For a while now I’ve had this idea clunking around in my head and I finally decided to make it. Here she is, my laser cut NES, alive and fully functional. I wanted to capture as many details and to stay true as much as I could.
I collect most things Nintendo but I mostly collect NES games. I also back up my own roms from my own games using a Retron 5 (aftermarket console). The whole idea behind the project was for me to have a way to play my own backups of my own games, but with style. My plan is to make a cartridge of every game I own, and as my collection of real games grow, so will my wooden collection… in theory. I have well over 200 nes games at the moment and so far only have made 3 different carts so that might be a short-lived dream but we shall see.
In reality, the nes is just an over-glorified USB hub. A USB cable goes from the computer to the nes and that splits the signal to 3 different ports. 2 ports go to the front of the console for controllers, and I use the third port is used to power the NFC reader. When a game is scanned it just reads the tag, the tag says “open battletoads.nes” or whatever game it is and then the computer executes that command. The roms and emulator are all on the computer, the nes is just a physical shortcut to execute a program on my computer.
I made the whole thing out of 3mm wood, maple, walnut, and wenge. The loading tray is cut out of 3mm mdf painted black. I have a magnet placed on the tray, and if you look at the above pictures, inside of the cartridges I also have a hidden magnet. When you insert the game into the tray, it gets pulled in and held in place by the magnet.
Here are a few more pictures of the console and the build in progress.