PiBoy Zero

This is a project I did in the beginning 2017.

When I was a kid, the only video game console I had was a transparent GameBoy Color. I loved it and played all kinds of games on it, all the time. Then I got older and decided to sell it. What a mistake.

A decade later I decided it’s time for some retro love. In the meantime, I have gathered some experience in 3D printing and making things with the Raspberry Pi. And I discovered this awesome software package – RetroPie, which is an emulator for all the famous old consoles, including NES, SNES and of course GameBoy.

I started out by figuring out all the parts I needed for this project and just when I wanted to start, the Raspberry Pi Zero W came out, which was absolutely perfect for me because it already has Bluetooth and WiFi built in. A few days later and the first prototype was running, and it was gorgeous. The analog TFT display I used (connected via the TV out pin) gave the whole thing a really nice retro charm, but I was not satisfied by the quality of my 3D printed casing.

After playing around some time with different designs, I came up with the idea to create a layered encasing and have each of the nine layers laser cut out of 3mm thick cottonwood. The buttons are still 3D printed, because they provide a better fit and better tactile feedback than the wooden ones. It worked out really well, but see for yourself:

For better understanding, here is the layered case design I came up with: