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Picture of Plywood  Arcade Suitcase With Retropie

When I was a kid, our friends had 8bit nintendo and it was the coolest thing on earth. Until me and my brother got sega megadrive as a christmas present. We did not sleep from that christmas eve to new years eve, we just played and enjoyed that great game. That was the most memorable christmas present ever.

Today there are many different amazing video game-consoles. They are amazing to this generation kids, for me those doesen't feel so great or they just do'nt give me that feeling what I got when I was a kid.

That's way I wanted to build old school retrogaming arcade suitcase with Raspberry with thousands of ole school retro games.

I wanted to make retro arcade game machine which is not too big, so its easily put to closet when not playing.

That's why I wanted make it quite small but still big enough for two adult players.

I wanted it also to make it quite simple, so everyone can make it. I hope I succeed on that one.

Tools needed:

Circular saw / table saw

Jig saw,

cheap router, some router bits,


some screws,

peeling wire cutters,

some basic tools screwdrivers etc...

Material needed:

4mm birch plywood

12mm birch plywood

Little bit of 20mm plywood

Screen :




Power switch :


Two different kind of connectors:

USB dual port:

Power adapter:

Flat HDMI:

Wood insert nuts:

Suitcase handle:

Lock latches:

Adapter cord:

Raspberry :

Optional also retro controller :

Step 1: First Make the Plywood Box

You will need 4mm and 12mm plywood.

First you cut 12mm plywood with circular saw to ~16cm. Then with miter saw you cut it with angle 45 to two ~50 cm pieces and two 36 cm pieces.

Then you glue all corners together. I glued it with adjustable corner clamps with steel tape. Then you should have ~50cm x 36cm frame.

After glueing the corners you glue 4mm plywood below and above the frame. You dont have to measure it precisely, just make sure that 4mm plywood is bigger than the 50cm x 36cm area.

We have a box which is not so beautiful yet.

Then you take the router and cut all the sides even with trim router bit. After that use your round router bit to every side and make all the corners round and smooth. Note that if you make upper and lower sides first and then those short sides, you have to trim again all the corners. But that is ok.

When you have done those its time for some heavy sanding.

Now we have the plywood box ready.

Hee Young Pyo6 months ago
awesome !!!!

I have never made a game before.

15inch 4:3 raspberrypie li-ion battery running time 6 oclock
albpara8 months ago
Nice job!

I am working on a similar project and my biggest concern is if the screws are enough to hold the joysticks in place. Also screwing the joystick plate from the botton will result in a really short shaft. Did you replace the shaft wit a longer one?
Hemulimania (author)  albpara8 months ago
Thank you. Joystick holds as much strength than the plywood can hold. There are many many holes on joystick plate that there can be maybe 10 screws. In this case it will hold it as much as necessary. Whole suitcase will move if there is too much power used.
Short shaft was on purpose because then its easier to close the suitcase. With longer shafts suitcase would have to be bigger. I think thar short or long shafts are both ok if they function as they should. So here is just normal shaft.
I hope you have great suitcase. Would be nice to see it when finished.
IanB2458 months ago
you could add side buttons for pinball flippers!
if you go in for that sort of thing...
BrunoR1149 months ago
Great job and excellent instructions with pictures and links to the material!! Might go for it myself to enjoy it with my kid!
Do you have an estimated final figures for cost of the build?
Hemulimania (author)  BrunoR1149 months ago
Hi BrunoR114. Thank you.

I think the compulsory parts : thin screen, arcade buttons kit, raspberry and power supply about 200. If I add there amplifier and speakers and all the wires, maybe 250. I did not count plywood.

Have a great DIY times.
Thanks again for all the great details!
r-philp9 months ago
I am particularly envious of your wooden bar clamps. They look like a an excellent DIY build. I'd love to see an instructable on those.
Hemulimania (author)  r-philp9 months ago
Hello R-philip. I remembered that someone had done those . Here is the link. Happy DIY times.
Bustaflow259 months ago
This is super cool and one of the easiest to follow plans for an arcade I've seen. I wanna try this as soon as my parts are delivered. Very original sir!
Any estimation on parts cost?
Hemulimania (author)  jongrrr9 months ago
Hi Jongrrr. What you really need is power supply, thin screen, arcade kit buttons kit and raspberry.
Rest is optional. I did not count cost of plywood because I had it already. But these are what I bought.
So its about 200 at least I guess. Speakers and amplifiers does not cost so much more there.
Hemulimania (author)  Bustaflow259 months ago
Thank you so much Bustaflow25. I hope your suitcase arcade will be even better than this.
jones4249 months ago
Freaking sweet. Do you have any issues with the pi getting hot?
Hemulimania (author)  jones4249 months ago
Thank you Jones424. I haven't noticed any, I have heatsink coolers there. It has been on several hours and playing games has been normal. I hope you have great DIY times.
seamster9 months ago
I dig the whole project, and the custom wooden case is excellent! Well done!
Hemulimania (author)  seamster9 months ago
Thank you for your feedback Seamster. I hope you will have great DIY -times.