The Portal video game series is one of the most iconic in history, and the games have given rise to all kinds of memes and pop culture references. There is, of course, the classic “the cake is a lie.” But, it’s the robotic characters in the game that have the real personality. GLaDOS obviously stands out, but even the turret gun enemies are entertaining. Now, you can 3D print your own Portal 2 turret guns, and bring them to life with an Arduino.
This design was created by Hackster.io user Novachris, and it’s completely functional. Okay, it won’t actually shoot you, but it will simulate shooting you. It’s not a perfect replica of the in-game design, because some sacrifices were made for printability and functionality, but it’s very close to the actual thing. It uses a LIDAR sensor to detect if someone is nearby, and if so it will open up, rotate towards them, and start “firing” it’s LEDs. It also has an MP3 chip for playing gun sound effects, and the actual AI voice clips from the game.
All of the mechanical parts were modeled by Novachris within Autodesk Fusion 360, and can be printed on any standard FFF (Fused-Filament Fabrication) 3D printer. The are many electronic components that make it work, but the most noteworthy are an Arduino Nano, a DFPlayer Mini MP3 player, a speaker, a VL53L0X time-of-flight ranging sensor, generic hobby micro servos, and LEDs. Novachris has provided all of the code necessary to get these working on his project page, so you can start right away.
Once you have a fleet of turrets built, Novachris also has a second project that will let you control them all. It’s a small handheld controller, which is also 3D-printable. It too runs on an Arduino Nano, and uses a nRF24L01 radio chip for communication — you’ll also need to add one of those to each of your turrets. With the Master Turret Control, you can manually operate your turrets and gain access to additional functions, like including an Aria mode like from the end scene of Portal 2.