A YouTuber has created a 3D printed adapter for the PS5 DualSense controller that enables users to play games one-handed.
Controller tinkerer Akaki Kuumeri submitted the design as part of The Controller Project which, with support from Prusa Printers, is building a library of 3D printed parts that can attach non-destructively to game controllers in order to allow for non-standard hand positions and make playing video games more accessible to those with physical disabilities.
Kuumeri’s design snaps onto Sony’s official DualSense controller to allow the user to access all the main functions just by using the right-hand side of the controller. The open-source design can be downloaded and 3D printed by anyone who would like to build their own adapter, and has already been received well by users on the disabledgamers subreddit.
Improving video game accessibility with 3D printing
While Kuumeri’s DualSense controller adaptor is certainly a new novel approach that has the potential to open up gaming to many more players, 3D printing has been leveraged before to create custom gaming aids to improve accessibility.
Back in 2013, Hack-a-Day veteran Caleb Kraft designed and 3D printed a custom gaming aid that emulated keyboard presses and mouse clicks and made these functions available via individual switches on a repositionable lap-board. The gaming aid was designed for a gamer with muscular dystrophy, and 3D printer manufacturer Lulzbot donated a 3D printer to the project.
Kraft expanded the project to form The Controller Project, through which he has continued to develop Xbox modifications for disabled gamers such as unique custom Xbox thumbsticks and 3D printed foot controllers.
Almost a decade later and, in turn, The Controller Project has now provided a platform to showcase Kuumeri’s 3D printed controller adaptor through its latest competition. Last year, Kuumeri designed and 3D printed a novel joystick attachment for his Xbox Series X/S controller, turning it into a fully functional flight stick.
The DualSense adaptor
While the accessibility of video game playing is receiving more attention through developments like Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller, Sony is yet to release an official accessible counterpart to its PS5 DualSense controller. Some users reportedly find it difficult to use the DualSense due to its bulky size and weight, and those who cannot use both hands at once are often unable to take full advantage of the controller’s functions.
Kuumeri’s 3D printed adaptor works by allowing a user to control the DualSense’s analog stick on any surface, including a player’s thigh, which should offer support to the hand used and prevent it from growing tired. The attachment snaps onto the controller’s left analog stick and enables players to maneuver the analog stick by balancing the controller on the surface and moving the entire controller.
The shoulder buttons are migrated over to the other side, where players can use their index finger to push all four. The buttons are placed so that pushing L2 and R2 simultaneously is possible, which is required for many games.
A second 3D printed adaptor can also be added to the controller to allow users to control the arrow buttons, giving full access to almost all of the controller’s keys. Save for the share button, the two adaptors enable players to use the entire DualSense controller with one hand.
Due to the DualSense’s symmetry, the adaptors can be reversed to fit onto the other side of the controller by mirroring the components’ design files before printing.
Aside from improving the accessibility of video game playing to those with physical disabilities, Kuumeri’s adaptor could also enable users to play co-op-only games solo by using attachments on two controllers, or enjoy a mid-game snack without hitting pause.
Kuumeri 3D printed each piece of the adaptors without support in PLA, except for the controller’s stand which was printed in a flexible TPU to provide better grip.
The files for Kuumeri’s PS5 DualSense adaptor can be downloaded for free here.
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Featured image shows both 3D printed adaptors combined on a PS5 DualSense controller. Photo via Akaki Kuumeri/Prusa Printers.