Interview: Madmorda, gaming mod and 3D printing enthusiast

Modders have always been cherished members of the gaming community, bringing custom consoles and controllers with unique functions and aesthetics that otherwise wouldn’t see the light of day. And with 3D printing, what were once difficult or impossible projects can now be done with relative ease, leading to a whole host of notable modders.

Once such modder is Madmorda, who earlier this year became a viral hit with her “world’s smallest GameCube” video. In this article Madmorda discusses some of her process, upcoming projects and the effects of of 3D printing on the modding community as whole.

Brian Lord: How did you first get into modification?

Madmorda: I first got into modding by deciding to paint a Nintendo Gamecube. I had found a couple at Goodwill and painted one, then the other. I had so much fun that I added leds, then a modchip, and kept going until I built a handheld Gamecube portable and joined the portablizing community.

Brian Lord: What kind of 3D printer do you use?

Madmorda: I have a Monoprice Maker Select v2, which has served me pretty well. It’s not high end, but it has done everything I’ve ever asked of it and has a gentle learning curve for people just getting into 3d printing.

Brian Lord: How often do you 3D print?

Madmorda: I use my printer a few times a month when I’m not working on a project, and more when I do have something that requires printing.

Brian Lord: Your “World’s Smallest Working GameCube Controller” video was an extremely big hit. Were you surprised by the response?

Madmorda: I was pretty surprised by that actually. I’m really glad that so many people liked it since a lot of time and work went into the project.

Brian Lord: Do you plan on making micro controllers for other systems like the PS2 or N64?

Madmorda: Yes I do. I have a couple n64 keychains from the same line as the GameCube keychain, and I have already taken measurements to see if an n64 controller could fit (it can).This project is a ways down the road still since I don’t currently have an n64 console to test with though.

Brian Lord: Where there any notable or unexpected difficulties you faced during this (micro GameCube Controller) or any other project?

Madmorda: I really think the most difficult part of any project is the final assembly. You can be completely sure something will fit together, but actually fitting it all together is usually more work than the wiring or casework.

Brian Lord: Do you plan on selling any of your creations or is it just a hobby at the moment?

Madmorda: It’s a hobby, but I do sell most of my projects to fund new ones. I have more fun building things than playing with them. I like the idea of them getting some use and playtime, rather than just sitting on my shelf as a display piece. Games are meant to be played.

Madmorda’s recent project, the Hoenn National Pokedex Gameboy. Photo via BitBuild

Brian Lord: Is there anything you plan on making or wish to make in the future?

Madmorda: I am currently finishing up a “universal” portable that will let you play virtually any console on a wireless handheld as long as you’re in the vicinity of the console. My next project is a tiny functional Gamecube console that will be built to scale with the mini Gamecube controller. The idea is to keep it looking as authentic as possible, while being fully functional as a console.

Brian Lord: What would you say has been your favorite project to work on that’s involved 3D printing?

Madmorda: My favorite project was a brick Castlevania themed original Gameboy that I did quite a while ago. I had just gotten my 3D printer and printed some small torch brackets to fit flickering leds into, then sanded and painted them. Even though the torches were only a small part of the whole, I think it added a lot to the aesthetic and it was a fun project.

Castlevania theme Gameboy. Photo via BitBuild

Brian Lord: In recent years we’ve seen an increased number of custom consoles and controller made possible through the use of 3D printing. How do you feel 3D printers have affect the DIY mod scene in the gaming community?

Madmorda: I’m involved with the portablizing community, and you only have to look at recent projects to see how 3D printing has affected the scene. Most portables are now built into cases that are completely 3D printed. They are all different shapes and sizes, with screw posts and a variety of different buttons and joysticks. We’ve come a long way from gluing pieces of plastic together.

You can see more of Madmorda’s projects on her BitBuilt and Youtube page.

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Featured image shows Madmorda’s micro GameCube controls in comparison to the original. Photo via BitBuild.