Circuit boards are primarily meant to hold components and conduct electricity, but as this LedCade project shows, they can be designed to be unique structural elements. This miniature arcade build, by prolific hacker “bobricius,” is a redesign of an earlier 8x8 LED matrix console, and adds a cabinet constructed out of a PCB to the gaming experience.
The nine sections of this cleverly cut PCB snap off and fold into a traditional arcade cabinet shape, except small enough to easily fit in your hand. While structural, PCB elements do also perform their primary function, housing an ATmega328 processor, the LED matrix, and a trio of buttons for control.
Certainly the second coolest element of this design is how it’s powered with a “coin.” Not a monetary coin, of course, but a CR2032 battery, which is inserted into what looks like a vastly oversized (to scale at least) coin slot. When inserted, this starts the system, allowing the user to play one of eight games, like Tetris, Space Invaders, and Pong. The device also includes sound, and even voice feedback via the Talkie library — yet another surprising feature to this neat little console.
Be sure to check it out in the video above, or you can find PCB files here if you want to build one yourself!