Aug 16, 2017 | By Benedict

Mexican engineer Julio Vazquez has designed a pair of 3D printed Nintendo Switch accessories that allow one-handed gamers to play with both controllers at once. One adaptor puts the controllers side by side; the other puts them at right angles.

The Nintendo Switch has had its fair share of criticism since its launch back in March. Although generally well-received, the multi-screen console was initially condemned for problems with its left controller, as well as stuck pixels and the rather obvious problem of only having one good game.

But another less publicized problem with the Nintendo Switch—and many consoles, for that matter—is its lack of accessibility for disabled users.

With its modular “Joy-Con” controller, the Switch allows gamers to play in different ways, accommodating Wii-style, Gameboy-style, and traditional console gaming. But if you have just one hand, that multitude of options is reduced to zero.

That’s why engineer Julio Vazquez set about designing a pair of 3D printed accessories that make the Switch playable for one-handed gamers.

One of Vazquez’s adapters puts the two halves of the Joy-Con at right angles to one another, while the other sticks them side by side.

Both of these designs have their merits. The right-angle adapter allows gamers to use their thumb for one of the controllers and their fingertips for the other, while the side-by-side adapter simply allows gamers to reach their thumb across the face of both controllers. The more ornate side-by-side version is based on the Sheikah Slate from Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Full credit is due to Vazquez for his efforts, because the engineer has made the accessories available for free on Thingiverse. (Side-by-side version is here; right-angle version here.) His motivations for starting the project are also highly commendable:

“This adapter was developed by request of my friend Rami Wehbe,” Vazquez explains, “who wanted a way to play Zelda: Breath of the Wild using only his left hand, as he lost the ability to control his right hand due to a cerebrovascular accident.”

Although the right-angle adapter looks simple, Vazquez says he put plenty of time into making sure the design is as ergonomic as possibly for one-handed gamers.

“This current design was the result of almost a week of research and lots of failed prototypes, as I had to ensure that it would be easy to print, lightweight, and practical,” the engineer says. “After testing that it works properly, we decided to share it, so that it can be of help to other gamers in a similar situation.”

Vazquez printed both versions of the 3D printed Switch accessory on a Flashforge Creator Pro. A 0.3 mm resolution was adequate for each accessory, but the side-by-side accessory required an infill of 40% and supports. The right-angle version did not need supports, and could be printed with 25% infill. Both were printed in PLA, though other materials could presumably be used.

Although Vazquez initially made the accessories for Wehbe, he will surely hope that many one-handed gamers attempt to print the handy devices.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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