This portable N64 looks good enough to be sold in stores — that’s because [Bungle] vacuum formed the case!
He started by creating a wooden template of his controller, using bondo to add grips and features. Once satisfied with the overall look and feel of the controller, he threw it into his own vacuum former and created two shiny plastic halves.
He’s chosen a nice little 3.5″ LCD screen for the display, with a 7.4V 4400mAh battery pack that will last just over 4 hours of constant play — he’s included a battery indicator as well! An old N64 controller takes care of electronics, but [Bungle’s] gone and made custom buttons and is using a Gamecube style joystick as well. He’s included both the rumble pack and an internal memory card which can be changed with the flick of a switch. A tiny HMDX Go portable audio amp and speakers are also integrated directly into the controller.
This isn’t [Bungle’s] first rodeo either — in fact its his 4th portable N64 design, and his past ones were pretty slick as well. We’ve seen tons of portable N64 consoles over the years, and it’s awesome because everyone takes a slightly different spin at it.
16 thoughts on “Vacuum Formed Portable N64 Is The Real Deal”
Looks great but vacuum formed items tend to be pretty flimsy. Maybe mounting all the stuff in there stiffened it up?
The strength of a vacuum formed object is entirely relative to the type of plastic and thickness used. Most people just use thin, soft plastic is all.
I want a portable N64!! But with a bigger screen to play Zelda!!
3DS XL and the Ocarina of time remake is where it’s at IMO. the remake feels true to the original to me, and the 3ds XL is pretty large. i bought the old smaller 3ds just for the zelda and it was worth every penny
How thick is the plastic?? I never thought that vacuum forming can be used for such things without result looking cheap…
I am also curious.
I did some vacuum forming for my quadcopter cover. The result look nice, but when I tried a thicker method, it looked really cheap and there was “crack” all around it.
Vacuforming is used throughout industries in final manufacturing. Things like washers and swimming pools are vac formed (yes laaaarge pieces).
Yes, but the heating process for material that thick is rather difficult. Usually DIY projects don’t have access to high quality dormers.
Can’t you vacuum form cheap plastic plates or something and the reinforce with like epoxy or plastic padding on the inside?
What kind of plastic is that?
Why put pictures of the result and none from the process?
Good result but useless as a make :-/
Found the build log: http://www.bacman.co.uk/bacforum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=4270
Bondo is under-rated as a material. Cheap, plentiful and somewhat flexible after it cures. It was recommended to me by a friend as better than grout for sealing the gaps between cement backer board and bathtubs, because it tolerates a bit of flexing without cracking.
With vacuum forming it is all about heat, timing and material thickness. I have had success with 1/16″ Kydex ABS. When the material to be formed is under heat the best time to get it over your form is the moment it returns to its starting point. Under heat it will sag then spring back (to starting position).
Another tip is to have your tooling form warmed up as well. That way when you pull your hot plastic over the top it isn’t instantly cooling, gives the vacuum a chance to pull it all to form.
Bon do polyester filler does crack and has no flex property. Use the silicone caulk that has grout in it.
Most like it was .08 or .093 High-Impact Styrene. This works out the best as it is easy to form at heats around 325 to 350 degrees F and is very ridged after it cools. The main concern as was pointed out is heat, but more so the time frame as to which it’s exposed to the heat. Too long will cause extra stretching and therefore a thinner wall/shell which is easy to crack or rip, too short and you won’t get a complete form around your mold and depending on your set-up, possibly rip out of your clamp and break the vacuum seal.
Bungle is amazing at what he does, as vacuum forming is a fairly precise science to do correctly. But his other talents at making the buttons and screen bezel via silicone molding is quite impressive also.
How would I go about purchasing one if Bungle’s Portables? Oh, this is a two year old string….
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