Basic idea is to be as accurate as possible, maintain the look and feel of the original thing, while being able to connect it to a computer via USB.
There are two components:
-Translation Control: used to move the ship up/down/left/right/forward/backward, as well as to trigger the abort sequence
-Rotation Control: used to control the ship's rotational axis (yaw/pitch/roll).
Ok, first thing first , I've got to find some "source" material to work with. My aim is to recreate a working replica of the two controllers, while keeping the original look and feel. I don't care that much about the internals (although the few pics I found show an absolute work of art on the machining side...).
In order, to re-create a 3D model of the controllers, here are the sources I might have access to, classified from best to "worst"
Original schematics. This is the best way to create a 3D-model, because it ensures you keep the designer's original dimensions, regarding of the manufacturing process. The fit between the parts should always be on point.
Caliper measurements on original parts. While accuracy errors can happen, you can usually round the measurements up and "guesstimage" the designer's original intent.
Photogrammetry (i.e. using pictures and scaling them to a known value). Parallax errors might mess things up, and bad resolution might confuse things up even further.
3D scans. I classify this as the worst method, as you never end up with continuous lines. Getting a good, usable scan is very tedious.
Contrary to my other Apollo-related project, the Mechanically Accurate DSKY, there isn't that much info on those guys. I don't have any schematics (as of 07/2021), not even external ones.
I don't know anyone who has access to one to take measurements (except CuriousMarc, but I don't think he has the time to do this right now, he's working on other artifacts...).
There are two options left: photogrammetry and 3D scans. A few good quality pics are available (mainly here and here). The Smithsonian also posted a 3D scan of the interior. However, after careful comparison with the phototgraphic evidence I found, the 3D models from there are almost unusable (some features were added to the model that I can't see on the pictures)... I'll have to use the models only for the main dimensions, the rest will have to be carefully measured on the few pictures I found.