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portaberrypi Portaberry Pi: A 3D Printed Raspberry Pi Portable Gaming System

The Raspberry Pi has seen its fair share of uses and cases. Mike Barretta has really pulled off a perfect implementation of the cheap little computer. Called the PortaBerry Pi, this neat little handheld can emulate up to 15 different systems allowing you to play a multitude of your favorite games.

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The core of the system is a 512 MB Raspberry Pi Model B. Attached to that is a Teensy 2.0, handling all the buttons and joysticks. There is a 4.5 inch LCD as well as 2 tiny speakers. The entire thing runs for roughly 2 to 3 hours on a 9.6 volt NiMh battery pack. This is all encased in a custom designed 3D printed enclosure, which Mike has shared if you’d like to print your own. Mike says that all together he spent about 20 hours printing out the various pieces.

Constructing this gaming system was a fairly lengthy and complex process, but luckily, pictures were taken and notes written down along the way. Here is a gallery of more than 120 images of the thing being built.

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When asked about the major hurdles that he experienced making this, he explained that the print size really pushed the limits of his printer. Not only that, but having so many interconnecting pieces meant that little calibration errors on his printer caused more delays than he had expected.

On the topic of future improvements, Mike had several thoughts:

  • Remove the split control layout so that all controls can fit on a single PCB
  • Solder all connections directly to the Raspberry Pi and remove the now unnecessary connectors. This would allow him to reduce the size of the whole unit.
  • Use Lithium Ion batteries instead of the heavy NiMh that he is using now.
  • Make all connections with much lighter gauge wire to avoid such a space consuming mess.

Frankly, I can’t wait to see what Mike comes up with next. I know I’ll be keeping an eye on him!

Caleb Kraft

Community Editor for Make:
I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity of the masses! My favorite thing in the world is sharing the hard work of a maker.

I’d always love to hear about what you’re making, so send me an email any time at [email protected]


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