Arcade Stick

by srepmub, published

Arcade Stick by srepmub Sep 8, 2012

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Arcade Stick by srepmub is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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A printable working version of the wonderful Commodore/Atari/etc Arcade Stick from Suzo International. Connector, spring, steel bar, microswitches and rubber not included!


Edit the .scad file to set your layer height, extrusion width and default wall thickness. As I got a bit lazy in the end, there will probably be some issues after changing these. Please let me know when you run into problems.

Next, have a look at the module 'separate_parts' to see how to generate each individual part. The module 'cut_through' may also be useful to check if everything fits. I didn't use any padding, so parts should fit exactly.

You'll need to enable support to print most of these parts. I used the default honeycomb support in Slic3r 0.9.1.

The MANUAL_SUPPORT setting adds some manual support and anti-warp structures. I added the anti-warp structures after noting the main upper part did not come out perfectly straight. So you may want to add some more anti-warp structures for this one too.

As I used an exact fit everywhere, it may require quite a bit of sanding to get everything to fit nicely, depending on your setup.

Replicate the PCB, either by etching it (I used Fritzing to create the copper mask, see the .fzz file) or using wires. Solder the microswitches to it (any large electronics shop should have these; you'll have to bend the firebutton one yourself).

Find a piece of 8mm steel bar, some kind of spring that fits inside the button, and a piece of rubber at least 13mm thick (local rubber shop?). For the spring, I used a piece of metal spiral found on a paper notebook. Cut the rubber to fit inside the main upper part. A fretsaw worked very well for me.

I'm not aware of a printable DE-9 connector, so you'll have to buy one, possibly create a printable version, or use the connector of an existing joystick. I'm planning on ordering one myself.

To test the joystick, I found it useful to simply peek at port 56321 or 56320.

I was originally planning on polishing the joystick before publishing it here, but I just couldn't help myself. I hope to add some photos of the polished version in a few more days.

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Hey there, I tried printing this wonderful joystick :) It's my first time 3D-printing anything though, so it would be awesome if you could help me with a couple of things!

I'm generally confused about how I'm supposed to assemble it. I don't have any of the parts that are not in the model, but I am planning to make the inner electronics with a Makey-Makey-substitute, and when I understand how to assemble the parts I have, I'll buy or find substitutes for the missing parts. So, some questions in random order:

The top of the box doesn't seem to fit the bottom exactly. Is that because of a misprint, or is that where the rubber comes in? Where does the rubber come in?
Should I glue the two parts of the box to each other or is it possible to screw them together through the small holes?
The tip of the button seems to be too large for the hole in the top of the box - is that because my dimensions are off? (I didn't change anything from the files other than separating the parts)

I'm also not an electronics pro, so maybe that's why I'm confused about some of these things. I hope you have time to answer these questions - I am super confused, but I'm learning a ton, and I can't wait for this awesome thing to work :) Thank you so much for making and sharing this - I am going to use it for an arcade machine I am making for Nordic Game Jam next weekend.

oh, I assume you saw this as well..? :)


ABS polishing experiment
by srepmub

you certainly didn't pick an easy project as your first print.. :-)

you'll need a pretty well calibrated setup to print this without having to do a bit of sanding.. I think I didn't even tend to add tolerance parameters to my projects at the time. but it's been a while ago, so I forgot a lot of the process.

the top and bottom part should fit I guess, but so you probably need some sanding for a precise fit. the screws should be enough to hold them together, like the original stick.

I can recommend playing a bit with openscad, and the 'cut-through' view(s) as described in the instructions, to see how those parts fit together. in addition, looking at all the photos should perhaps make it easier to see how the rest should fit. you could of course also get a real arcade stick and take it apart. they are still pretty cheap online.

the (cylindrical) rubber goes in the big hole in the upper part. the steel rod goes through that, up into the actual handle. this is a really nice and solid construction.

thanks for building of course, and feel free to ask more questions!

Thanks a bunch for the answer :)
Yeah probably a little too ambitious... But it's turning out okay! I am filing the hole for the button right now to expand it, since that seems to be the only thing that doesn't fit.
Getting some screws in it helped with visualizing how it'll be in the end. Everything is in place now, I only need some microswitches to finish the mechanics I think.

I'll put some pictures up when it's all done. I don't have time or sandpaper enough to make it smooth, but I actually like the chunky rough 3D-printer look of it :)

I played for many hours using it, works very well.. :-)

Hi there,

I'm an editor for MAKE and I'm writing up a list of useful 3D printed objects and I'd like to include your joystick. But I need your name to give you credit and the material you used. Can you email me this info ASAP?  sholbrook="oreilly:twitter" href="http://twitter.com/oreilly/oreilly .com


Stett Holbrook

I uploaded some photos of a mostly polished version as thing 30198! Results could be better, but my time for this is up for now (long trip).

Hi srepmub!

I am a PhD student doing research on the design of interactive objects for fabrication... would you mind answering a few questions about your design process? My email address is valkyrie at eecs dot berkeley dot edu. Great piece!

If you used some of the nice spring designs on thingiverse you could go back and make two more parts printable, or if the rubber can be changed to a planar spring, you could make a mold for Oogoo. (Google it)

You could also probably get rid of the steel rod and just print one! (I know if wouldn't be as strong).

That just leaves the micro switches... I'll get right on it.

I guess in the long term we want to be able to print everything ourselves, but for now I am happy to buy standard components at the local hardware store.. :-) besides I wanted to exactly replicate this thing, so that meant using the same materials such as rubber..

Having played with countless joysticks like this over the years the steel rod is necessary. I've snapped the shaft on more than one atari joystick. This thing is a great piece of work.