FabArcade: The Open-Source Vintage Video Arcade

Do you want to really experience playing vintage 80's video games?

Got a Fab Lab in your neighborhood? Ready to build something real?

Then make a FabArcade!

FabArcade is the first fully open-source video arcade gaming station that can be built completely at any Fab Lab using digital tools.

It's a fully functioning video arcade that lets you relive those cool retro video games from the 80's. Finally play Galaga the way it was meant to be played, with a professional joystick and arcade buttons—even including a real coin slot for US quarters (or whichever currency you prefer)! :) Plus, the FabArcade also runs additional games we developed for you!



The FabArcade uses

  • a housing built from small lasercut MDF sheets that you can cut with a small (60x30cm) lasercutter
  • Raspberry Pi $25 embedded linux computer to run the emulators and other software
  • an Arduino microcontroller board with FabArcade Shield to read the joystick, buttons, and coin slot signals
  • MAME and a NeoGeo emulator for vintage 8-bit and 16-bit arcade games
  • the Processing programming environment to run self-developed video games

OK, how do I make one?

  1. Order the stuff from our Bill of Materials
  2. Lasercut and glue the sheets of MDF (wood-like Medium-Density Fiberboard) to assemble the housing
  3. Mount the screen, speakers, buttons, joysticks, and coin acceptor in the housing
  4. Install our disk image on your Raspberry Pi, and our firmware on your Arduino
  5. Start playing!
If you want to make one, have a look at the assembly instructions at the bottom of this page. To find out everything about the games we developed, follow the links below!
Two screenshots of our games

Our Games

We wrote three arcade games in vintage 80's style using the Processing programming language and IDE:

Headphonejack on the side. Turn built in speakers on/off


FabArcade was the idea of Prof. Dr. Jan Borchers from RWTH Aachen University.

His PhD students René Bohne and Simon Völker supervised the student project.

It was carried out over the course of 8 weeks by BSc and MSc students from computer science, technical communication, architecture, and education, as part of a practical lab called Multimodal Media Madness during the summer of 2013.
Put your coins here

Built in speakers


Marcos De Luis Bolinaga
Max Orth
Anke Brocker
Dominique Bataille
Melike Osmanbeyoglu
Julien Weerasuriya

Arduino Controller

Mirko Kugelmeier
Yannick Deuster
Lukas Harke
Sabrina Häfele
Jan Koop

Raspberry Pi

Florian Busch
Jennifer Birke
Matthias Diebels


Jakob Bauer
Julian Nass
Thomas Conraths
Maximilian Conze
Elmar Weber
Michael Deutschen
Kai Schnackenberg
Jan Bruckner
Roman Feldhoff
Semih Yildirim


Marten Junga

Assembly Instructions and Files

Creative Commons License

FabArcade by RWTH Aachen University is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

FileDescriptionFile sizeDownloadsLast modified
Download this file (FabArcade_LasercutterParts.zip)FabArcade_LasercutterParts.zip 60 kB27312014-04-01 15:13
Download this file (FabArcade Doku.pdf)FabArcade Doku.pdf 21007 kB49042014-04-01 15:06

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