A build by Magnus Åhall (formely Engström), 2017.

Dimensions Cabinet Computer Game controllers Audio
Monitor Software

A friend of mine built a tabletop cabinet, very well done, and got all the dimensions down to a T. We've had a couple of intense and fun gaming sessions on it, and I was very inspired to build one of my own :)

I wanted a fullsize (or oversize...) one though.

The absolutely first step before anything else, was to measure the elevator door opening, and all interior door openings in the apartment. I knew from the start that this would get heavy, and that three stairs would be quite bad.

After that, I started with the side profile in Inkscape. I think this almost took more time than the complete 3D model, as I had to decide upon the height and depth of the control panel, placement of speakers and such, and the overall design. I actually built the lower parts of the cabinet in cardboard, 1:1, before I was certain of the measurements.

I didn't want a too thin arcade cabinet (depthwise), but I didn't want to make something that looked like a wardrobe with a monitor inside either, so the monitor is placed deep within, and the control panel got absurdely deep, but in the end, it was nice to have somewhere to rest the hands, and I got room to place the amplifier too.

When I was happy with the sides, the rest of the cabinet was put together as a 3D model in Blender, to be used as a kind of blueprint when building. The model was also perfect to have when making the Attract Mode theme, as it was hopeless to take a quick photo of the cabinet with the marquee lit as I wanted a cabinet inside of the cabinet for the game previews :)

With the design done, the sides got sent for CNC routing. It was great to have at least them perfect, otherwise the whole cabinet would have been lopsided :). The cutouts and arcs came out fantastic!

The actual build phase got somewhat intense, I spent 5-7 hours a day after work and 10-12 hours a day of the weekends, for two weeks, until it was brought home. My father owns a construction company, and their workshop made the process so much easier, with every large machine I could possibly need.

There should be some metal plates on the lower parts, and the coin slots needs to be designed and built, but otherwise it is fully functional.

The marquee and control panel graphics are also done in Inkscape, and were sent to the printing company we use at work, as I didn't want to compromise on the print quality by using our regular office printers. Both the marquee and control panel would require multiple A3 also, and the seams would have bothered me to no end :)

All in all, costs (including the bar stools) where around 25 000 SEK (~$2950 when writing this).

Click on the categories below to view some images and comments from the build :)

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Basic cabinet
The cutouts in the side panels came out well from the CNC router.
Seeing the cabinet upright for the first time made me realize how large it actually is :)
I left the back of the cabinet open, it is heavy enough as it is, and I don't see that it is open where it stands against the wall anyway.
The 6x9 speakers were quite overkill, but hey, I can use it as a jukebox too!
Control panel
I spent a couple of evenings on the button layout alone, and I really like the steep angle; it is quite nice to be able to have a straight wrist when playing a couple of hours without break.
The control panel graphics was sent to the company we hire at work for our car striping needs. The graphics are laminated, and seems to hold up quite nice so far. And it looks fantastic! :)
The 16mm MDF was too thick, but a couple of minutes with the plunge router and the joysticks were in place!
The amplifier is mounted. This was especially nice, since I could get great music quality while working :)
I should have made a better template for the amplifier, but it does fit quite nicely :)

The cable management clips were extremely helpful in getting the cables nice and tight, and still easy to undo when that time comes.

These little blocks were nice to combine the ground cables, and they look cool!
I was more than a little surprised that each and every cable and connection worked flawlessly on the very first try!
Starting on the monitor cutout with the plunge router.
Placing the "guide-rails" to get straight cuts took a lot of time, but oh, so worth it, perfectly straight!
And finally, the monitor is ready to go in!
The monitor is tragically thin, it feels like you're going to break it in half every time you lift it :'(

So I had to come up with something that would allow me to very gradually press it against the sealing profile between the bezel and the monitor, and ended up with a couple of screw-nuts hammered into the horizontal bar.

Easy to remove to access the monitor, and the monitor hasn't moved a hair, even with some very spirited gaming sessions :)

Cabinet details
Hardwax oil! Did quite a difference!
Most of the cabinet oiled.
The LED kit is such a narrow fit, it's almost ridiculous!
I misplaced the mounting plate for the NUC...
Extremely robust tray from an old Compaq rack. Slides really nice on those rails though.
This is one heavy duty tray, especially with 2*16mm MDF to fill it up, but I can almost support my weight on it =)
Beverage holders
Not easy, measuring on the sides, but the tape did the trick :)
The only time these will hold such low alcol beverages!
Also in picture: the main power switch.
Finished arcade machine
Finally! I didn't leave much margin on the depth for the elevator door opening, so we had to remove the keyboard tray knob for it to fit :)

And damn, the cabinet is fuckin' heavy!

Miscellaneous graphics
The primary Attract Mode theme. Based on the control panel and marquee shapes and colors.

Didn't manage any good photos of the cabinet with the marquee lit, so I used the 3D model.

I could have gone with "Magnus" instead of "Engström" and gotten M-A-M-E instead, but there are enough of those ;)
The control panel graphics... this took some serious time before I was satisfied!