Baby Nintendo for Raspberry Pi

2015-01-03 NintendoFor those of you growing up in the 90’s like me, this 3D print will bring back some great memories! Except this is the baby version downloaded for free from Thingiverse (click here to download the STL files for yourself), designed as an enclosure for a Raspberry Pi B+.

In yesterday’s post I shared some of the details of my print settings and discoveries 3D printing this design. Since then I couldn’t resist adding some painted details to really re-create the look of the old NES console. The black was done by masking off the appropriate sections and spray painting, while the red lettering was done by hand with a fine paint brush. Can’t wait to give this to someone in my family who just got the Raspberry Pi B+ for Xmas and will love this case!

– Posted by James Novak

Raspberry Pi B+ Enclosure

2015-01-03 Raspberry PiAs promised in yesterday’s post, I’ve finished the 3D printing component of making the Raspberry Pi B+ enclosure, downloaded from Thingiverse for free (click here to get the files to print your own). Rather than using the original top half, I’ve used the remixed version with the air vents cut through the top (click here to download the separate file from Thingiverse).

The first image above shows the settings I used printing with the ‘Up! Plus 2‘ printer. Print time for the larger pieces was just over 2 hours each, with the only problem being some lifting on the ‘base’ part of the enclosure, shown in image 2. For the top of the enclosure I adjusted the print plate 0.2mm closer to the nozzle, and had no lifting problems at all. I’ve also heard of people using spray adhesives or a water-soluble glue to help hold corners of large prints down, but I really prefer not to do this if possible. Maybe the ‘top’ piece printed better simply because the plate had already reached maximum temperature after printing the ‘base’ for 2 hours? As anyone using 3D printers knows, there are so many variables!

In image 3 you can see that I’ve already spray painted the ‘base’ piece in a grey colour to match the original NES console. Now I’m just tossing up whether to go all out and paint the rest of the model to match, which I’m very tempted to do just for the fun of it! As mentioned in yesterday’s post, the custom ‘Nintendo’ logo I created and combined using MeshLab has printed perfectly, and this will get some red paint to really pop. I might also upload this part as a remix onto Thingiverse in the coming days once I’ve completed everything, giving you access to this exact design.

– Posted by James Novak

Merging STL Files

150102 NintendoOnce again I’m finding MeshLab to be a must-have tool for manipulating STL files (read my previous post about using it to reduce file sizes by clicking here).

I’ve just downloaded the files for a Raspberry Pi B+ enclosure from Thingiverse (click here to get the free files) which I’ve started printing on my ‘Up! Plus 2‘ 3D Printer. However I wanted the Nintendo logo on the lid part rather than a blank surface. Enter MeshLab.

I started with extruding the text in Solidworks (image 1), and exporting this as an STL. Any CAD package should do this for you. Both files can then be opened within MeshLab ready to combine (something that can’t be done in Solidworks). The problem with MeshLab is that there is no simple way to align multiple files, unlike Solidworks parts where you would simply ‘mate’ surfaces together. Instead you must manually rotate and move the parts into the orientations desired. Not a big problem for simple parts like this where position and alignment don’t need to be perfect, it’s just for looks (image 2). Once in position, you can right-click in the layers panel, and use the ‘Flatten Visible Layers‘ tool to combine the STL’s into a single solid. Export this new file as a STL and you’re ready to print!

Stay tuned for some photos and details as I print this part out, along with the full enclosure.

– Posted by James Novak