Ahead of the Steam Deck release date, Valve lets users 3D-print their own custom shells for the portable console
Unlike Sony's fight against third-party PlayStation 5 console color shells, Valve will be embracing the design modding community with its upcoming Steam Deck portable gaming console. Valve just posted the CAD files of the Steam Deck's surface topology for the world to see and enthusiasts to 3D-print Steam Deck shells out of. Whether the move is to compensate for the fact that its Steam Deck will only be available in black at launch to simplify its production, or stemming from a genuine belief in the power of third-party solutions, Valve's Steam Deck CAD files are available over at GitHub for anyone to download and peruse as they please, with only a few common sense caveats:
This repository contains CAD files for the external shell (surface topology) of Steam Deck, under a Creative Commons license. This includes an STP model, STL model, and drawings (DWG) for reference. We're looking forward to seeing what the community creates! As mentioned in our “Take a look inside Steam Deck” video, you have every right to open up your Steam Deck and do what you want with it. That said, we highly recommend you leave it to professionals. Any damage you do will not be covered by your warranty – but more importantly, you might break your Steam Deck, or even get hurt! Be careful, and have fun.
Valve mentions that the CAD files are for "tinkerers, modders, accessory manufacturers, or folks who just want to 3D print a Steam Deck to see how it feels," in sync with its portable console's open nature that will allow gamers to mod its Linux-based software for running games and applications which can't be found on Steam. The AMD-powered Steam Deck's release date is February 25 at a base US$399 / €419 / GB£349 price for the 64GB version, going all the way up to US$649 / €679 / GB£569 for the top 512GB model.