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Single hand Joy-Con adapter (Left)

by Vexelius, published

Single hand Joy-Con adapter (Left) by Vexelius Jul 20, 2017
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11471Views 869Downloads Found in Toy & Game Accessories

Summary

This adapter was developed by request of my friend Rami Wehbe , who wanted a way to play Zelda: Breath of the wild using only his left hand; as he lost the ability to control his right hand due to a cerebrovascular accident.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has a complex control scheme, and the shape of the included Joy-Con grip doesn't help at all. So, I decided to make a customized grip that would help in this situation.

This current design was the result of almost a week of research and lots of failed prototypes, as I had to ensure that it would be easy to print, lightweight and practical. After testing that it works properly, we decided to share it, so that it can be of help to other gamers in a similar situation. Please bear in mind that this design was optimized for use with the left hand. Although it's possible to use it with the right hand, some actions might be difficult to perform.

https://youtu.be/5AEry5VSmhY

UPDATE:
After one week of testing, Rami found an issue with the original model: Due to the size of his hand, he couldn't reach some buttons comfortably. So, I made a second version, which reduces the space between both Joy-Cons.

Now, this site features both versions of the adapter, which can be downloaded from the Thing files section.
V1: Features a 90 degree angle between both Joy-Cons. It's recommended for gamers with bigger hands and longer fingers (such as myself!)
V2: Features a 45 degree angle between both Joy-Cons. It also reduces the spacing between them, making them easier to hold. Recommended for gamers with smaller hands and children.

Watch Rami play Breath of the Wild single-handedly!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-tTyJ8kJAo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMbqbP4VH6Y

Print Settings

Printer:

Flashforge Creator Pro 2016

Rafts:

No

Supports:

No

Resolution:

0.3mm

Infill:

25%


Notes:

I have tested this model in PLA, and it works perfectly. Print time takes approximately 1 hour and a half.

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Vexelius,

This is fantastic. I have been looking for a one-handed controller for years. The design above inspired me to try something similar for the right hand. I glued two joy con protective covers back-to-back. (It looks like you took the normal-style controller and folded in half). IThe functionality was ok. The big issue was the way the covers are created, you can't easily access the L and R buttons (the plastic case gets in the way). Have you considered something like that? Instead of a 45 (deg) angle making it flat and spread out slightly to account for the triggers?

Yes! In April, I made an adapter requested by a man named Josh. His brother could use only the right hand and I came up with a design that is similar to your idea: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2278346

Right-hand adapter for Nintendo Switch's Joy-Cons

Hi Vexelius, thanks so much for posting this!
My mother has had her left arm amputated and has spent countless hours watching me play BOTW in nostalgia from the N64 days and has been dying to play it herself. I've noticed that further down in the comments you were discussing a right handed version with someone.
Have you made any progress with this? I'd love to be able to get one for her!
Thanks again, you are doing a wonderful thing for a lot of frustrated people.

Hello! So far, I have been unable to make any progress on this, as my 3D printer is currently out of commission... I'm waiting for the replacement parts to arrive. As soon as that happens, I'll re-take this project.

Hi Vexelius, did you receive the replacement parts for your printer? I'm really looking forward to seeing more of your good work :D.

Unfortunately, a series of earthquakes hit my country (the first one occurred very close to the city where I live) and caused serious damage to the cities and roads. So, it's unlikely that I will be able to receive the remaining parts anytime soon. Currently, my printer lies disassembled in a corner of my house... I'm sorry, but I don't know if I will be able to get back to 3D printing in the near future.

That's brilliant. Thank you so much! We'll be sure to leave a nice tip for your hard work.

Hi Vexelius, I was looking for reviews on Nintendo Switch controller for people with handicap when I came across Rami's YouTube video that led me to this website. My 9 years old son who is an avid gamer since he was 4 has a weak left hand/arm that he is unable to use in gaming. It amazes me how he can play with regular controllers using only one hand. Obviously it's challenging to be really competitive and play all games/levels that require enhanced coordination with only one hand. Some times he gets frustrated, which breaks my heart!.... He loves Mario games! So far I have been on the fence about buying Nintendo Switch as I wasn't quite sure if he'd be happy or sad that he can't play his favorite games. This has given me hope! Two questions: Q1. I know it has been really helpful for handicapped adults, have you heard any feedback on kids using this adapter with ease? Q2. I don't know enough about how and where to get this printed, can you please provide some guidance? Thank you!

I understand... I had an accident when I was 15 that left me with a weak left hand. Suddenly, even normal tasks became difficult to perform and playing videogames (specially those that needed quick reflexes or accurate moves) became too frustrating. I was able to get better after years of EMS treatment but still get a twitch on the left hand at times.

The Nintendo Switch has an amazing potential for developing accessibility adapters, because of its modular nature. In other consoles, you would have to disassemble the controller, make modifications and perform other kinds of "destructive" adaptations... In contrast, the Nintendo Switch allows to make an adapter that can be easily removed at any time.

Q1: So far I haven't received any feedback from young gamers. But all it takes is a bit of patience and practice to get used to it.
Q2: The easiest way to print this is through 3DHubs.com - This website will determine your location and find nearby stores that can print this adapter for you. All you have to do is provide the STL file that you can download from this page.

Can you tell me more about the condition of your son? Maybe I can develop an adapter optimized for his case. I assume that his left arm doesn't allow him to hold the controller and operate the buttons at the same time... If that's the case, it would be possible to make a support that "holds" the controller into a more comfortable position.

Thank you for your quick response. You are right, he usually has the controller on his lap with his left arm somewhat supporting it to stay in place, but he cannot really use his fingers so well. He has XBOX One right now, but as I said he loves Mario and wants Nintendo. I have been afraid to buy it not knowing how it will work out in his case... didn't want to disappoint him. May be now I will buy one for him :)

It's so kind of you to offer to design a custom adapter. I am not sure what you have in mind though? Is there any example you can share?

Thanks again!

Yes! The first design I made was a "stand" where the user could attach the Joy-Cons, so that they could be easily placed on a flat surface or the user's lap. For some reason, the comment where I shared the link to the project was "flagged for moderation" (I guess it's because it pointed to another website) - But you can see it by putting the following terms on Google: "myminifactory switch accessibility stand"

I found it... Thank you! Very helpful. I think I will try the other two adapters first, especially the one with the extension for Left Trigger. Also, I read or heard somewhere that for the first one you made for your friend, Rami, has two versions; One 90 degrees and one 45 degrees? Is that right? On the website I see only one.

Thanks.

I'm so glad you are out searching for your son. Full disclosure I have sent AdnanFaizi a message offering to print any item he wants for his son. Vex I don't know how I missed it but I didn't realize you had a 45 degree design in that V2 design. Mine ended up being a bit more separated out making for a more gradual curve on the printed object (obviously 45 degrees is 45 degrees so same final product). Can't wait to report back to you on my friend's thoughts. Also grateful to have found your other accessibility controller attachment. Designing and printing peripherals for handicapped gamers is a BIG DEAL and I'm excited to have found an already active movement for this.

Thanks. I will check your message.

Thank you very much for your kindness, Nepherael! :D
I'm happy to meet people like you, who step up to help other persons.

I'll modify the Thing's description so that it's clearer to understand that there are currently two versions of the adapter.

Just wanted to add. I went back and looked and I had V2 opened (I am currently using DesignSpark Mechanical) and when I would measure the faces it kept coming up as 70 degrees. That's how I missed it and what prompted me to rebuild at 45 degrees. I'm not sure if it's an issue with my program measuring or if it really is 70 degrees.

Just wanted to give you a heads up

Yeah, if you measure the angle between the faces, it's 70 degrees. However, the distance between faces has been reduced in contrast to V1, which creates a somewhat odd situation: The angle between Joy-Cons becomes 45 degrees (around 55 degrees to be precise), although the angle between faces is a different value.

I decided to refer to it as 45° just to keep things simple.

Ah I see. I understand now. I'm going to print that one then and give it a look-see vs the one I made. Because of how the distance affects it I bet your V2 might work even better than the one I made. Thanks for clarifying

In the "Thing Files" you can find V1 and V2 : V1 is the one that has the 90° angle, while V2 is 45°

Perfect... Thanks!

Yes! The first design I made was for a similar case. It's designed so that the user can rest the controller in a flat surface or in their lap.
https://www.myminifactory.com/object/accessibility-stand-for-the-nintendo-switch-joy-con-32182

For this case, I would make some improvements to the design so that it can accommodate both Joy-Cons.

Hey Vexelius and Nepherael - How are you doing today? I just noticed something that I thought I will ask you here rather than in a message, because it might help others.

So all our use cases (that I have seen so far) have been for left handed users. I noticed that the Joystick knobs on right and left pads are not aligned. I am wondering if this will work out equally well for right handed folks? I don't have it so I can't really tell, but just by trying to position my hand I feel the right thumb would be in a little awkward position with the lower joystick in the right pad. What do you guys think? Thanks!

You're right. Unfortunately, Nintendo decided to put the joysticks in a very odd, asymmetrical position... I have tried playing with my right hand, and while it's possible, a few actions are uncomfortable to perform. (The most complex ones, that require 3 buttons to be pressed at the same time). I am currently thinking if there could be a way to make an alternative version, more suitable for right hand operation.

I'll try to develop a prototype next week, as my 3D printer had an issue last week and I'm waiting for a replacement part to arrive.

Hi Vexelius, I hope you are doing well! I thought I'd check to see if you have any new designs? If not, then I think I am ready to get your existing Joycon designs printed. I am thinking about placing an order on 3DHUB as you suggested, but not sure which material to use; PLA or ABS? Any suggestions? Thanks!

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to make any new designs. In September, a series of earthquakes hit my hometown and caused some damage to my workshop. Yesterday, I was finally able to fix my 3D printer, but it'll take a while until I finish the development of a viable prototype for right hand users.

I would suggest you to print the adapters in PLA. It's cheaper than ABS and has good resistance and durability for this application.

Yes, we heard about that in news. So unfortunate! All the best wishes for you and everyone else who was affected.... Thank you!

Great! For my purposes though, I am leaning towards the other adapter as it brings all the buttons together including the left trigger which is always a challenge for my son. Wish you all the best of luck with all your new creations!

I keep a part time job at Gamestop in Indiana, USA. My store manager has limited use of her right hand from a chilhood brain trauma. She sent me this and has asked me to print it. Thank you for sharing. Her hand is very small so I will be printing V2 and I have also recreated it with an even further bend (from 70 degrees down to 45 degree bend). I'm not sure how the 45 will work but her hand is so small I wanted to try a few of them.

Thanks again

If she's still having some issues, even with V2 and the version that you recreated, please contact me. I'll try to develop an adapter that can work with her hand size.

Oh cool thanks! When she showed it to me I was surprised as I've run into a few of your designs already on here (I have FFCP clone and your cooling fan ducts have caught my attention etc.) I was excited to print something functional for someone on a request. I finished the first print and it works like a charm. I'm now printing my version and she is planning to test today. I'll be happy to report back on it.

As an aside, prior to purchasing this I've had zero 3D modeling experience. My purchase was mainly to expand my business and I realized fast that I had to learn to model because I can't just grab designs then print and sell them. It has been quite an experience teaching myself to use all of these programs and it's very gratifying to create something that works when I finally do. Thank you for taking the time to upload your designs. I look forward to doing the same as I become more confident in my modeling skills.

You're welcome! I hope it can be of use to her! :)

Reporting back. She's stoked and very grateful. Of course it will take some getting used to but she is very thankful.

I had an idea for bringing the adapter to fully straight which would put the Joy Con's completely back to back. With how far out the triggers come this might separate the controllers too far for comfortable hand placement but if they can be kept close enough together it is something I considered for easier button tracking. I may print it just to test.

Good luck in your tests! This is an interesting approach that I decided not to take because I wanted the controller to be able to stand on a desk or flat surface without compromising the input. However, it might be very useful for some situations.

Thanks so much for this. Lost my arm in a bike accident but still enjoy gaming. I'll be trying this out for sure. Cheers!

I'm glad that this design might be helpful for you! When you try it, I would appreciate your feedback :)

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