Do you play PlayStation games? If so, have you ever had trouble using the PlayStation controller because of a physical limitation or disability? Many people could benefit from a controller that supports one-handed use. Akaki Kuumeri has designed a 3D printed snap-on device that makes it easier to use the PlayStation controller with one hand. This is a great example of how 3D printing can be used to create accessible devices for people with disabilities.
While Microsoft focused on accessibility and established a team to design and build alternative controllers for disabled gamers, Sony is not known for its great variety of accessories that enable people with disabilities to play video games (better).
This is also why it’s great to see that Akaki Kuumeri has not only worked on a solution and then sells it for profit but instead simply shares the plans for letting people 3D-print and assemble the device for the DualShock 4 controller on their own.
How does it work?
The thumbstick is controlled by moving the whole controller. Rest the controller on your lap or the table, and move it around. Its motions are transmitted to the thumbstick. There is a 4-to-1 mechanical advantage going on, so you can get good precision even with rougher motions.
If you’re a PlayStation gamer who struggles with using the thumbstick and buttons with your left hand, Akaki Kuumeri has designed a 3D-printed snap-on device that will let you use the PlayStation controller with one hand. The thumbstick is controlled by moving the whole controller; its motions are transmitted to the thumbstick. There is a four-to-one mechanical advantage going on, so you can get good precision even with rougher motions.
The design Kuumeri has come up with is open source, and the files are available on Prusa Research. If you have a 3D printer, you can download them and print them out yourself; otherwise, you can find a local 3D printing service to print them for you. The device snaps onto the PlayStation controller, and there’s even a hole so you can still see the light bar.
Device models for newer PlayStations and Nintendo Switch
Next to this design, Kuumeri has also published the plans for the Joyant-Con, a giant Joy-Con for the Nintendo Switch with a real Joy-Con on the inside, and the One-handed DualSense, a snap-on device for the PS5 controller.
This is a great example of how 3D printing can be used to create custom devices that improve accessibility for gamers with disabilities. If you know someone who could benefit from this device, share the video and the files with them. Everybody should be able to play video games if they want to.
YouTube: How I play with my one-handed PlayStation controller
YouTube: One-handed DualSense
Photo credit: All media shown is owned by Akaki Kuumeri.