Category Archives: 3D Printing


For those of you interested in using a JoyCon style replacement stick with Arduino (like I’ve done with the bigger “Playstation 2” style sticks), please take a look at the files on github.

3D Models (in OpenSCAD) and STLs can be found here:

Code for running the joystick can be found here:

A word of warning: The Joycon replacement sticks are more difficult to work with. They use small (0.5mm) carbon leads and require a connector and breakout board. I’ve yet to find an easily available breakout. Send me a note if you’re interesting in learning more.

Why The JoyCon Stick? A person I’m working with needed a lighter touch stick. The easily found “PS2” style sticks are too stiff. The stick works very well, but, boy, is it a pain to wire up.

More Bench Testing The Matter And Form Scanner

Or: Baby Yoda goes for a ride.

My brick solution was working fine, but I couldn’t see what the table motor was doing. So, I put the whole thing on its side.

I did confirm that the brass insert in the middle of the table is 1/4-20. So, I put in a short bolt, some Fun Tak (or clay) and a lightweight object to scan.

The table started to spin, but is now hanging up. Motor doesn’t seem to be doing much. Either a bad motor (not too horrible to replace) or a bad driver board (into the garbage we go). I’ll have to remove the table motor and see if that’s it.

Taking Apart A Matter and Form 3D Desktop Scanner

For all of you poor souls looking for how to take apart a Matter and Form Scanner, here are a slew of photos I took. My turntable was no longer turning, so I wanted to see if it can be fixed.

While it’s possible to replace the table and its three bearings without taking everything apart, don’t bother. There are three wide tabs. You might break them. And the bearings will fall out anyway.

While I certainly appreciate the look and thought put into the case, this thing is like a 4th year design project. Like “you must use 5 different methods for assembling the case” — I guess a couple of screws are too 20th Century.

Enough of rant.

Get your T8 Torx screwdriver ready. Everything is Torx and prying.

Take the three obvious screws out of the bottom. That’s the only simple part.

Take the two screws that are not so obvious , above the camera head area, above the Matter and Form logo. These screws will likely fall into the case. Don’t worry. You’re taking the whole case apart anyway.

Using a pry (I used a tool I have for removing 3D prints — it’s metal, thin, and flexible. Pry the black back case. Follow the photos. Easier to see than explain.

Once the black cover is off, you’ll need to free the bed from the back camera assembly. There are two silver screws on one side. Remove, along with the half gear (you’ll see), and one side is free. Carefully rotate to release the other side — see photos.

For the turntable itself, pry the completely meaningless plug out of the center. You’ll see a brass insert. I have not determined a use for that, except it looks like 1/4-20 AKA tripod mount. Maybe they use it during assembly.

Carefully remove the rubber mat. There’s some sticky near the center, but mine has been sitting long enough that the sticky is gone. It’s just six little rubber nubs which are press fit into the metal turntable.

Now, CAREFULLY and SLOWLY rotate the table by hand to align the fix holes with six screws down inside. Unscrew those. Again, don’t bother if they fall into the case, you’re going in there anyway. (A lot of cheapie screws aren’t even ferrous, so mag drivers don’t help. Use a bit of clay when re-assembling. You’ll thank me later.)

Now that those six turntable screws are out, you should be able to gently raise the white plastic, back to front. As you do so, you’ll be able to shift the black decorative pieces out the the way. At this point you will see why I called this a 4th year project — no tabs or screws, but nubs instead!

You’re pretty much home-free now. You’ll probably see some bearings popped out of their plastic holders. The plastic bearing holders are probably broken.

Capacitive Touch With Bigger Contacts

I’ve been messing with these small and inexpensive capacitive touch boards. Pro: small. Con: small.

I wanted a bigger touch surface, which could also act as enclosure. Ran across these “bath bomb” molds. They come in various sizes and are aluminum.

As is my way, I added another LED (though, it barely shows at the bottom) and haptic feedback (phone/pager motor).

Going to use the same design with a Kenwood style headset plug, so it can be used to trigger FRS & Ham radios. A big Push To Talk.

No need to solder to the aluminum (it will just suck up heat). I use a strip of copper foil tape between the board and the “bell”. I use this tape when I encounter odd wiring situations. Very handy.