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At Stanford University, some enterprising young graduate students have created a 3D printer attachment that allows for the creation of working game controllers. The news comes from a Computerworld report this morning, and claims that not only can you print plastic models of controllers out at your leisure, you can also print functioning circuitry within them too.

“The conductive material can be embedded within the 3D model and printed in the same 3D printing process,” project student Alex Jais told Computerworld, regarding his new product, the Rabbit Proto. This accessory is designed to attach to varied iterations of the RepRap line of 3D printers. As Jais puts it, the Rabbit Proto “enables 3D printers to deposit conductive material along with traditional plastic.”

Though the students at Stanford are working on the project, it’s open source in nature, meaning anyone with working knowledge of 3D printing can contribute and tweak it.

According to the website built to advertise the prototype, the Rabbit Proto’s purpose is to help designers and creators speed up the prototyping process, getting ideas off the ground quicker. The video below highlights the process involved – from designing the controller digitally, to writing scripts to wire up and test the device’s functionality.

The Rabbit Proto is up for pre-order right now, starts at $350, and ships this summer. There are a handful of attachments and extras you can get, but the fully-assembled, “ready-to-go” 3D printer package with the Rabbit Proto will run you $2,499.


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