Valve has released the design files for the outer shell of the upcoming Steam Deck, enabling users to design and print their own enclosures. In a Steam Community Post, the SteamDeck team made the CAD files available, bundling an STP Model, an STL model, and technical drawings to help makers create their own custom shells.
"Hello! 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."
If you want to get your hands on them, the drawings are available for anyone to download from the SteamOS GitLab page .
Valve Are Being Cool and We Love It
The decision to release these files is a good one and, in many ways, not too surprising. Valve has always taken pains to distance itself from the rest of the industry, and at a time when Sony is cracking down on creators making shells for the PS5, it's just another way Valve gets to seem like the cool uncle of the gaming industry.
Now, not only do you have the STLs required to 3dprint a Steam Deck cover in any color you like, you have the option of actually putting your DIY Steam Deck into a totally legit-looking case.
Even if you don't do anything with it, this might be worth downloading just for the sweet technical drawings:
Perhaps even more interesting is what this might mean for the Steam Deck as a whole. It might only be a small piece of the puzzle, but knowing the exact outer shell dimensions might make it easier to repackage the steam deck when it is inevitably repurposed. What, you didn't think the most powerful handheld to come out in some time would just be used for gaming, did you?
The Steam Deck Didn’t Start the Fire
There are many reasons to be excited about the Steam Deck, but those involved with hobby embedded systems have been involved in handheld DIY gaming for a long time. Whether you are waiting for Valve's new toy, or making your own mini retro gaming systems with an ESP32 in Python, it's nice to see someone as big as Valve give something like this to the community.
It almost makes the wait for Half-Life 3 more bearable.