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Home3D PrintingNovember 2015 Hacker of the Month

November 2015 Hacker of the Month

All of it started when Todd Borrel was enjoying a soccer recreation on his Xbox when the issue began to come up. His thumbs stored slipping on the joystick controllers inflicting his recreation efficiency to endure. After a number of torturous video games, Borrel determined sufficient was sufficient – he was going to create one thing to unravel his drawback.

He started to think about what his resolution might be and the simplest, most value efficient option to produce it. Borrel began sketching grips on paper that might substitute his present analog sticks on his Xbox controller. He determined to name them Groove Grips. As soon as he had a stable design for his Groove Grips, it was time to look into manufacturing.

A number of choices have been explored, together with casting and molding, however all of these choices have been both very costly or time intensive. Then, Borrel found the magic of 3D printing, one thing that was way more value and time efficient. He simply wanted to show his sketch right into a 3D file.

Losing no time in any respect, Borrel bought SolidWorks, a well-liked CAD design software program. Being an absolute newbie, he determined to buy lessons via the corporate in an effort to study what he wanted to as quick as he might. Fairly quickly he had a 3D mannequin of his authentic sketch. With the 3D design in hand, all he wanted subsequent was a printer. 

3D Mannequin for Groove Grips

Borrel was on the hunt for the very best 3D printer that might print his Groove Grips and match his price range. He known as MatterHackers and spoke with a specialist who gave him a number of completely different choices to select from. Borrel ended up choosing the LulzBot TAZ 5 and started his journey in 3D printing.

Borrel started printing his authentic design with the plan to simply print all of his prototypes. However, when he noticed the standard the TAZ 5 might ship, he realized that he might truly use 3D printing to supply his product. 

A few of Borrel’s first prototypes

Groove Grips Slide Over Thumb Pads

After getting profitable prints from his authentic mannequin, Borrel determined to broaden to different designs for various controllers. For instance, RC truck controllers can now be up to date with Groove Grips.

RC Grips

RC Grips in use

“I need to give everybody the precision they’re searching for it doesn’t matter what analog stick they might be utilizing. Whether or not it’s for docs or those that function heavy equipment, Groove Grips may give them higher outcomes,” stated Borrel.

The opposite focus Borrel has been engaged on is put up manufacturing of the printed Groove Grips. Utilizing MatterHackers PLA, Borrel took a while to discover a option to give the Groove Grips a shiny end. After a lot trial and error, he has discovered his solution- Plasti Dip.

“The Plasti Dip provides me simply the end I’m searching for!” stated Borrel.

To excellent his Groove Grips, Borrel has even been engaged on a design for manufacturing line meeting – one thing he hopes to get printed very quickly.

Borrel proves that making a product will be performed simply when utilizing 3D printing, and, to not point out – reasonably priced. Even with the acquisition of SolidWorks, a 3D printer and supplies, Borrel nonetheless saved fairly a bit.

“I’ve saved about $100,000 – $150,000 simply by utilizing a 3D printer,” Borrel defined.

Not solely did Borrel save time and money, however he has a brand new talent to point out for it – one he picked up in a short time. Borrel is really a terrific instance in the case of diving proper into 3D printing – in case you have an thought, now you’ll be able to see that it solely takes a couple of steps to show your thought into one thing which you could bodily maintain and use.

For extra data on Groove Grips you’ll be able to go to or take a look at Borrel’s candy video.


Do you assume you could have what it takes to be our subsequent Hacker of the Month? Merely comply with us on Fb/Twitter or electronic mail Inform us about your mission or 3D printed creation, and you could possibly be featured in our subsequent e-newsletter. The Hacker of the Month can even win a free spool of PRO Sequence PLA or ABS filament to additional their pursuit of 3D printing greatness.



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