Finding the right housing for your Raspberry Pi is crucial—sometimes it needs to be cooling efficient; other times it needs to look like an angry watermelon! This Raspberry Pi project was created by Kenneth Loebenberg, also known as Psdwizzard over at Reddit, who designed this Retro Pie setup to look like a watermelon. We’ve seen watermelon Pi projects before, but this is the first one we’ve seen that won’t spoil or get your hands sticky with melon juice.
Loebenberg explained in the original thread that his brother is a STEM teacher. He wanted a retro gaming system for his students to play with and asked Loebenberg if he was up to the challenge. After a bit of sculpting in Blender, the Melon Pi was ready to be 3D printed. For a professional finish, Loebenberg opted to use a resin printer which has yielded some seriously smooth results in the end product.
No Pi project is complete without a few finishing touches and Loebenberg went above and beyond to make Melon Pi a well-designed unit. Users can set custom splash screens on the Raspberry Pi that appear when it boots; we even have a tutorial on how to create a custom splash screen if you’re interested. Loebenberg took this opportunity to create an animated splash screen featuring the Melon Pi wiggling back and forth as the system starts.
Loebenberg was kind enough to share a complete parts list for everything used in the project. It’s powered by a Raspberry Pi 4 but you could get away with using a different Pi if that’s all you have on hand. A wireless 8-Bitdo Lite controller is used for input, but any compatible USB or wireless controller would do in its place. The Pi is glued to the bottom of the 3D-printed melon housing with an SD card extender used to help make it easier to swap SD cards.
The board is running RetroPie but it wouldn’t be hard to use any other OS with this system making Melon Pi a truly versatile and fruitful endeavor for creative makers. However, with RetroPie in place, students can boot directly into the retro gaming interface and get off the ground gaming without having to use a keyboard or mouse to launch games or applications which makes it an ideal OS for this particular use case. If you want to learn more about this project or maybe even recreate it yourself, check out the project thread over at Reddit.