A DIY Radar Controller


I tried to keep the design as small and neat as possible…
Here’s the mockup handle next to a Thrustmaster Warthog Handle, sitting on top of the BRD-N base.

Here’s a pic of the mockup handle with the box I will be using as a base, sitting on a Warthog Throttle…


Christmas came early!
The postwoman just delivered a package from Shapeways!

Just what I wanted! :slight_smile:
Getting to see your virtual 3D parts in physical form is a fantastic feeling! Highly recommended!

Now… Will everything fit inside…? Did I make any mistakes?

The parts fit incredibly well! There are some surface imperfections, like the lines you see in this picture. These “steps” are typical for the layering technique of 3D printers.
But a little wet&dry sanding, spray filler, even more sanding and plenty of elbow grease, it will look perfect.
I will use the slightly textured paint I used for my throttle handles when I built the ConTrollR.

BTW, the PCBs are in the mail as well. I’m also waiting for some special screws that I will use with the 3D printed parts. Maybe the postwoman rings twice…? :wink:


What kind of filler/sanding do you use? Do you coat the resulting product or does it withstand human acids okay?


I use regular car body spray filler and regular wet sanding paper. First coarser grit to even out the larger ridges and lines, then 2-3 layers of spray filler with fine grit sanding in between. Lastly I plan on using a spray paint that I get at a local car tune-up store. It’s used to paint car body plastic parts, like bumpers and stuff. It’s slightly textured and thicker than normal paint. It’s also a little flexible. Withstands petrol and car wash liquids. The handles on my ConTrollR still look like new. Come to think of it, I don’t think I used filler on those. Just some sanding, and then the plastic spray.

I think they came out nice. The sides are aluminium covered in carbon fibre looking vinyl.


I totally forgot to ask, what is your program of choice for mechanical designs destined for 3D printing? I enjoy FreeCAD and Blender 3D but how well are they up for the task?


I use TurboCAD. Have been using it for years. Decades, actually :slight_smile: First just 2D but later in 3D. They recently upgraded it with 3D printing tools like surface checker and print simulation. It’s not the most advanced CAD software on the market, but it’s the one I know best. Stick to what you know, right? :wink:

Tested the trigger in the print handle… :heart_eyes:


I wonder how well those little stubs keeping the PCB switches in work, do you think they’ll fail over time?


Well… Let me put it like this;
They are not the best switches out there. On the other hand, they are really cheap.
I needed small switches in order to keep the size of the handle small enough while still fit the functions I wanted. Had I made the handle from high impact styrene or metal, I wouldn’t have needed all that support material.


Some fitting aided by a dremel is needed, but that was expected as I wanted the stick base adapter to be snug in there.
The two sides of the handle fit very well together. I still haven’t screwed them together…

The size feels good… You need a standard viking-sized hand though. :hand_splayed:


Lookin’ awesome!


The PCBs arrived today.
Aren’t they beautiful!


Nice! How much did that cost you?


$45 with shipping for 3 of the main boards and 6 of the shift reg boards.


Oh that’s a pretty good deal!


Last time I ordered through Fritzing they used another PCB manufacturer and one PCB cost me about $50, so yes, this is a much better price. They use Aisler for the PCB manufacturing now.


Hey Troll, what is your material of choice when printing at Shapeways? I’ve got a few things now in the mail too, hopefully I can get a bit of a feeling of it all, but what would you recommend for panels and buttons?


I mostly use “strong and flexible” as it is very…strong…and flexible…! :wink:
Seriously, it’s rigid but has a little give, meaning it’s not brittle and won’t break easily.
It’s also easy to cut and sand, and can be totally smooth with some sanding and filler. I have cut M3 threads into it, successfully.


Ah fantastic, used that for the adapter. I whipped up a prototype for a INS’ish button, and have chosen both the string and flexible and the clear acryl.

Have you tried the PLA one yet? I want to do some quicker prototyping and kinda have been looking at 3D printers…


I haven’t tried the acryl, but it should have better resolution and finer detail. Slightly harder than the S&F, and will be more prone to cracking. But for knobs and buttons, it should be perfect.
I haven’t tried PLA, and yes, I also want a printer :wink:


Sold(i)ering on…

Now… Will it work…?
Ladies and gentlemen! Place your bets!

Switch Selection Help