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The Best Free 3D

Jun 27, 2023

For those looking to enhance their Steam Deck user experience, be sure to check out these awesome free 3D-printed accessories.

Valve released CAD files for the Steam Deck shortly before the official launch date allowing modders, accessory makers, and tinkerers to see how the Deck feels in the hand. This free availability of CAD files has allowed for a wide range of 3D printed accessories and mods to be designed by people to enhance the experience of gaming on the Steam Deck.

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These accessories can improve the ergonomics of the Steam Deck, allow for adding more storage, protect the Deck, and more. And, more importantly, there is a large community of designers who have put out clever designs for everyone to experience, remix, and improve.

While the 3D printing files for all the accessories mentioned are available for free, some of the accessories require purchasing additional hardware for assembly.

The CYBERDECK is the ultimate Steam Deck portable monitor setup packed into one rugged-looking briefcase. It’s a small briefcase with protective bumpers on the corners that give it a rugged look. The “cyber” part of this contraption is the slot for a 12-inch low-power consumption monitor that can be powered by the Steam Deck itself.

Additionally, there is a slot to keep the charger when not in use. While the STL files for the CYBERDECK are available for free on Printables, it does need to be assembled and requires some hardware to be purchased like the monitor, a USB-C dock, some cables and adapters, as well as an optional foldable keyboard, and wireless mouse.

A simple yet effective kickstand for the Steam Deck, the 3D-printed clip-on stand fixes an issue that several Steam Deck users have complained about. The Nintendo Switch comes with its own kickstand which isn’t the sturdiest but is better than nothing. With the clip-on stand, even the heavier Steam Deck can be propped up on relatively flat surfaces.

Even though the controllers on the Steam Deck don’t detach as they do on the Switch, a wired/ wireless controller or a keyboard and mouse can be used to operate the Steam Deck while it's propped up. Note that two M3 screws are required to assemble the clip-on stand.

The Deckmate allows for a whole ecosystem of accessories for the Steam Deck. It is a cleverly designed clamp that sits on the back of the Deck and has two microSD card slots as a bonus. More importantly, this clamp allows for a hot-swap mechanism that opens the Deck to a myriad of accessories including kickstands, wall mounts, power bank mounts, VESA mounts, and more.

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There is some assembly required, and some hardware needs to be purchased, but this versatile attachment for the Steam Deck can be printed for free. The Deckmate is also available for purchase as an assembled bundle. Note that to get access to the free Deckmate 3D printing files, a sign-up for the Deckmate newsletter is required.

Because of the size and weight of the Steam Deck, gaming with it in handheld mode for multiple hours at a stretch can get tiring. The 3D-printed grip extensions can make those hours somewhat more comfortable. These grips snap onto the grips of the Steam Deck and are designed to go around the buttons on the back.

There is a nub on the inside of the grip that lets it align with the screw hole on the back of the Deck and stay in place. But the grip extensions will need to be removed for the Deck to fit in its case.

This 3D-printed monopod uses the clip from the clip-on kickstand mentioned previously to add an extending stand to the Steam Deck. There may not be too many applications for the Steam Deck on a monopod but for the few people who might have a use for it, the design is not perfect. The creator mentions that it worked well for a while but eventually became loose.

As for the monopod, it can act as a stand for the Deck in its down or retracted position. However, with some tinkering and the possible use of stronger material, the monopod can be improved.

There can never be enough storage when it comes to games, and the DeckBro v1 accessory lets users add an external 2.5-inch SSD or hard drive to the back of the Steam Deck. It does require a USB-C dongle of a specific size, as well as a SATA to USB cable. And, it’s not as simple as the other 3D printed accessories as the Steam Deck in its SteamOS UI does not automatically recognize external USB storage devices and needs some tweaking.

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This handy tutorial by steamdeckhq can help with forcing the Steam Deck to recognize an external storage drive as a place to store games.

Joystick drift is a problem that plagues most controllers over time, besides the ones that use Hall Effect joysticks. The Steam Deck, however, does not use Hall Effect joysticks and fortunately, there haven’t been any major complaints so far other than the initial issues that turned out to be (software related (and fixed).).

To keep the joysticks of the Steam Deck drift-free for longer, the analog stick protectors can be used to keep the sticks in place when not being used. This prevents the sticks from moving when they’re not supposed to, in turn reducing wear and tear.

This clever insert for the Steam Deck case is the perfect use of the crater on the bottom of the case. It allows Deck owners to store their charger with its wire, as well as a few SD cards. The insert slots into the crater on the case and is covered by the elastic band going around it. It does stick out a little from the case, so a little modification to the design might make it fit better.

While this design comes with full-size SD cardholders, there are remixes with slots for microSD cards, which is what the Steam Deck uses.

The Steam Deck case has grooves for the Deck to slot in, but it’s not secure enough to prevent it from falling out if the case is unknowingly picked up with the zip open. Fortunately, the Lifesaver drop protection 3D printed accessory does just that. It slots into the case where the Deck rests and uses the seams on the inside of the case to stay in place.

The Deck can then be placed into the case and the Lifesaver will clamp onto the Deck. There is a slot for the case ribbon to go through the Lifesaver and come out the top to allow for easily detaching the Steam Deck.

Some people like to use multiple microSD cards to store all their Steam Deck games and switch often, depending on the game they want to play. For those people, this six-slot cardholder is the perfect accessory. It uses the internal ribbon of the Steam Deck case to secure itself into place.

As the name suggests, it can hold up to six microSD cards, so they stay within the carrying case at all times. The slots also have a click sound to let the user know that the microSD card is secure in place.

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Vineet is a professional writer who is passionate about gaming and technology. With over 7 years of experience in content creation, 3 of which have been dedicated to gaming and tech writing, he has developed a style that connects with the audience. As a gamer, Vineet has experience playing and reviewing a range of genres across PC/consoles and mobile games. He has worked as a Senior Sub-editor at the top tech and gaming news website in India, curating daily news with heavy research and zero bias.

free require purchasing additional hardware