Wedding Gifts

January 3 2018

I built a RetroPie and wooden box for two sets of friends that were recently married. I included two controllers, a power supply, and RetroPie w/case in each box.

I found a suitable case on Thingiverse and printed out the top and bottom pieces using a Wanhao Duplicator i3.

The nice people behind Google’s maker space allow near unrestricted access to the 3D printers. Their one ask is that you don’t attempt to change the filament between printers. As such I switched to the UP Plus to add some additional colors to the case.

The Pi mounted in the case for the first time. I made the mistake of thinking the default case would fit over the add-on board I decided to go with. Given that my CAD skills are rather lacking I ended up foregoing solidworks and opting for the fairly simple TinkerCAD for my edits.

The aforementioned nice people recently added a laser cutter to the hackerspace. After taking a safety course, I designed some basic decorative lids for the boxes using a combination of SVLs sourced online and fancy fonts in GIMP.

I was surprised how well these turned out.

At this point I had to travel back to San Diego for the holidays. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to cut the lumber to size before my trip. With no bag large enough to hold the pieces, I had to improvise.

My parents own a scroll, jig, circular, miter, and hack saw. None of which are particular great for the cuts I needed. Luckily, my Aunt had a radial arm saw which is about as close to a table saw as I could hope for.

Completed cuts. The pieces aren't completely even but it’s nothing a little sanding couldn’t fix.

Starting to look more like boxes, featuring my Aunt’s extensive supply of clamps.

Clamping complete and first coat of stain.

Back to the Pi case. I sourced a switch for the microcomputer while in San Diego. With no access to a 3D printer, I was forced to improvise. Previous experiences with large drill bits and ABS have left me a bit trepidatious. Instead I melted a hole with a spent tip and a soldering iron. Looks terrible here but is mostly covered when the switch is installed so I call it a win.

Staged and ready to be sealed.

Sealed. I also ended up drilling a small hole for the power port. Poor planning at it again.

Lastly, I drafted a manual to help the new owners overcome any issues they encounter when attempting to use their new toy.

Completed box and RetroPie. The minor drill holes visible in the picture are the result of a previous owners project. Somebody threw out this perfectly good lumber!

At this point you may be wondering what happened to the second box. It's yet to be stained. Don't tell the Kessleys!