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Pipboy inspired watch from the Fallout game series.

Meet PipWatch, a PipBoy-inspired wrist watch powered by a FireBeetle ESP32 board along with a round GC9A01 display.

For those who are not familiar, a pipboy is a wrist-mounted computer device that characters in the Fallout video game series utilize to interact with the game world, access maps, and manage their stuff.

PiPWatch gets time from an NTP server and displays the result on the round-oled screen in green, which follows the Pipboy theme.

We 3D printed each component and assembled everything from scratch.

This article is about the build process of this watch project, so let’s get started with the build.

We did research on the many Pipboy designs—both fan-made and original—and the Pipboy design language in order to get ready for this project.

After that, we prepared the model around the existing components to create a similar design to a pipboy by modeling the interior components first in Fusion360, which included the display, Firebeetle board, and lithium cell. This Pipwatch borrows certain design cues from the Pipboy, but it is not an exact duplicate.

We also measured the wrist and modeled it in the Cad program.

The hinged portion that connects to the main watch and rotates on a hinge mechanism is called the wrist clamp. Super magnets that are fastened to the interior of the clamp and body are what hold the hinge clamp portion of the watch together with the body. These magnets hold the hinge portion of the watch in place. To wear it, we can use some force to separate the magnet joints, which will cause the clamp to open and the user to be able to place the watch on their wrist.

For one main reason, we chose magnets instead of snap locks in the design. Snap locks are typically the best for this kind of task, but since we plan to 3D print the body, PLA is required for the snap locks, which is not the best material for a snap joint that tends to bend. As a result, the snap locks we 3D print will not last very long.

Since magnetic locks would not break and would be simple to produce, they were the ideal solution in this case.

The main body, side cover, front screen holder, lower hinge clamp, and PipWatch logo nametag were the five elements that made up the entire model.

The nametag was printed using a different technique. We printed it halfway with white PLA and then paused the print to swap the filament with a grey PLA, making the letters grey on a white base. This made the nametag more appealing and unique. All parts were 3D printed using white marble PLA with a 0.4mm nozzle.


In this project, we used the DFROBOT FireBeetle 2 ESP32-E, and one of the primary reasons for using this particular board was to utilize the TP4056, an onboard lithium cell power management integrated circuit.

The onboard ESP-WROOM-32E is also quite capable of handling display-related projects, so it was an ideal choice for a project like this.

You can check out the product’s wiki for more information about this dev board.”

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