Check Out This Cool 3D Printed Steam Deck Shell Then Make Your Own With Valve's CAD Files
The first batch of Steam Decks will begin shipping out to customers at the end of next week (February 25), while any new reservations placed now are expected to be available sometime after the second quarter. If you missed out on the first-run or just want a cool project to tinker with, Valve just made it relatively easy to 3D print a Steam Deck shell at home.
"Good news for all the tinkerers, modders, accessory manufacturers, or folks who just want to 3D print a Steam Deck to see how it feels. Today we're making the CAD files for the external shell (surface topology) of Steam Deck available for download under a Creative Commons license," Valve announced in a Steam blog post. "This includes an STP model, STL model, and drawings (DWG) for reference."
Shout out to Blair Thomas, a friend of the site, who promptly downloaded the CAD files and 3D printed his own replica. He tells us it took about 30 hours to finish with the settings he used, and that once he gets the actual panel thickness tuned, he'll be able to print different color replacement panels.
Thomas also says that once the settings are tuned in the slicing program, it's pretty much set-it-and-forget-it. "Just load it into the printer and check on it every now and then to make sure it's still going. Don't want to end up with spaghetti!," he says.
This is just the shell of the Steam Deck, of course, but it opens up the door for some neat mods and accessories. It's probably just a matter of time before someone makes a working Steam Deck out of this. As for Thomas, in addition to making different colored backplates, he's toying with adding a TPU bumper as well.
The hardware he used included a Creality Ender 3 Max upgraded with a Creality v4.2.7 silent mainboard and CR Touch auto-bed leveling system, as well as eSun PLA Pro (PLA+) in olive green.
"The stl was sliced using cura with a .2mm layer height, 50mm/s print speed, 10% infill and tree supports were used. I used a .4mm nozzle," Thomas says.
If you want to try this at home, head over to GitLab to grab the Steam Deck CAD files.
Images used with permission by Blair Thomas