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Steam Controller bumper / should / trigger mechanism

The Steam Controller from Valve is a revolutionary biometric device. It is shaped like a gamepad but with two programmable trackpads on it, and it also has a stick and an internal gyroscope that allows for precise movement in rotation X, Y and Z axes. And it does not stop there: Valve even published the entire 3D model of the device so that you can easily make your own 3D printed mods and fix your device in case it breaks.

The entire 3D model, I said?

Not really. For some mysterious reason, the most breakable part of the entire device, the trigger/bumper mechanism below these buttons, is missing from their files. And guess what - my controller broke exactly there, and as I live in a 3rd world country where this device costs three times more than in the US and we earn 5 times less, I would NOT buy a whole other device just for that broken button.

So, I did exactly what I had to do, I disassembled the controller, took a few photos of the broken part and its unbroken mirrored part, opened the open-source solid modeller freecad, modelled the part using caliper measurements and a reference photo, and... failed horribly. Printing in common plastics such as PLA, ABS and even nylon would make the part very breakable and too soft.

I resorted to about 22 iterations of modelling, exporting to Cura, printing in polycarbonate (the only material fit for this purpose, it seems) at 290°C (554°F), assembling it in place of the defective part, testing it, until I finally got some functional results, including the tactitle feedback of the bumper.

The part is not perfect by any means. Depending on how you assemble it on the controller, it might not 'click' or even press the bumper button. You might have to heat and bend it a little if so desired, it's usually at a very particular angle that it works, although I did my best to work out of the printer. Also, the trigger does not yet give a 'clicked' feedback, although it works perfectly. I did my best so that the spring action is ok and the buttons do not get stuck firing.

That was a hell of a struggle to get this working. I had to change lots of minuscule details for each iteration. Wasted a lot of plastic, took four days of continuous experimentation to finish. If you can deal with FreeCAD, the file is completely modifiable, and the license is permissive, so I would be delighted if you can improve the design - maybe you can make the trigger "click"?

Also, notice that the steam controller 3d models file by Valve lacks not one, but two parts. The other part is the one that connects to this one via the metal rod. I did not model that because mine did not break. I can not afford spending more time on it. But if you can, I would be very grateful. Everyone would.

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