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DIY Raspberry Pi Gameboy

by adafruit Jul 2, 2014
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Is this actually original gameboy classic size?

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is there a 3DP 1:1 case for a gameboy

Any tips to reduce the really! harcore audio noises/distortion?

dither is already disabled..

What raspberry Pi model is this?

I never made this build but I made a 6 button build with the Raspberry Pi 2 instead. I am noticing quite a lot of latency though. Is that normal? I changed so many things that I don't know if it's me or if it's the best I can expect using GPIO and a TFT screen with emulators. I can't measure it but it's a very noticeable delay that makes SMB pretty difficult to have an appropriate reaction time. Anyone using this build having the same issues?

This is quite a complicated build! I checked the website, I cannot solder, is there an easier way to do this?

Are the Games built in?

Ok so i keep seeing these things on here (Rasbery pi) can someone tell me what they are??

Raspberry Pi is credit card sized computer.

Id like to see a version of this for the B+ or the Pi 2

I plan to redesign this thing to for the Pi 2, there is enough dead space in there for the three cell battery and the audio amplifier. Just need a midframe to hold the controller sections, instead of those kludgy standoffs. A little forethought can really bring this design forward, with the 3.5" PiTFT screen.

I would suggest two more buttons on the front, you could even replace the dpad with a small analog joystick and also I would suggest two shoulder buttons to allow lots of support :)

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R the games built-in or you have to find the cartrages yourself?

if built in are there more than one?

also is there a way to make costom games?

if any one knows message my acount.

I don't know. Are the games built in? Please reply to this so all of Thingiverse can know.

now i know, there not. you find them online by going to the retro-pie site ( http://blog.petrockblock.com/retropie/ ) and go to the list of systems ( http://blog.petrockblock.com/retropie/arcade-systems-game-consoles-and-home-computers-in-retropie/ ) and then you find the emulators of the systems you wish to play, then on Google find ROM files of the games you wish to emulate with the emulators, and then back on the retro-pie homepage,(after downloading emulators) ( http://blog.petrockblock.com/retropie/ ) find out how to put the emulators on a microsd, and there's much more detail i can go into, but i havent built one, so i dont know all that much so, go to the adafruit learning system to learn more.

would be awesome if someone update this for the b+ and possibly had printable buttons! would make this whole project so much better imo

I actually started on that. I was recreating the model in Solidworks but I switched jobs and now don't have access to SW. If it would help anyone, I can send you my incomplete file. It's missing a lot, but it could still save you a few hours.

unfortunately i dont have access or probably the skill to do something this precise. Hopefully someone can help with it! would love to give it that cleaner look and be able to print out the buttons and use tactile switches on them or something

This is great! Any plans to update for the B+?

On an episode of Adafruit Show and tell this week they briefly showed it being worked on. So i think an update is in the works currently.

hi any one know wher i get the #6-32 x 1/2' Phillips screws. and #4 x 3/8' flat Phillips screws for this link be nice

Mcmaster carr or your local hardware store

Just finished the printing the Pi Grrl on my Printrbot 1405. I had to quarter each file in meshmixer to make it fit but it ran just fine. Genetic plastic solvent from the hobby store bonded the pieces together nicely, and no glue was needed. Minimal warping when running Printrbot red PLA at 208 degrees with no fan and 20 layers raft 100% fill 20 mm/sec.

This is friggin awesome but one thing have you thought of updating it maybe with some more details from the old one (ie black cover speaker grill and indents on the bottom left hand side) now all I have to do is convince my teacher to let me use the 3Dprinter

I printed this and I thought the parts came out great, however the risers to support the Pi seem to be too tall, and not by just a little, but a whopping 3mm - I just snipped the extra off with some wire cutters and I still had enough bevel left inside them to support the screws that hold in the board, and then I was able to snap the two halves together, but until I did that there wasn't any way the two halves would have met once I added screws to hold both sides together. Did anyone else have this problem? My printer is well calibrated and I don't suspect a printing error, it was as if those supports were just not made to fit the Pi + PiTFT that I have.

I may try to alter the .stl file for the back and see if I can make some adjustments so I can print a second one with less problems than the first.

How come when I open it I get a "This file is invalid for use as the following: Certificate Trust List" ????

Just finished my PiGRRL! It was a fun build. Mad props to the design and the guide! The boot and game play is great! Found out from reading though the Cupcade that you can exit a game back to menu or safe shutdown by holding start + select for a few seconds.


  • Warping in my first print. Had to turn down the temp from 230 to 208, print slower ~20mm/s, no fan and 100% fill. When I did 20% fill with fan the top layers bubbled and made sharp crusty ridges.
  • Had a little trouble getting the switch to snap into the clip. Ended up using some pliers wrapped in cloth to get it in.
  • Brittle parts broke like the tops of the battery cage or the tip of the middle between usb/ethernet. Maybe more vertical shell would help there? I only used 2 vertical shells.

Wish list:

  • There was some screws at the top of the case to pull it together better.
  • There was a support behind the PI's GPIO pins as it was a bit of bend to the board as I connected the screen.
  • There was small speaker / amp.
  • Option to mount the PiCam below the RasPi so I could also leverage the same case/power as a camera.

Might look into remixing the design to incorporate a few of these thoughts.

I am close to finishing mine too, and I completely agree with most of your wishes (I'm ambivalent on the camera).

My biggest problems are with getting the buttons positioned correctly. Every time I think I have everything perfectly lined up and put it together, something either doesn't work or a d-pad direction requires so much force that it's nearly useless. I would actually like the see the support post for the d-pad extended a bit (maybe 2mm or so) so there isn't quite so much travel in the d-pad.

My other problem is that it seems like somehow I have my start and select buttons shorted together. From a visual inspection I really can't find any potential problem areas. Maybe I'll attack it with a multimeter, though I think all that will tell me is that they are, in fact, shorted to each other.

I had the same problem as you. I could never get the buttons just right... I think this is a cool project but it was too hackish. I want now to build the PiGRRL 2 which has a custom buttons PCB.

In the end I managed to screw up the gamepad PCB(the one cut from the SNES controller) by messing around too much with the soldering iron on it. They do warn you that these old time PCBs are not very soldering friendly.

Definitely not a beginner build. I half love it and half hate it, I built this like 2 years ago and could never get it right. Waiting for the gamepad PCB to come so I can try building the second version...

Has anyone looked at incorporating the Raspberry Pi B+? I'm trying to find a 3D model of the B+ to use in conjunction with the current case STL.


have you find the 3D model for B+ ?

This doesn't seem to slice right with Slic3r, any ideas? The top piece adds a layer that covers all the openings.

I had to run the bottom piece through Microsoft's online version of NetFabb's model repair service in order to get it to slice correctly. After that, I decided I might as well run the top too. I was able to get the repaired versions to slice just fine with Slic3r.

Has anyone tried just using an original gameboy shell?

I understand that this blueprint is for 3D Printering and all, but what are the dimensions of this? Would be easier to know to compare among objects, like smartphones.

From looking at the STL files I believe the assembled gameboy would be 148mm x 90mm x 40mm

What about the individual pieces? Since there are two pieces.

Each piece would be very similar in size to lion3's dimensions except for the "y" value. That would be cut in half because there are two parts of equal height.

Here's another upgrade idea. What if you added another switch for "standby" mode. It would cut power to the screen and also cut the ground to all the buttons. hmmm... I need to just stop brainstorming and order the electronics from Adafruit already. lol

I have an issue with the back STL. After awhile it just stops extruding and just does the motion of printing.

That's an issue with your printer or slicing, not the STL file. Look on reddit (http://www.reddit.com/r/fixmyprint)www.reddit.com/r/fixmyprint), or your printer-specific forums for help.

this is an absolutely awesome project. I wonder how much trouble it would be to modify the design and add 4 button layout instead. (yes yes, GB and GBA only had A and B buttons but RetroPi supports many more systems)

I suggejest Somme drilling

I was thinking that too... It looks really simple to do. A bit of copy-pasting the STL, and changing up the circuit a bit (If there are enough GPIO pins), and cut and wire the PCB differently. That seems about it and there looks to be enough space in the thing. I might try it...

please share if you mod the STL. Also something I've been researching is adding mono sound. This gameboy design desperately needs to include a small amp, speaker, and wheel potentiometer. Man if life was wasn't getting in the way I would already have the parts ordered and have my printer humming away.

I'l make sure to share that mod if I do it.
You can use headphones I think. Do you think you could just hack-ily attach a small speaker to the RaspPi's headphone jack?

Yeah, it'll make some sound, but not nearly enough. You really need an amplifier. (I just tried it.)

yeah, a pair of headphones would work but if you want to run a speaker I think you need a small amp to push to a speaker. Adafruit sells small stereo amp pcb's but I didn't see a mono version on their site. hmmm..

printing this now, I just realized the bolt holes? curious how the printer will print the inside top of the riser with no support? My printer prints inside perim's first.

Never mind looking at the slicer output I now see why you don't need support. Although my printer sucks at bridging so I have to have support for the holes on the sides of the case -_-

Oh YES! I'm ABSOLUTELY building one of these! I'm a huge retro games fan, and the original DMG-001 will forever be my favorite. I look forward to using this to replay my favorite pokemon games, along with the wide variety of fanmade rom hacks that now exist. Thanks for the model!

Which Pokemon games can you play on this? I thought it only did MAME and NES.

There are various emulators for GB and GBA games for raspberry pi, such as Mednafen. If there's a retro game console you can think of, there's probably a raspberry pi emulator for it, as many use Pis as emulation consoles.

NICE WORK ! the video is private, it can't be watched

Thanks! Just switched the video on, should be viewable now.