DIY Arcade Cabinet Build (wth RaspberryPi4)

Hey, I shared this build on Mastodon in the last year, so to keep it up for everyone interested, I post it here also.

Since my childhood I was fascinated with video games. And I loved the arcades, whereever I could get to one. So one of my dreams was owning a cabinet for my room. Well they are big, heavy and expensive. And my wife and I just got a house a recently. But now, I have room for it and a workshop.
So one of my first projects was this arcade cabinet build. I took inspiration from the cabinets Bob build from I like to make stuff on YT. I started designing my cabinet in SketchUp and then went to build it.
Following are pics from the process. Feel free to ask questions and I hope it will inspire you to build one yourself. (maybe more of a bartop, if you are not having too much space :wink: )


At first, I build the base of the cabinet. (I went with a 3 piece design, so it would be easier to transport the whole thing)
I made it from plywood and with pocket holes. It isn’t beautiful, but it works in the end and is hidden inside the cabinet.

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I also installed some leveling feet underneath, so I could adjust them if necessary.

The second part was the controller box.

I found a controller layout online from existing cabinets and took one, which I liked for my machine. I printed it out and used some spray glue to adhere it to the cover, so I could drill out the holes.

After drilling, I roundover the edge with the palm router and testfitted the Buttons and Joysticks.

And like with everything, you just have to put it temporarily together to get a feel for the whole thing. :wink:

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And the third part of the design. marquee and monitor (upper) part:

For the big side panels I put all three parts on the sheet of mdf and marked around it with some space (approx. 1-2 cm) from the body. Later I was lucky that I did that, because it ended fitting nicely and didn’t end up to short. To make sure I have two exactly identical pieces, I used a flush trim bit in my router.


Excellent work nice build log…

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Wonderful build! Thank you for sharing.

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For the door in front of the cabinet, I wanted something more interesting then just a flat rectangular one, so I introduced some angles… which made me curse myself in the process :smiley: . Because the first version didn’t match the angles on the cabinet, since I did the math wrong. :exploding_head:

So, I ended up gluing up the door twice…

Next I gave the part of the controller box which would have to carry the monitor, a little more structural integrity. :wink:

I worked on a bezel for the monitor and test fitted everything in the upper part of the cabinet:

Then it was time to paint everything with a black primer/paint combo.

And for some accents…

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The side panels got some T-moulding to protect the edges and give it a more authentic look. :smiley:

The monitor is basically press fitted in the bezel part. I saw that Bob from ILTMS build an elaborate monitor holder inside his cabinet, but since it is basically stationary and the stand from the monitor is adjustable, I just used it.

I also added some metal meshing in the top, to allow the warm air to escape the cabinet. (It isn’t necessary I guess, since the raspberrypi4 and the monitor don’t generate that much heat inside that kinda volume. But it looks nice. :wink:

And also with the back panel closed:

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No arcade cabinet would be complete without a light up marquee. I used an esp32 and some neopixel leds to make my lights for the marquee.

Later in front of it I installed a white acrylic plate, which diffuses the lights and where I stuck my marquee artwork on.

I also wired all the buttons and joysticks:

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And now it all just had to be assembled together… (one last test fit with the raspberrypi installed in the shop:

And at it’s final destination in my room:

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Love this build! :heart: Thanks for sharing the process here end-to-end! :tada:

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