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Here at NextFab, we designed a fully functional, USB game controller for Philly Tech Week. This project will be particularly tricky without some more serious electronics equipment or a local makerspace with the proper tools, but we thought we would post our walk-through in case you do have the access and would like to make your own!

Tools Needed:

Supplies Needed:

  • Electronic components (list attached later)
  • PCB (Order from our Gerber files)
  • 1/8" Acrylic
  • NinjaFlex filament
  • Hardware (list provided later)

Step 1: Circuit Board

The first step in making your own USB game controller is to grab an Arduino and start prototyping. It is important to make sure you use an Arduino Leonardo, Micro, or Due as they have HID (human interface device) capabilities. Essentially this means that they can act as a keyboard or a mouse and hooked up to a computer via USB. So to start interfacing, we hooked up 10 buttons to the Arduino Micro on digital pins 2-6, 8-10, 12 and 13 using a couple current-limiting resistors on the 3 LEDs.

To make a final controller, it was necessary to condense the whole perf-board - Arduino and all - to fit on one small PCB. We designed the board for this using Altium Designer and have exported and attached the Gerber files needed for board manufacture. So feel free to download ours and send them to your favorite fab house to make your custom controller.

This is cool and all, but why does almost everything on instructables use a 3d printer or a laser cutter?
<p>Mainly because they are pretty accessible and are a great way to make your electronics or other projects look polished and nice with a great casing!</p>
<p>Yea I agree with you jhodges15. It's not as accessible as drills, dremels, or gluesticks and scissors.</p><p>I feel like actually building a product is more fulfilling than printing it.<br>I won't lie though, I'd love to have a printer.</p>
Exactly. I feel like so many people on here think everyone has access to these things. They are great and can help big time, but the average person doesn't have one.
I honestly dont understand. A person makes something that they can share with others. They show step by step. He made it first for himself, then was nice enough to upload code details and pictures. Then after all that hard work, people complain about how it was made and what tools it was made with.<br><br>I usually look at it and think. &quot;Do I have the things to make this.&quot; No? Get them or move on. Or the other option I think of is, can it be made with other materials I have available? <br><br>Just be happy people take the time to share these! <br><br>I personally bought a 3d printer so I can make cool things like this!!
Believe me I'm not trying to talk down on your instructable. I just prefer ones that use more common household tools. Something that is more DIY to the common person, instead of using tools a commercial builder would use.
<p>We definitely understand where you're coming from, however we are a makerspace and we have all these tools available for public access. So a lot of our Instructables are done using these tools and showcasing what can be done with access to them. They are very cool tools to use and are pretty available to the public, so we want to put out our designs for people to see what can be done when combining all sorts of different processes. Of course, not everyone can make all of them, however we want this to be available to those who can. </p>
I need average cost of all the materials please! !!!!
Anybody on here from Richmond va if so hmu chrish1024@hotmail.com
<p>Do anybody has the <strong>ARDUINO CODE</strong> ?</p>
Maybe think about adding Bluetooth for a slick mobile game controller.
<p>NICE! good thing i can use the 3d printer and laser cutter at school.</p>
impressive. i like it.
Where do you get the materials
<p>Sorry, which materials are you referring to? Most of the electronics come from DigiKey if that's what you are looking for.</p>
That's so cool! Great build. A few things confused me though...<br>Why do and Select needs to be pulled down when the buttons are connected to ground? Also the pull down resistors are not there in schematic image.
<p>Ah yes, apologies! Looking at the prototype, I thought they were used as pull-downs, but looking at the schematic and the final board, I remembered they were just current-limiting resistors for the LEDs. Sorry for the confusion, but great catch!</p>
Excellent use of ninjaflex.
Well now that's just cool! And good looking to boot!

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Bio: Collaborative workspace with digital and traditional fabrication tools, 3D printers, CNC machines, classes, events, and professional consulting services.
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