FEZ – Frederico Entertainment Zystem (4) – handheld test

Previous articles:

part 1part 2part 3

It’s been a while since I worked on this, but now I have some time to spare, so i’ll try and get a prototype working. It’s going to be a modular work, over a period of time. We’ll see how long it takes.

Since the previous articles, I decided to use a 5″ (480 x 800 px) HDMI screen instead of a 3.5″ analog one. It is easier to set up, gives me decent screen real estate, and the menu fonts are much clearer in terms of readability. A screen this size calls for a PSVita/Switch type design instead of the classic GameBoy look. A lot of the ones I found online have too small of a screen, or are too bulky. And honestly, most are kind of ugly too.

I hope to end up with something that is at least a bit prettier and more elegant. No 3D printing for this one though, I want this thing milled out of a beautiful hardwood.

First up: designing the front cover. At first I thought i’d need to turn to Fusion360 or Inventor for the design, because these are parametric and allow for modifying and refining every step of the process afterwards. Rhino is kind of ‘destructive’ in that respect; when you commit to a boolean operation for example, there’s no way (that I know of) to revisit this afterwards without discarding all the other progress already made.

That said, I also didn’t want to go through the trouble of learning a new 3D CAD/CAM software package, so I had an idea. The whole model is based on 2/2.5D artwork, rather than 3D-modeling the parts.

This allows for easily changing features wherever & whenever I want, and can be done within Rhino. So I did some measuring and came up with a general idea. Bear in mind this is only v1, and is primarily intended to end up with a physical object in order to get an idea of scale, and to test fit all the parts.

Here’s the video going through the different operations:

And the result after milling:

It seems all measurements were pretty close, although I’ll refine some tight tolerances all over the part. But overall, I can consider this test a success.

Already I found a lot of improvements is ergonomy and usability that I wouldn’t have noticed by merely looking at a digital drawing.

More to come.



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