There’s a seemingly endless stream of things you can do with your handhelds. You can set them up, you can swap out their buttons, add RGB LEDs, or even remove their sticks. I mean, you could also play your handhelds, but does anyone really do that? But what about handheld accessories? You can get cases, grips, and more. Usually, you’ll find them on Etsy but aren’t those 3D Printed? Isn’t that something you could do yourself? 

Well, you could but that requires a 3D printer. And Filament. And the files. 

“It’ll save me money!” you scream at your monitor. And it would! If you already have the printer! So why don’t you take a trip down a brand-new rabbit hole and figure out what 3D Printing can do for your handhelds? And probably your life.

Picking a 3D Printer

Well, the first step to this process is getting a 3D Printer, and I’m going to make it short.

Step 1: Figure out how much space you need. The most common 3D Printer plate sizes range from 180mm squared to 256mm squared. Some larger ones get up to even 300 or 400mm. In freedom units that’s 7.08 inches squared up to 10.08 inches. Once you’ve got the size it’s pretty easy from there. Grab the printer with the best quality and features you want for the price.

Bambu Labs A1 Mini

Bambu Labs A1 Mini

For most everything, I personally recommend the Bambu Labs A1 Mini. A 180mm printer that has basically auto everything and the option for multicolor printing down the line. Oh, and it has Wi-Fi too for $299. Alternatively, you can grab the Flashforge 5M for $299. An “auto” printer with a 220mm squared build plate, but be aware depending on the software version you may have issues others don’t. 

A few other options I’d recommend include the Creality Ender 3 V3 (220mm) for $389. The Qidi Tech X Smart 3 (175mm) at $299. Or if you’d like to spend over $500, I’d really just recommend the Bambu Labs P1S for $699. It’s the bigger everything to the A1 Mini and would do all you really need. There are dozens upon dozens of other options that you can pull from, but these are just some of my recommendations. The biggest specs to look for are “Auto-Bed Leveling”, and likely Auto Z Height setting. 

Qidi Tech X Smart 3

Qidi Tech X Smart 3

Once you do that, and buy your color choice of PLA it’s time to start printing. But Print what?       

What to Print

Stands. That’s an easy one. Everyone needs stands. From device-specific stands like a 35XX Charging stand, to a set of stands that can be printed and combined with one another, or even a nice generalized stand if you’re not feeling the parametric pressure. After all, you need some way to show off your collection of 51 handhelds right? Right?

Dual Stand

3D Print a dual stand for your favorite handhelds

You can even get fancy with a set of stands that clip right onto that Ikea Skadis you’ve got kicking around somewhere. This example specifically covers a range of handhelds. So what’s next?

Cases. A soft case for travel is nice, but what about a hard case? Cases exist out there for a bunch of devices. From the RGB30 to the 35XX and even the RG Arc. If you wanted you could even make a case for your Playdate that looks like a little cooler lunch box. That’s cool, right?

Okay, I’ll see myself out for that one. 

Playdate Cooler

Playdate Cooler

The next obvious ones are grips, and this is where you might find some files you have to pay for. These Odin 2 grips out on the market cost $5 to get either solid or aerated grips. With my own preference, I would rather the solid. The RP3+ and RP4 both get grips, as well as. Believe it or not. The RG35XX. If you want to make your handheld holding experience a little better, this is definitely the route I recommend taking.

When it comes to your handhelds you’ve got a lot of options to pick from. Whether it’s storage, display, or proper care and maintenance there is likely a file out there that could fit your specific and niche need for handhelds.

What else can I print?

Photo from NLD Design Shop's Printables Page

Photo from NLD Design Shop’s Printables Page

In the handheld scene, you can print new shells for devices like the Powkiddy Q20. You could print a new back to increase the battery life on your TrimUI Smart. Or you could print a myriad of accessories for your favorite handheld cheese wedge. Seriously the Playdate has a fishing rod grip and a paddle adapter for some games. If you want it for your handheld you can make it.

One thing I’ve seen recently when it comes to mods are these little plugs that you can put in your RGB30 to get rid of the sticks. Why would you do that? Well to make it better for Gameboy and Pico 8! The best systems out there for the RGB30. Should you do it? Maybe.. maybe not. But you won’t know until you try! And something that small would only be a few grams of filament.

Outside of handhelds

3D Print my dudes

3D Print my dudes

This is the fun part to me. Too many SD Cards? 3D Print yourself a Rolodex for them. Need somewhere to store small items? 3D Print a giant nut and bolt to hide your dice in. Want to manage your cables even? You can make yourself little cable winders that you just stuff all your cables into. There are endless options for 3D Printed devices, but if I can only cover one large thing, I need you to know about 3D Printed storage.



GRIDFINITY. An Open-Source 3D Printed storage system that I’ve fallen into a completely separate rabbit hole for to help organize everything from my rolls of tape to my minidisc players. If you have a lot of handhelds, this could be the thing you need to help put what you have in the place you didn’t know you had for it. If this is your first time hearing about it I heavily recommend looking at Zach Freedman’s video on it, as he’s where my problems really started. Oh and check out his open-source board game that you can 3D Print too. It’s called Hextraction.

Final Thoughts



If you thought handhelds were a rabbit hole, just you wait. I’ve sunk so much time and money into 3D Printing that I stopped laughing about it months ago. And then I started again when I printed Deez Nuts for Stubbs and Team Retrogue

From Cheese to gigantic LEGO Minifigures, printing has really no limit outside of your build plate and your ability to 3d model things in CAD software. Or find the very specific file for the thing you’re looking for that you didn’t think would

 exist. Just be prepared to spend a lot of time tinkering if you don’t buy the right printer for you.

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