We’ve been licensed by Valve and selling their controller booster design for a long time. After hundreds of sales, we’ve received a number of common questions and we’ve even learned a lot from the experience. We decided to put this page together with a lot of the common questions about the boosters.
All resin prints are done on a Formlabs Form3. All plastic and TPU prints are done on heavily modified Prusa printers.
We are frequently asked what material should be chosen for the boosters. The most common material used for the boosters is PLA plastic and it works just fine. It has a nice surface finish and it’s fairly strong, so it’s an option that’s right inbetween. It’s also the cheapest and the quickest to produce.
So if you’re looking to quickly get a set, we suggest sticking to PLA plastic.
If you’re entirely looking for a set of boosters that looks really nice, we suggest the resin boosters with post processing. We suggest using an engineering resin so it’s nice and strong. Post processed rigid and tough look and feel amazing.
If you’re all about the feeling of the boosters, we suggest flexible or resin. The post processed resin boosters have a nice feeling to them, but it does not match the rubbery feeling of the flexible TPU boosters.
- Highest quality surface finish
- After post processing, has the best visual and physical finish
- Most accurate dimensionally
- Engineering resins are very strong, but this is context sensitive
- Holds the controller tightly
- Most expensive material
- Standard resin is fragile
- Bumps are left behind where supports touched (when not post processed)
- Very limited color selections
Post Processing – We get asked a lot about the post processing we offer. In the cons listed above, resin suffers from little bumps being left behind on the model where supports were connected. Even in some cases, there can be minor surface marks from where supports rubbed against the model during removal. If post processing is purchased, we sand down all of the bumps using sand paper from 300 to 3000 grit and then we (optionally) apply a gloss clear coat. We do not apply clear coat to rigid unless specifically requested, since it would lose the ultra smooth finish. Clear resin will come out as clear as glass and the other types of resin will have a shine.
We highly suggest rigid resin (white) as one of our best options. It’s reinforced with glass for extra strength. But due to the glass, it comes out almost feeling like porcelain. It already feels nice right off of the printer, but we suggest the post processing because of how incredible they feel after 3k grit sanding. The only drawback to rigid is that it can be fragile, but most customers don’t have issues as long as they take care when they attach/detach the grips. Rigid isn’t made to flex, so you should never just push them straight onto the controllers. They’re intended to slide on. You put the wider end of the booster on the center of the controller and slide it upwards.
Our second highest recommendation is tough resin (dark grey). It’s extremely strong and comparable to some of the strongest plastics. The reason for its extra strength is because it’s intended to flex and snap right back into its original shape. Since it’s flexible, it doesn’t really matter how you put them on the controllers.
Last come the standard resins, which are the weakest of the resins, but we do post cure with formlabs’ recommended settings to improve their strength.
Resin is much more expensive than plastic, so the products carry the higher price tag. Buying them without post processing is still a great product, but there will be some small bumps on the underside of the booster. It won’t affect its use. If you are handy and can handle sanding, then you can easily do it yourself.
- Cheapest material
- It holds up well. PETG holds up better and flexes a little bit
- Prints nicely with few defects. PLA prints more “pretty” than PETG
- Holds the controller well
- PLA is the weakest plastic, so it can snap
- The finish is not very grip-like.
- The bottoms and edges can have some minor defects
- Visible layer lines
Plastic is the most popular option and works well. It prints well and looks pretty good. The finish on the other hand is just plastic and most people tend to prefer the rubber feeling of TPU or the smooth feeling of resin.
We stopped offering the boosters in polyalchemy PLA due to it being noticeably weaker than other standard PLA options. We do still offer polyalchemy for charging stands, where the strength matters much less because the parts are solid instead of thin.
- Rubbery finish like a grip
- Since it flexes, it won’t snap
- Holds up the best over time
- More expensive than plastic
- Takes longer to print
- Holds onto the controller lighter than the other options
- Can have slight defects. There’s usually a small blob at the top, but it helps hold onto the controller
We usually suggest the flexible option because of the surface finish. We have had a few customers who preferred plastic due to the flexible not holding onto the controller as tightly. Some people have been able to account for this using a rubber band foam pads on the controller.