My Build and Troubleshooting Process
I believe in complete transparency. You will find me to be an honest and genuine person and proprietor. I treat my customers the way they would want to be treated, with care and compassion. On this page I will share with you the manufacturing, build and troubleshooting processes of my custom 3D Printed arcade sticks and my mold injected control pads. All items are handmade with care and precision and quality parts. I guarantee my workmanship to be free of defects or your money back. Thanks for taking a few minutes to review.
3D Printed Arcade Sticks
After designing the object in 3D modeling software (Fusion 360, Tinkercad, Vectary, etc) the model is exported as an .STL file and then imported into some slicing software (there are many). Here is where specific adjustments are made to various settings which include infill (I use 25% - makes it very strong) - scaling, orientation, filament types (I use PLA+) and temperatures, layer adjustments and many more. Once those are set - you can then export the file known as .gcode to a USB stick or SD card - or on some setups print directly to the printer. I prefer to export to an SD card. The SD card is inserted into a tested and leveled / calibrated 3D printer (very important step). Using the menu on the printer - I select the file I want to print and BOOM - in X number of hours your object is printed. Sounds fun right? Sound easy? It is fun and it takes some time to learn to get it right, but it is not rocket science. Be prepared, 3D Printing is FUN - BUT it is also FRUSTRATING all in one. It is not all rainbows and butterflies - you have to take the good with the bad. If you ever had to replace a heat block, hot end, bed thermistor, stepper motor etc then you know what I mean. If you ever dealt with a BLOB on your heat block or wondering why your failed print looks like "spaghetti" - then you know what I mean. After the parts are finished printing, I assemble the components and wire up the internals depending on the desired configuration. I use clone / copy arcade stick parts and buttons that are similar in form factor and quality to the Sanwa brand, but without the high costs. All connections are soldered and butt connected. The sticks go through a quality assurance test on original hardware before shipping and are thoroughly tested for smooth operation.
The below video shows the Atari 5200 cover being printed by 2 of my 3D printers. The process to print just the cover takes about 4 hours. (settings dependent)
Factory Mold Injected Controllers
In addition to 3D Printing arcade sticks, I also have a variety of control pads for various retro consoles and computers. These include:
- Atari 7800 / 2600
- Commodore 64 / Atari Flashback with 2nd button mapped to UP
- Magnavox Odyssey 2
- Texas Instruments TI-99
- Atari 2600 Omega Race
- Sega Master System
- Commodore 64 GS (Game System - true 2 button)
I manufacture my own PCBs (circuit boards), cables and have a distributor that provides mold injected cases and internal parts. I use strong, laminated vinyl decals that I get printed up from a local shop. Each control pad PCB is configured for the appropriate console configuration by using various components such as resistors, jumpers, diodes and trace cuts. I developed the PCB to be versatile so I can make changes as needed. This versatility has allowed me to create these various configurations listed above. Once the controller is assembled, I test all its functions for smooth operation on original hardware. I make sure the button presses are exact and the directions move as expected. If something is not right or to my liking I go back in an tweak to make sure it works to my standards.
The below video shows the MSX control pad play Contra.
Uh Oh - something does not work
On occasion an item will arrive and it may not work as you expected it to, or it may not work at all. If this is the case you can contact me and I will help troubleshoot the problem. Most of the time when an issue does occur it is because the customer's joystick port is bad. So I always recommend that they try another known working joystick and see if the same behavior occurs. However, I have had issues where even after testing, a cable is defective or a button is stuck. If this happens I will immediately replace the product, or provide you with a return for a refund. My goal is only to have happy and satisfied customers. I honestly want you to tell me if you like it or not. If you don't you get your money back. I believe I have had some buyer's remorse situations on eBay and Amazon - where customers say a controller was defective and when it is returned, it works just fine. I'd rather you be upfront and honest. My feelings won't be hurt. I will even go the extra level and create troubleshooting videos to help you see the problem and/or solution.
The below video shows a sample troubleshooting and quality assurance test for a customer - Amiga control pad.
SLA 3D Printing - Liquid Resin - Control Pad Buttons