Here it is, the 3D printed directional pad installed into the collar of the CD32 pad.
Surprisingly, it works.
I had to cut away the fringe around the base of the directional pad piece as well as I could, but I think the diagonal locking fingers are still too thick. The directional pad doesn't spring back to neutral as firmly as I'd like. It's also possible that this piece has more mass than the original, which gives it a different feel on top of the rubber domes.
For games which only have intermittent directional input, with no need for constant thumb pressure or slides, puzzle games like Atomino
and Gear Works / Clik Clak
, it's a vast improvement over the old directional pad. Not having to worry about the thing sliding out of alignment is fantastic. But any game which requires you to hold a direction for any length of time, like platform games or The Speris Legacy
, it's pretty painful because of the hard rough edges of the pentagonal shapes. The Ultimaker products using this filament have a vastly different feel to the Creality products with their filament.
Also, since I the base dome piece I was gluing to the underside was slightly misshapen, the Up direction feels slightly stiffer to press than the others. I think that's because there's less material in that one direction, so there's a different throw as the piece pivots. Also, I had to position the underside dome on the upper piece purely from.
It's a stopgap measure and a good proof of concept, but I wouldn't pass the pad to somebody in this state in good faith and suggest they use it.
If I were to print this again, I'd 200% use the Creality, and I'd reduce the dimensions by perhaps 1%, so that the extended wings didn't collide with the walls of the collar. I don't want the thing to be wedged in: I think it's supposed to have a little bit of rotational rattle to it. Being able to print without the fringe is definitely beneficial.
I'd change the design of the model slightly too. Using small pieces is a recipe for failed prints and poor gluing. Instead I'd separate the upper disc from its collar and print them as two separate pieces.
The plane where I've separated them would be completely flat and a suitable base for the 3D printing. The dome, if printed by the Creality, would hopefully be nice and stable and smooth and, more importantly, symmetrical to allow for unbiased pivoting.