Tag Archives: Arcades

3D Printing and the Arcade Machine

So here is a bit of an interesting problem that I was able to solve with the help of Hacker Lab’s 3D printer.

So as I posted earlier, I’ve been working on an homebrew arcade machine and had to scrounge quite a bit of parts for that cause. It turns out that one of the Joysticks i managed to lay my hands on was missing a vital component, the plastic actuator that engages the microswitches on the bottom of the stick assembly.

Now, I had one good joystick with all the components and the other which was missing this plastic part. (Technically, it was missing an e-ring and a spring as well, but a quick trip to Home Depot remedied that issue.)  As I’m mulling over possible solutions to this problem – Do I really want to order this tiny plastic part? Do I really want to wait on it to come…it hits me. I have access to this amazing 3D printer. I can measure it, model it, print it. Problem solved.

It took 2 tries but I’m happy to report that I was able to print my replacement part and the joystick is holding okay. Things like this are what 3D printers are excellent for. With a little bit of creativity and unchained thinking, you’d be surprised at what applications you could come up with? What could you do with this tech?

Arcade Machines and the Social Aspect of Hacking(Not to be Confused with Social Hacking) – Crosspost

Note: This post first appeared on the Hacker Lab Blog on May 25th, 2013. (Direct link)

SAMSUNGThis is a picture of an arcade joystick keyboard hack I’ve been working on. Yes, it looks terrible, but I’m proud of it on multiple levels. The way it works is, you take apart a keyboard, solder connections from the control circuit card to the joystick and button inputs…and voila! Arcade joystick. But the real story here is not the ins and outs of this poorly constructed hack, but more so what it represents.

Anyone who knows me knows I am a HUGE gamer. Nintendo, Sega, PlayStation, I’m into it all. People who know me a little better, know I’ve been wanting to build an arcade cabinet for a while. I had drawn up some plans, thought about it, but it never went anywhere, until I finally got the catalyst to kick it off.

A month or so ago, I’m sitting around Hacker Lab and the subject of joysticks and arcades comes up. Josh Smith comes up and suggests the idea of building arcade machines. I’ll take care of the hardware, he’ll handle the software. This was music to my ears as I now had a partner and didn’t have to shoulder the load on my own.

I think that a lot of tinkerers, hackers, hobbyists are in their own homes, their own little islands, looking at cool things on the internet, but immediately working on them in their own, usually limited, spaces. I know I was. I have notebooks full of cool ideas and projects I have yet to get to. One of the things I have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy about my time at Hacker Lab, is the community aspect of it, how just chatting people up about your interests, and projects you’re working on can lead to interesting and (potentially) profitable partnerships.

So get out there, talk to people, strike up some working relationships! No man is an island. And apparently, no hacker is either.