Saturday, September 21, 2013

Engraving: Gameboy DMG Cases

I decided that one Gameboy engraving was not enough, I had to do more! So I decided to try my hand with some after-market Gameboy cases made by Kistch-Bent. They come in 4 colors (black, white, green, and blue) and were a bit of a challenge to engrave properly.

Matt, the kindly proprietor, indicated that the plastic was ABS, but I later found out that it's a little different from the ABS used in other electronics, such as the original Gameboy. It doesn't have the flame retardant additives, and is just a little bit softer than the original plastics. Normally this isn't something I'd have noticed, as the cases feel incredibly sturdy and are very nicely made. Unfortunately, it made laser-engraving them very tricky. The first first few cases came out looking like this:

If you look closely right above the battery door clip, you'll notice some warping. That is what I am calling blow-out, and that is caused by the plastic becoming too hot on the top surface, and being blown around by the air that cools and cleans the cutting head's lens. I eventually solved this problem by keeping the speed up high and reducing power to only 30%. Here are the results:

Some time in the coming weeks, my special custom cases will become available from Kitsch-Bent's shop. They fit on standard original Gameboy hardware, or you can use them for other kinds of electronics too. I might eventually use one of these cases for a custom-made handheld game system of some sort, possibly a Famiclone.

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