Valve has released the CAD files required to print the external shell of the Steam Deck, which is a pleasant surprise. “Tinkerers, modders, accessory manufacturers, or folks who simply want to 3D print a Steam Deck to see how it feels,” Valve says of the Steam Deck 3D printer.
It is possible to download the CAD files from a GitLab repository, which is distributed under the terms of a Creative Commons license.
After the release, Valve says it is “looking forward to seeing what the community creates” in response to the game. It feeds into Steam Deck’s identity as an open platform — a device that is in some ways more for hobbyists than for casual users. The Steam Deck’s release, on the other hand, is eagerly anticipated by the gaming community, not least because it provides a feasible way to play high-end PC games while on the go.
In anticipation of the Steam Deck’s release, those who choose to 3D print the device will discover that it is a substantial piece of hardware. A recent series of comparison shots demonstrates that the Steam Deck is a monster, easily outclassing even larger dedicated handhelds such as the Nintendo Switch in terms of size and performance. Some have even dubbed it the “Gabe Gear” in reference to Sega’s similarly chunky handheld from the 1990s, which was similar in design.
If you don’t have access to a 3D printer, you shouldn’t have to wait too long to get your hands on the Steam Deck… that is, assuming you managed to get your pre-order in before the deadline. The first shipment of Steam Decks is scheduled to arrive at the end of the current month.