SuperNES controller 100% direct replacement buttons

Discussion in 'Modding and Hacking - Consoles and Electronics' started by Frank Coroan, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. Frank Coroan

    Frank Coroan Member

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    So, since I'm in a sharing mood and new to the forum as a poster, here is another little project I did earlier this year.

    For a few years, as a way to earn extra income, I'd repair and refurbish broken consoles. Soon I found myself with piles of broken controllers and systems that needed replacement pieces that just werent available for a reasonable price so I started down the road to reverse engineering and making them myself. One thing that I had a lot of was SuperNES controllers with broken trigger buttons. 99% of the time the hinge was broken and all that could be done was take buttons from donor controllers that had irreparable circuit boards. Having my background, and a 3D printer in my basement, made this project an easy choice. I started with measurements and sketches of all of buttons, dpad and shoulders. It took a LOT of test prints to get the sizing PERFECT so I could just drop them into the controller and have them look, feel and WORK like stock...including the US SNES concave and convex buttons, Then once I had the fit and function nailed down I wanted to go with the JP SFC color scheme and custom black D-pad. I made other colors too including glow in the dark....pretty neat but not my thing.

    The pictures make the finish look rough but they really are lightly sanded and fairly smooth. Not like the B-class polish the injection molded stock pieces have but your thumb will barely notice.

    Next I need to take apart my SNES Classic Edition controllers and see if these are direct replacement,
     

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  2. Frank Coroan

    Frank Coroan Member

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    I found a few other pictures from February when I first started the project.
     

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  3. PixelButts

    PixelButts Site Soldier

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    They look a tad rough but with a small bit of sanding and some acetone baths you could make em nice and smooth
     
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  4. Frank Coroan

    Frank Coroan Member

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    They're printed with PLA so the acetone doesnt really do too much. I've wanted to try ABS but havent consistently succeeded with it yet.

    The buttons in the controller are sanded lightly and smooth to the touch. The pieces sitting loose are as-printed and are indeed rough to the touch.
     
  5. PixelButts

    PixelButts Site Soldier

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    PLA is softer and therefore is much easier to sand down than ABS. I've seen people use pressure cookers to take ABS and a specific acetone solution with rit dye to force it to take a colour all the way to using nail polish to smooth out some rougher bits
    It's not a lot. the idea is you make it melt just slightly and reapply til smooth OR you go the other way of using UV cured prints which are stupidly accurate and high res.

    You could try using acetone for PLA after a fine grit sandpaper (use a small brush, thin layers, do some tests) or you can print in ABS and try stuff like acetone vapor smoothing (or the brush and just repeat a few layers). Or just sand down PLA with an insanely fine grit sandpaper

    Shoutouts to my old hobby and buddy Brandon Enright for doing stuff like this
    http://twistypuzzles.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=22577

    And an older video using ABS and "Plastruct Bondene Styrene & ABS plastic solvent cement" which is a special solvent type
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  6. AtomizerZero

    AtomizerZero Enthusiastic Member

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    maybe try some clear 3d coat material, like XTC-3D. VERY THINLY coat the button, and dont sand it, and it'll keep it's colour and look and will be super smooth. Or, if you sand it, it'll have a matt look to it, and be smooth too, but not as smooth. It's designed for 3D printed models and works really great at filling in the lines and gaps without bloating out the model too much. The trick is just how thin you apply the coating. Thinner the better.
     
  7. Frank Coroan

    Frank Coroan Member

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    Both great suggestions. I'll look into both, for sure! I'm just getting a good grasp on material temperature, flow and speeds to get good adhesion and solid, strong parts. I thought I had my process figured out until I started doing some full build-plate-sized prints....and I was getting curling, over adhesion, gaps in walls and floors, etc. (see my game gear console thread). I've now dialed all of that out with the large prints I've found that the new process works even better on the small stuff than the old way did.
     
  8. snobgamergr

    snobgamergr Spirited Member

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    How is the durability of those buttons? Are the suitable for button mashing games?
     
  9. Frank Coroan

    Frank Coroan Member

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    Good enough for what I've done with them, but I also haven't played too many hard mashing games with them. Want a set? I have black filament in my machine now and could print you off a set for the cost of shipping. Since you appear to be overseas I may just send you two sets to make it worth the shipping. You'd be responsible for sanding/smoothing them to your liking. The sanding is easy but takes a little time on the concave buttons and d-pad.

    I'd thought about selling colored sets on Ebay but I havent put a lot of time into figuring how to provide a good finish on them so I've let that thought pass for now. Maybe if someone else proves the quality out I'd have motivation to make a bunch of different colors.
     

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