Play thousands of retrogames with this DIY table arcade game player

Originally published at:


I’ve got one of those, I haven’t been able to get it to sync.

Got what? A Raspberry Pi, a Glowforge, or something else? Maybe I can help.

I have wanted to make a MAME cabinet - but maybe this is more practical…

I really want one but man the mark up on the “pro” seems kind of artificial. The pass through for “infinitely long” pieces seems like it could’ve been added to every model for little or no extra cost. Probably something I’m missing but it seems like the expense is all upfront in the software and design.

1 Like

This looks like a fun project, and I like the simple design. Hope to be able to make things like that myself one day --should the Glowforge a friend bought for me during their first Kickstarter ever be delivered. Been waiting three or more years now…

1 Like

Yeah, a Glowforge.
It’s my understanding that when it is ready to go the printer head is supposed to retreat to the upper left. Mine doesn’t care to do so.

Nicely done, Mark!

I’m having a blast with Glowforge test drive. It is amazing and I agree: very easy to use and get great results.

Look for a fun simple project soon in MAKE.( I got best results with hooking up the Glowforge with its own Wifi router very nearby. Make sure you have a solid network.)


Does anyone other than those given/reviewed have one of these things they purchased as a consumer and had it delivered?

$2k minimum buy in… ha ha hahahahahahhaaa

Yeah, I’ve gotten, actually two, the first one was broken in transit.
They were very responsive.

1 Like

Would love to have a laser cutter but there’s no way I could justify the cost of a Glowforge vs all the other tools I could buy with that money.

Your assessment is accurate except for the stronger bulb… I think.

I’ve been loving my Glowforge Plus since I got it in October, it’s such a powerful tool to have in one’s arsenal. I really love the video you’ve put together, it nicely shows how easy it is to use to build a cool, quintessential Maker project. I’m sharing it on my local makerspace’s Slack #laser channel, it’s undoubtedly going to be a hit.

Re: Glowforge, I love that the basic model is surprisingly affordable, and nearly as powerful/capable as the more advanced models. Here’s an Imgur album I put together for my Glowforge workbench setup in my small apartment (with external exhaust blower for added ventilation power), as well as some demo videos of my Glowforge in operation, which are useful for getting a sense of how loud it is, and how much time is required to perform an engraving or cut:

1 Like

One easy way to justify it is that once you buy one, you can potentially use the referral codes to get it to pay for itself. I’ve earned $1350 in referrals since I’ve gotten mine, mostly over the past two or three weeks! I’m planning to use my referral credits to buy one for my local makerspace. But one can opt just to cash out the referral money, and then it’s more or less a significantly reduced (or even free or negative) cost. Easier to justify, even if you aren’t using to make profitable items for sale, as many GF owners do.

I had the same experience. I received my first one irreparably broken during shipping, a week or two after I ordered it. They had a replacement unit on its way to me before I even shipped the broken one back to them, and I received it within two weeks. It was no fun to receive a broken one (glass everywhere, disappointment), but their customer service was top notch.

I think what you might be missing is that the Basic and the Plus are Class 1 laser devices, and the Pro is a Class 4 laser device. The Pro’s steeper price includes some extensive and expensive training materials to meet the requirements necessary to operate a Class 4 laser device. According to Glowforge’s safety information page:

Because the Glowforge Pro has pass-through slots, it is a Class 4 laser device. For safe operation, a Class 4 laser device should be operated under a laser safety program under the control of a Laser Safety Officer (LSO). Training for LSOs normally costs more than $1,000, but Glowforge has worked with leading laser safety training experts to prepare materials so that you can act safely as the LSO for your Glowforge Pro.

I am aware that some people claim to have modified their Basic or Plus to have passthrough slots, but that sounds sketchy to me. Kind of like “we can, but does that mean we should?” Without the Class 4 safety and LSO training, they could be opening up a can of worms they don’t fully understand until it’s too late.

1 Like

If circumstances permit, take the money you’d spend on a personal Glowforge and instead get a membership at a makerspace, take every course they offer, and pocket the substantial change. You’ll get access to a much better laser cutter and learn a ton from the members.

1 Like

I am totally going to build one of these. I have been enjoying playing old games with my daughter on a mini snes for a few months now and I think this looks to be a great addition to that.

Am I the only one here who thinks “take my money!” for the finished product, not the ‘maker’ side of it all?

On the plus side, having more affordable laser cutters makes it so that people can make this stuff and sell it on etsy/etc more easily, so as a consumer you have easier access to it.

But it’s still an upfront one time cost? the laser itself isn’t stronger or different, no? it’s just the pass through makes the device less safe meaning you need more warning labels common sense to operate it. Right? I’m not saying those aren’t actual cost considerations just that they’re paid for regardless and could be applied to every model for no extra per unit expense. Unless there exists some sort of license/safety fee per unit for Class 4 vs Class 1?