Nintendo Mini NES Console Created With Raspberry Pi And 3D Printing Technology

Recently, Nintendo announced its own NES Classic Mini console, and SEGA has hopped on the retro video game bandwagon by debuting its 25th Anniversary Mega Drive. Now, a Raspberry Pi enthusiast, DaftMike, used his knowledge of 3D printing technology and electronics to create his own version of the miniature console, according to Zelda Universe.

The Nintendo enthusiast gave his account when putting together his mini NES creation, deciding that he’d eventually use 3D printing technology to make the console case. With his knowledge of Linux and 3D design, he put together his very first Python program, according to his site, DaftMike.com.

The mini-NES is around 40 percent of the original classic console’s size and measures about 104 x 80 x 36-millimeters. The interesting thing about this version is it has all of the modern day technology, like the USB and HDMI ports, as well as a Micro USB for power. There’s also the MicroSD card slot for the mini Nintendo, as well.

When planning his Nintendo mini project, DaftMike knew there were different renditions of the 3D printed NES cases, but not accurately proportionate when it came to the miniaturized version of the original Nintendo. So he went straight to the horse’s mouth by bringing his old NES console out of storage and scaled down the measurements.

Apparently, the shrunken down dimensions made enough room to accommodate some of the ports. The Raspberry Pi board lined up quite nicely.

“There are loads of models on Thingiverse of NES-shaped Raspberry Pi cases. Many of them distort the NES aspect ratio, though, ending up with a kind-of super-deformed chibiNES.”

DaftMike referenced the Retropie website, which provides emulating software that can turn your Raspberry Pi into a retro gaming console. They recommend version three of the circuit board. This was his base software for the creation.

The log of his works continued as he was attempting to put together a mini version of a Nintendo cartridge, which proved to be quite challenging considering the lack of information out there. For the purpose of coding came the Arduino sketch and Python code for the Raspberry Pi.

The Nintendo case was 3D printed using Faberdashery filament, listing the “Storm Grey” color for the bottom of the NES case, “Architect’s Stone” on top, and the remaining trim in “Classic Black.” All of these took six and one-half hours to print, and this includes color changes.

This isn’t the first Raspberry Pi creation for a retro 3D printed case. People in the community shared their renditions from a “PiStation” named case for a PlayStation emulator, a “nin10do” named case, and even different versions of Nintendo Gameboys. Other types of handheld portable gaming cases were listed all on the All3DP website.

Impressed Nintendo enthusiasts may be moved by this creation to go their own direction to create an NES miniature system. There are tons of information on the internet. This technology allows people to gain an understanding of how a regular computer works at the basic level. There is also the ability to work with an open-source platform to understand the coding behind it all, which could lead to the end result of a nice retro NES console system.

In the end, this indeed improved DaftMike’s coding and 3D printing skills, as it makes for good practice even though it took longer than he’d expected. This is great work for aspiring programmers.

“I also really improved my 3D printing ability, both in CAD and the printing process itself. In the end I’m very pleased with how this project turned out. I met all of my initial goals and finished with a cool, functional piece of hardware that’s pretty unique.”

Do you think Nintendo will be okay if he attempts to sell his version? It almost looks like the spitting image of their own flash from the past retro NES Classic Mini console, which is due out on November 11 for $59.99, according to Geek.

[Image via iStock by Getty Images]