There’s not a TON of glowforge involved in this, and you’ll need to scroll down a bit to find it.
Back in the day, my wife and I were huge fans of the video game Dance Dance Revolution, and I built this metal dance stage:
It has a 25-pin D-SUB connector at the top that directly wires to each button. Originally when I built this, this connected to a box with electronics scavenged from an old Playstation controller so I could use this on my Playstation or Playstation 2. By keeping the electronics outside the dance stage, I knew I could future-proof it for future video game systems.
For a long while this had an old original X-Box controller running things. This let me hook it up to the Mac Mini I use as my entertainment center, and play StepMania, as X-Box controllers can be plugged into USB. I dug this out of storage the other day and dusted it off and discovered that the X-Box drivers for MacOS haven’t been updated in a while, so I decided to build a new set of electronics for this. I used an Arduino Leonardo, which can emulate a keyboard over USB, and works perfectly for this (here’s the Glowforge bit):
Pinout written on the top of the case, so I can do this again in ten years when I want to build new electronics.
To do this, I made a rough model of the Arduino board in Fusion 360, paying special attention to the hole placement and the size and position of the power and USB connectors on the back. I then sketched the faces of the enclosure, and used the projection tool to project the cutouts for the Arduino mounting holes (this was an invaluable resource for this). I created four acrylic “washers” to support the board within the enclosure, and then just attached the Arduino to the case with M4 bolts with nuts on the bottom. There are four holes in the corners of the enclosure, top and bottom; longer bolts go through these to keep the enclosure together.