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**** Updated with new software July 2019, details here ******

A bartop arcade build with the unique feature that the LED matrix marquee changes to match the selected game. The character art on the cabinet sides are laser cut inlays and not stickers.

A big thanks to Tobias for posting the original laser cut CAD design for this project. This project leverages the design from Tobias with the following modifications:

  • An integrated PIXEL LED Matrix marquee that changes based on the selected game
  • Laser cut design modified for a vertical mount monitor instead of horizontal (many classic arcade games are optimized for a vertically mounted monitor)
  • Laser cut side art inlays
  • Laser etched button labels
  • Audio amp with volume control knob
  • Shutdown/Restart Button
  • Material is Acrylic vs. Wood

All laser cut .SVG files, LED GIF images and animations, wiring table, and artwork for this project are open source and here in GitHub.

Software for this project here


1x Pixelcade LED Marquee (includes PIXEL LED driver board, 64x32 P3 LED Matrix, and 5V, 10A Power Supply) - $150

1x Arcade Joystick - $24

4x 30mm Arcade Buttons ($15, with Cherry D44X 75g .187" Microswitch)

1x 2.1mm Panel Mount DC Jack (.33" mounting hole)

1x Rocker On/Off Panel Mount Switches (you'll need 2 but the PIXEL:Maker's Kit comes with 1) - $1.17

1x Raspberry Pi 3+ - $38

1x microSD card (128 GB is a good size for this project) - $20

1x Official Raspberry Pi Monitor - $74

1x Audio Amplifier - $14

2x Mini Oval Speakers 35mm x 20mm - $10

1x Stereo audio cable (right angle is better but normal will fit and is ok too) - $3

2x USB Panel Mount Cable A-A - $16

1x Right angle DC power jack - $2.50

1x microUSB jack (use an old microUSB cable and chop off the large USB side)

1x Bottle of India Ink - $5

1x Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Sponge

Blue Painter's Tape

Screws, Nuts, Stand-Offs

8x 4/40 x 3/16" pan head screws (for maintenance ports)

2x 4/40 x 7/16" pan head screws ?

7x M3 screws x 10mm

4x M3 screws x 5mm (for joystick mounts)

4x M3 square hex nuts (for joystick mounts)

8x 2/56 x 1/2" pan head screws black (for speakers)

8x 2/25 nuts (for speakers)

(4) Hex Stand-Off Aluminum, 1/4" Hex, 5/8" Long, 4-40 Thread

2x 4/40 x 3/8" Nylon Screws

4x 4/40 Nylon Nuts

4x rubber bumper pads for the bottom

Acrylic & Glue

5x 12x20" Yellow Acrylic Sheet , 1/8" thick - $48

3x 12x20" Black Acrylic Sheet , 1/8" thick - $29

1x 12x12 Transparent Light Smoke Acrylic Sheet, 1/8" thick

Misc colored sheets depending on desired arcade character inlays (optional)

Acrylic Cement Glue

Acrylic Cement for Capillary Application

Low Density Polyethylene Bottle Applicator


Kaptop tape (for securing the cables to the Pi header)

1x USB Audio Adapter (this is not really needed, while the Pi audio is known to be poor, I can't really tell the difference with this one)

Dupont Female Pin Crimp Terminals 2.54mm Pitch (for making your own cables with DuPont connectors that plug into the Raspberry Pi GPIO 40-pin header but you can also just use off the shelf cables and splice them which is cheaper

Dupont Terminal Crimper


Laser Cutter (I used a Glowforge with a 19.5" x 11 cutting area)

4/40 Tap Tool (for tapping eight 4/40 holes for the maintenance ports)

Step 1: Laser Cutting & Cardboard Assembly First


VERY IMPORTANT: Before you laser cut the acrylic for this project, be sure and have all parts on hands first and measure to ensure they fit the mounting holes in the laser .SVG files. Here are items in particular to check and adjust.

1. 64x32 P3 HUB75 LED Matrix - The one used in this project I bought direct from China, not from Adafruit and different LED panel manufacturers have different mounting hole locations.

2. Speakers - I did not use the speakers in the link and instead had some lying around my shop. The ones in the link I think are close but am not sure the mounting holes will line up exactly.

I used a Glowforge laser cutter and all the .SVG laser cut files are sized for the cut size of the Glowforge at 19.5" x 11".

Also, there are lot of ways the laser cutting and assembling can go wrong resulting in scrap due to the complexity of the assembly & specific orientation steps so it's highly recommend to first laser cut and assemble in cardboard and then cut in acrylic after you've got it dialed in.

MiguelM1513 months ago
Congratulations. It is awesome

As a suggestion for the future versions, I miss a third model, one where you can move the screen between the 2 positions, vertical or horizontal and select to switch the landscape with a button - even better a gyroscope or mechanism that automatically would detect it and switch it.

And as it is not cheap, a cheap enough 32" LCD panel configuration will not make it much expensive and will improve it a lot as a product many people would buy.
139 € today in Amazon vs 70 € Pi monitor.

And I think that a 32" one with the 2 monitor positions, plus a more powerful Pine64 RockPro64 would be a product you can sell with profits.

And I dare you to set crowdfunding for 1.000 units earning 200 USD for each one that would be a 200k USD profit in one year and I bet you can make around 10 each day with proper organization and tools.

alinke (author)  MiguelM1513 months ago
thanks for the feedback, auto-rotating from horizontal to vertical would be compelling. In my particular case, I had limited room in the house but you're right, 32" is not that much more and if you've got the room would be the better way to go. No plans for a crowd funding campaign here but have been collaborating with a few arcade builders on integrating this tech into their existing arcade products, here's one from North Coast Custom Arcades
huyyy13 months ago
this is sickkkkk. don't have the skillset to build one though
jcsealock4 months ago
Thank you so much for this!!! I've adored the game TRON since I first played it in the arcades back in 1982 or so!!! Yikes!!!
alinke (author) 4 months ago
A few folks have asked if finished units will be available. I'm collaborating with Game Room Solutions integrating their arcades with the LED marquee, here's a sneak peek prototype unit . The software integration is all done and we're just finalizing logistics now.
DrewD45 months ago
Anywhere to buy the pre-cut acrylic pieces? I don't have access to a laser cutter. :-(
alinke (author)  DrewD45 months ago
there are services like you can use but I would caution this design is somewhat complex (ie, some lines are for scoring vs cutting) so you'd need to be very careful to get that right. If interest, I am also working with an arcade cabinet manufacturer on a design that would integrate this LED marquee, that may be an easier & cheaper route to go.
DrewD4 alinke5 months ago
I would be interested depending on cost. Keep me in mind when you get more information!
alinke (author)  DrewD45 months ago
sounds good, will udpate
jessyratfink5 months ago
Definitely one of the best looking arcades I've seen :D
alinke (author)  jessyratfink5 months ago
Alex in NZ5 months ago
Wow! And you've got Tron there too. Happy memories! Thank you for sharing this design :-)
Great project!
alinke (author) 5 months ago
my total cost was around $450, can be a bit less depending on the quality of components you get
1234567guy5 months ago
What is the total cost in total for all of the item you bought?