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Valve gives away Steam Controller geometry, tells modders to go nuts

Valve released a set of files showing users how to build or modify their own version of the Steam Controller on Thursday. Shared in a post on Valve’s corporate blog, the files show the controller’s mechanical CAD geometry, and includes schematics and 3D printer files for each of the controller’s parts.

“The archive contains several eDrawings viewer files,” Valve explained in the post, “from Creo Express and native Modeling, to neutral exchange and 3D print files — for compatibility with a wide variety of your design tools.”

Valve also made the parts legally available under a Creative Commons license. Potential users can build homemade Steam Controllers or variations of it and share them as much as they like. Valve did note, however, that modders will need to get permission from Valve before attempting to sell their Steam Controller mods. Based on the language, though, it sounds like they’re at least open to the idea.

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To get the ball rolling, Valve also released plans for a few modified parts of its own. Specifically, it made two new versions of the controller’s battery door, which add a convenient slot to store the controller’s USB wireless receiver. Then again, as Kotaku pointed out, modders have already been putting together their own takes on the controller before the announcement, such as YouTuber Ben Heck’s more mouse-like model.

Valve’s recent forays into hardware, including the Steam Controller, have generally received mixed reviews from fans and pundits. It will be interesting to see how (or, more accurately if) fans will be able to riff on the design in a meaningful way. Should they succeed, it will be even more interesting to see how Valve responds to someone else improving on its platform.