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Old 05-25-2018, 02:47 AM   #1
Terry Dactil
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Default Warthog / Cougar stick - 3D print an extension for a better VR experience

In VR it feels weird if you leave your throttle and stick sitting on the desk where you had them when using TrackIR and a screen. You have your hands up near shoulder level operating controls that are not visible anywhere near there in the VR cockpit.
I want my throttle and stick exactly where I see them in VR, so I feel that I can reach out and touch them.
I moved my Warthog controls so they were attached to my chair and printed a 100mm extension for the stick and everything was in the right place.
Click image for larger version

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This was great, but it had one minor problem.
The increased travel meant that I could not maintain my grip on the stick at full up elevator as I could not rotate my wrist backward enough . Not a big problem as a couple of fingers an a thumb was all that was needed to fly the aircraft. However, it makes it awkward to operate the various HOTAS switches if your palm was not in contact with the stick.
I did some sums and determined that rotating the handle 20° forward would be a good solution.
I tried tilting the whole assembly 20°, but that did not work. The Warthog handle weighs just over 1kg and its center of gravity is where your middle finger wraps around the front of the handle. The tilt moved the CG forward of the pivot point and produced about 1/3 kg nose down torque. Not good at all. Completely stuffed the pitch force linearity. Probably could be fixed by packing shims under the forward side of the centering spring inside the base, but that’s starting to get a bit too serious for me.
The easiest solution was to get my trusty 3D printer to make another 100mm extension with a 20° bend but keeping the handle CG directly over the pivot point.
Like this
Click image for larger version

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I could have printed the whole thing as one unit with the lower nut captured within the extension tube (3D printing can be magic!), but decided to be more conventional with 3 pieces that can be disassembled if required.
Click image for larger version

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I am very happy with the result.
The controls now where they are in VR. With the latest update enabling full use of the Rift touch controllers I feel that I am sitting in a real cockpit now!

If you wish to make your own extension, here are the filles:
Curved extension – 100mm
3D (AMF) files.zip
Gcode files.zip
Layer depth 0.2mm, support to base used when printing the curved tube.

Straight extension - 100mm
Straight - 100mm.zip


***** STL files are now attached to message #6 *********

I could not find a source of panel mount Mini DIN 5 pin plugs and sockets as used by Thrustmaster.
It was easy to just make a short cable using the standard cable plug and sockets available on eBay.
e.g. https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/222965347128

Last edited by Terry Dactil; 05-27-2018 at 08:26 PM. Reason: added pointer to stl format files
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Old 05-26-2018, 09:59 PM   #2
BusterBust
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Thanks much for the these. Looks like goods stuff, im going to print these out.
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Old 05-27-2018, 12:45 AM   #3
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Can you put these on a shapeways shop so those without 3D printers can buy them?
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Old 05-27-2018, 04:40 AM   #4
Terry Dactil
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Thanks for the idea.
I was not aware of Shapeways before, and I am not trying to make money from this.
I am just trying to give something back to this forum that has been so helpful to me in many ways.

A quick look at that site shows that I can upload my design files to them and they will print and dispatch the objects to anyone who orders it from their website..
I guess it depends on what their costs markup is whether it is worthwhile or not. I'll set up an account and see how it goes.

As I have put the files int the public domain, the best way is to download the files then find a friend with a 3D printer. That will cut out all the middlemen.


Update:
I had a look at Shapeways and opened an account with them.
Lots of setting up a shop with shipping addresses and billing accounts etc.
No thanks. I'm not interested in starting a business.

The killer was they quoted around 66USD just to print the curved extension.
To make mine took me about 3 hours to design, 5 hours to print and about $2 worth of plastic filament.
I would suggest that as the files are all available here, there must be better and cheaper ways to get the prints made without using Shapeways.

Last edited by Terry Dactil; 05-27-2018 at 08:00 AM. Reason: Update - looked at a Shapeways account
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Old 05-27-2018, 04:44 PM   #5
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Your 3D software don't save the drawings in .STL?

This file extension make more easy get quotations in www.3dhubs.com
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Old 05-27-2018, 08:08 PM   #6
Terry Dactil
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Quote:
Your 3D software don't save the drawings in .STL?
Errr. No. But.....
I am using Fusion360 and it saves its stuff in.amf format.
Its output normally defaults straight to a 3d printing program.
However, I found that can be changed so it outputs a .stl file.
Her you go..
3D files STL format
HOTAS extension curved 100mm.zip
HOTAS straight 100mm.zip

Last edited by Terry Dactil; 05-27-2018 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 05-28-2018, 12:45 AM   #7
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Thanks.

Through 3dhubs I get quotations from $35-40 using ABS in FDM process for the 3 parts.
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Old 05-28-2018, 02:38 AM   #8
Terry Dactil
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That's seems more like a reasonable price for outsourcing the job.
I printed mine in PLA which is not quite as strong or high temperature resistant as ABS, but is still perfectly adequate.
Can you specify using PLA? It might be a bit cheaper still.
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Old 05-28-2018, 04:32 AM   #9
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Practically no difference in price, some places less than an dollar in PLA.

BTW - Prices I look are in an very inconvenient "corner of world", for reference looking in USA printers prices start in ~$20.00 (3 pieces).
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Old 06-25-2018, 04:38 PM   #10
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Terry,


Great work! I am printing one now. Have you thought of posting your files over at Thingiverse.com, where they would be exposed to a much wider audience?
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