning this, you need a Y-Cable with an additional Cable (1 IN 3 OUT)
When the LEDs are in Place its time to marry the Part with our Prebuild Base.
Screw in the 6 M3 Screws to stabilize. Tight the Screws when all are in Place so you can adjust a little bit. Its important that the insert nuts are placed very well.
Step 9: Joystick and Button Part
Halfway done. Grab the Joystick and Button Part an lay it upside down, so you can connect the cables easily. First connect the Joystick Cable and mark the GND Cable. (its the nearest one to the joystick).Then Connect the Buttons one after the other. Build yourself some ordering (not recommended for the mapping, but its better and easier to be clean)
Now we have to connect the cables to our Picade Hat. If its too difficult to plug them into the headers, take off the Display_Top Part. Connect the Cables like its printed on the Picade Hat.
Check the GND Pin on the Joystick Part.
Put back on the Top Part in case you removed it.
Grab the display cable and the power cable through the Hole for the Display. Attach the Joystick_Button part. Leave the screws aside, in Case you have to change the Pin Order of the Cables.
Step 10: Connect the Display and Cleanup
Take the Display Part and connect the Flat-Cable to the Display. The Pin Header should be showing towards you. Connect the Power Cable to the Pin-Header (GND and 5v)
Now push in the Display into the Case. Start on the Top and take care of the cables not to slip in between. Then push fit on the bottom. If its too lose use the neodymium magnets to hold the Display in Place (Glue 4 Magnets on the Display_Top Part. The positions are marked.).
Now just push in the Light-Sign and we are Ready to go. If you see some Light shining through the Case, slide in the optional „Light-Tunnel“ Part (Best Printed in Black Filament) to Prevent Light Bleeding.
If the Part is too loose. Take some SuperGlue (not much in case you have to detach it.)
In the Last step, screw on the PacMan Cover to the Backplate