With two weeks to go before its February 25th release date, Valve has published CAD files for Steam Deck’s exterior shell to GitLab. Making them available under a Creative Commons license, the company noted the release is “good news” for DIY enthusiasts, modders and most notably, accessory manufacturers. All three groups can use the provided technical drawings and schematics to 3D-print custom shells for the handheld.
As Eurogamer notes, Valve’s decision here is an interesting one. It suggests the company will allow case makers to freely make aftermarket shells for Steam Deck. In fact, Valve said it was “looking forward to seeing what the community creates!” Contrast that to the approach Sony has taken with the PlayStation 5. When Sony’s latest console first shipped and only came in one color, an entire cottage industry of companies sprang up to produce colored plates for the PS5. However, Sony quickly moved to shut down those projects before it went on to announce a set of first-party covers for people to purchase.