Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV

Fallout 4 was anounced June 4th, and I was immediately hooked. I absolutely love Fallout and have been looking forward to Fallout 4 for years. One of the first things that was obvious is that the old pip-boy, the Pip-boy 3000, has been replaced with a different model, the Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV. The new Pip-Boy has the buttons on the right instead of the left, and there are more buttons. It has a tape player on the top, and the opening mechanism is now defined. Now I rarely move aside running projects for something else, but Fallout is an exception. Time to make the Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV 3D printable.

Now there is a difficulty with this project, there is only limited reference. The Pip-Boy is already extremely difficult to design with proper reference, but now there is only a teaser trailer and the E3 video. This does not give the kind of reference I usually have. Another challenge is the huge amount of features in the Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV. I like to make as much features working as possible, and to get some of the features (most notably the tape player) working, was a real challenge. The people at Bethesda really tried their best to make the Pip-Boy as difficult as possible.

Another thing that was a real challenge was getting a phone to fit in this Pip-Boy. At the E3 it was announced that the collectors edition had a wearable Pip-Boy that could hold a phone, and so this 3D printed on also needed to be able to do that. There is only one problem. Smartphones have become bigger since fallout 3, and this Pip-Boy is smaller than the previous one. Bethesda has fixed this by breaking some of the proportions and dimensions to make a smartphone of decent size still fit. In some cases, dimensions are broken by around 1cm (which is way more than it sounds like). For the phone version of this 3D printed version, the proportions have also been broken to make the phone fit.

The 3D printed Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV comes in 3 sizes. This is because the previous version, the Pip-Boy 3000, was already too small for some people, and the Mark IV is even smaller in some regions. Simply scaling the parts up is not only time consuming and prone to mistakes, it messes up the design. Some holes in the parts are designed for the screws to tap threads. If these holes become 10% larger, the screws will no longer fit. The standard sizes that the pip-boy comes in are: 100%, 108% and 115%.

The Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV Phone edition is the version that will be most useful for most people. It can hold (as the name suggests) a phone that is within a certain size range. It is simply a case of printing it to have a usable Pip-Boy. To access the phone, 2 knobs near the tape player allow the front to come off. No tools are required to place and remove the phone (though it still take a half a minute or so). To make room for the phone, some of the buttons have been merged with the body of the Pip-Boy. It does have a latch mechanism and a tape player. The lights on the Pip-Boy can be 3D printed in clear plastic, and can be lit using colored LEDS. The gauges however cannot be lit, there simply isn’t enough room to fit lighting with the phone in the way.

(Edit 26-11-2015: The accurate version of the Pip-Boy 3000 Mk4 has been postponed until further notice. To design it I need to completely redo everything about the design (a 30 hour job) and I simply cannot find the motivation to do it with all other projects that I want to do. While I might do it at some point, don’t expect it to happen in the foreseeable future. My apologies to anyone who wanted the accurate version.)

The Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV Accurate edition (not yet finished) is the version for the serious tinkerer. It is as accurate as I can make it, with no sacrifice to fit anything in. This version can be used to make a wearable Pip-Boy computer, but for instance using a Raspberry Pi. It has all the same tube dimensions as the phone version of the Pip-Boy, but the body may differ in locations. It is also advised to download the source files of the accurate version in stead of simply downloading the STL files and printing, to make the design and all the buttons for to the parts you have available. All mechanical features, the latch and tape player are the same as on the phone edition, but more buttons can be made moving and all of the gauges can be made to light up (or even better, made working).


Making it

Phone sizes table 1

PB3k Mk4 Phone dimensions 1

PB3k Mk4 Phone dimensions 2

PB3k Mk4 Phone dimensions 3


¬†Click on the button below to go to the making one page. Here you can find a comprehensive gallery of photo’s on how to make and assemble the phone version, plus all 3D printer files in .stl format of the released versions.

Pip4 assembly





The project described on this page is licensed under the Creative commons - Attribution  - ShareAlike license.