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I decided to try my hand in moldmaking and plastic casting. For my first project, I decided to make a replica of the prototype controller (well, the buttons at least).

The advantage of using plastic and plastic dye rather than just painting the buttons are that the color will never rub off when it is cast with plastic. I have a feeling paint would not last very long on a VB controller!

I don’t think the yellow has fully cured yet, I may have to redo that button. But overall, for my first stab at plastic, I am very happy with the results!

Note: I didn’t take the time to cast or paint the rest of the controller, so it is not a full replica.

I plan on trying to replicate more parts of the VB, such as game cartridges (I think it would be cool to have a clear one), dust caps, and of course the stand part that always breaks. I have an idea with the stand part so that it would not break anymore, hopefully I can get that implemented soon.

For those of you wondering, I bought all of my materials at http://www.alumilite.com/

Edit: The colors don’t look quite right on the computer screen, they look much better in person. Maybe I can get a better shot of it later.

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16 Replies

Hey thats pretty cool I really like the way the buttons look, like the man at the beggining of each level of red alarm says ‘good luck’ was it hard to put the controller back together beacause of those parts on the back for the battery pack?

Hah! VERY nice! Will be interesting to see if you can get dust caps and cart cases made, especially clear ones.

Looks good, like the moulding route, I have been getitng parts milled with cnc, takes time and i have to rely on another fella to do that part for me.
If it helps i have modelled the stand parts in 3D Solidworks, i can export them to another format if you would like copies. PM me if you do and I’ll email you some over.

I am working on the controller now, but having bit of trouble getting the compounded curves of the body to look right, it will happen its just taking time and fitting in between work stuff.

Looks good! Kinda makes me want some Skittles though 😉 .

DogP

Hedgetrimmer, what exactly are you trying to make as far as the controller? And for what purpose? But anyway, I appreciate the offer but I don’t need any CAD files, all I need to make a mold is the original part (and I have all the parts already)

I made a new yellow button yesterday, and it works perfect. I really like the way the gray d-pads look, but I am not such a big fan of the green button. It just does not look as bright as I would like it to. Maybe I will try to make another one.

It takes about a day to make a mold (not a day of work, just a day to let the mold set), so don’t expect anything anytime soon, but I will post more pictures once I get more stuff done. The buttons were easy to do, but the rest of the parts will be much harder.

mbuchman wrote:
Hedgetrimmer, what exactly are you trying to make as far as the controller? And for what purpose? But anyway, I appreciate the offer but I don’t need any CAD files, all I need to make a mold is the original part (and I have all the parts already)

I’m not actually trying to manufacture any of the controller, just model it up in 3D to get some good renders and views and cos i draw boring straight engineering stuff all day and wanted to get to grips with compounded curves and surfaces, heres a pic of the top of the controller half so far.
My CAD data could be used to cnc mill a mold, but using the original is gonna be far quicker and easier.
I’m liking what you have done so far, good work fella.

Did I mention yet that i absolutely LOVE your VB 3D models, Hedgetrimmer? 😀 Great work! I am already looking forward to the next update you give us about your work.

Thanks Krisse, you are most kind, I do enjoy doing the modelling, although these curves are a bit mind bending to get right, i get very odd looking handles until i get my skteches correct.
I might have a bit of time actually today to have another go at the back, that bit is really testing my brain at the moment, but when it comes out right I am very pleased with the results.
I will keep you posted, its taking time but eventually i will have a full VB modelled.

Very cool models!

@mbuchman:

Good job on the buttons. I’m curious, though: why did you cast new buttons and dye them? Couldn’t you just dye the original buttons/dpads?

Also, my brother and I are planning to make some “Foosball” players and we need some material ideas. We can make masters and molds, but what type(s)/brand(s) of resin, etc. did you use, and what kind of prices are we looking at?


@Hedgetrimmer
:

LOOOOOVE the pad half model! Are you doing the inside and outside of each half, or just the outer shell?

I hate to say it, but the controller is one of my least-favorite parts of the VB. The d-pads are too small and have sharp corners, and the shape is just completely wrong for my hands (I have largish hands with rather long fingers, but the pads still seem way too far apart). I’ve been trying to come up with a “mutated” SNES pad (best pad evar!) with dual d-pads and symmetrical Sel/Start/A/B button groups. So, if you ever model an SNES pad, make sure and send me a copy 😀


@Hedgetrimmer
:
Are you doing the inside and outside of each half, or just the outer shell?

Hey Runnerpack, glad you like the models, for now i am just concentrating on getting the outer to look right, in time maybe I’ll get it all done in & out, but then that would involve taking it apart, I would probably wait until i have a spare of each as i would be gutted to open it all up, measure it and then find it don’t work again putting back together, that might seem a bit paranoid to some I only having 1 set of hardware, any donations much appreciated, working or not!!

A SNES pad, you know that could be my next project once the VB is done, it was probably my most used console, not working at the time gave me loads of time to play, ah the days of 12 hour golf sessions and Mario Kart til 5am.

RunnerPack,

I used everything from Alumilite.com. I have no idea how much resin you would need, but you can get 2 gallons of the plastic resin for $94, shipping would be maybe $15 or so (I don’t know), and if you alredy have the molds then you would be all set. If you are doing it as 1 solid piece (rather than 2 halfs) then you may want to look into using a filler in order to save money on the resin. And if you don’t already have the molds, that will be another $30 to $60 for the silicone. If you are making the players as two halves that you glue together later then you would not have to worry about air bubbles, but if you do it as just one piece, you would probably have to use a pressure chamber or something. Alumilite seems to be geared at the hobbyist market, so I am sure they could alswer any quesitons. But that sounds like a pretty sweet idea!

As far as the dye goes, how could you dye plastic that already has a color? But really the whole point of the project was for a starter project in plastic molding.

Oops! I got busy and forgot to reply! (We need an embarrassment emoticon 😛 )

mbuchman wrote:
RunnerPack,

I used everything from Alumilite.com. I have no idea how much resin you would need, but you can get 2 gallons of the plastic resin for $94, shipping would be maybe $15 or so (I don’t know),

Thanks for the link! Sounds kind of expensive, but I doubt anything of similar quality would be any cheaper… On the bright side, I probably won’t need that much. Maybe they have small sample quantities or something.

Thanks for all the tips about molding (I knew it all, but thanks all the same 😉 ) Did you take some classes on this or something?

But that sounds like a pretty sweet idea!

Thanks, so was your VB controller :thumpup:

As far as the dye goes, how could you dye plastic that already has a color?

I was referring to “vinyl dye”. It’s used to change the color of car interior parts (dash, armrest, etc.) and is, appropriately enough, found at auto part stores. It’s like paint that sort of softens the surface of the plastic so the pigment “soaks in”. I’ve never tried it.

A web search will find lots of info on using it to color ABS things… like the VB pad buttons/case.

But really the whole point of the project was for a starter project in plastic molding.

Well, I think you’ve started, and what a great start it was! 😀

I have wanted to make cartridge shells for my Fairchild-games for a long time, it would be nice to give it a try.

Perhaps some VB-cartridge shells could be made? For the FlashBoy, all that is needed then is a connector that works (seems to be 2mm distance round pins) and no more original games need to be slaughtered.

If you could find anywhere to buy the connector, then a lot of people would be happy. Well maybe not a lot. But regardless, I have had no luck finding anything with that spacing and to the best of my knowledge nobody else hase either.

And it would be possible to make the connector, sure, but that would be a lot of work, and I think the mold might break pretty quickly.

I do still plan on making the cartridge shell, but have not gotten arond to it yet. I have half the mold done, but I don’t think it will work. It is kind of expensive, what I have found as a general rule is if you can buy the part, then don’t make it yourself.

I have found a connector that might fit:
https://www1.elfa.se/data1/wwwroot/webroot/Z_DATA/04379177.pdf

I’m thinking of the 2mm, 2×40 holes (very lousy datasheet).

But it’s made for square pins, if it fits, the connectors probably must be tightened.

The “If you can buy the part…” is probably true.

Unless you can’t afford it and have time and materials to spare.

😉

  • This reply was modified 12 years, 8 months ago by e5frog.

 

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