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Unique Raspberry Pi Gaming Rig Uses Complex Shapes and Circular LCD Screens

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Mw33212)

The Raspberry Pi has no shortage of retro gaming builds, but one of the most fun aspects is housing your build in the right case. In this project, created by maker and woodworker Mw33212, the Pi is housed inside of a beautiful hand-crafted wooden casing complete with two round LCD panels for displays.

Mw33212 explains that the project was constructed out of 10mm thick walnut, maple, and Indian rosewood. The shape is known as J83, one of the “Johnson solids” which are essentially a series of convex polyhedrons, and is described as a tridiminished rhombicosidodecahedron. Whatever you want to call the shape, it makes for a gorgeous case design and fits everything needed for the gaming rig neatly inside.

This project is one of many that Mw33212 has created, most of which also feature custom wooden cases. Some of our favorites include this portable Pi-powered wooden projector project as well as this Raspberry Pi-based Atari-themed arcade system.

In this case, Mw33212 is using a Raspberry Pi 4 to run the retro gaming platform which seems to be capable of emulating the Nintendo 64. You could easily swap the Pi 4 out for something like a 3B+ or even a Zero depending on what you have on hand or prefer. In addition to the Pi, it also features four speakers for audio output, multiple monitor driver boards, a couple of fans for cooling, and most notably two 3.4-inch circular LCD panels with a resolution of 800 x 800px.

The retro gaming emulation can be handled by RetroPie or Lakka. Mw33212 goes on to verify the efficiency of the round LCD panels which, as it turns out, are not very effective for many games. For the most part, they’re usable for games in which the attention is focused on the center of the screen but anything that relies on icons in the corners is pretty much unplayable.

If you want to make a Raspberry Pi project like this for yourself or just get a better idea of how this one goes together, check out the original thread shared to Reddit for an in-depth look at its build process. Be sure to follow Mw33212 for more cool wooden Pi projects as well as any future updates to this one.

Ash Hill
Ash Hill

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.