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Arcade Machine
Arcade Machine

Since I was about 10, I wanted to build an arcade machine. I remember hassling my dad about it at least once a week. I would find plans online, show him and be like “can we build this?!” he’d always say yes but ultimately, we’d just keep putting it off.

In the summer of 2015, I ended up at the arcade on Weston-super-Mare’s pier. I was looking at what they had arcade machine-wise and it was all your standard stuff; penny swallowers, race car simulators, dance machines and those lovely mobile games that have been converted into arcade machines.

Tucked away in a corner was an original (or at least it looked original based on its state) Space Invaders machine. I spent a good hour or two playing it, spending more money than I probably should have. It was totally worth it and brought me back to being 10 again, inspiring me to finally commit to building my own arcade machine.

I believe the project took me about 8 months to complete. I 3D modelled the machine in SketchUp and built the case out of MDF and pre-made shelf something board (I can’t remember the name, but I totally regret buying it as it was expensive and a pain to work with. It looked nice though!). The internals / electronics were all bought online, with the main / best piece being the 60-in-1 JAMMA game board, which had all the games I wanted.

The arcade machine currently resides in CEMAR’s office (my current work place) and is played daily by myself and my colleagues.

Below are images from building it. I need to recover the SketchUp file from old laptop that bricked itself. Once I do, I’ll upload and attach images of the SketchUp.

Testing the internals before buiding
First side cut
Second side cut based on the first
Both sides side-by-side
Joining the sides
Ready for the controls
Practice drilling to avoid splintering
Marking up control locations
Control panel almost done
Screen and control panel fitted
Another angle
The backside with internals
A nice dark shot of the finished product
Categories: SketchUp