There are countless possible uses for 3D printing, from industrial machine parts to medical equipment. In the home, hobbyists can use 3D printing to create their own ornaments, gadgets and tools, for a plethora of purposes.
3D printers are also great for customising existing tech, either by creating accessories or even completely new skins. This makes it perfect for gamers who can use it to express their personalities through their 3D creations. Here are some great ideas if you’re a gamer and want to get started with 3D printing.
3D Printed Smartphone Cases
Phone cases have existed for about as long as we’ve had mobile phones, although they’ve evolved a lot in that time. They typically perform two functions: protecting the device from damage and helping the owner to express their personality.
With 3D printing though, gamers who like to play titles on their smartphone can create cases that have a third purpose: making their gaming sessions more comfortable and easier. There are cases that work for any type of game, no matter whether it’s Mini Metro, World of Tanks, PokerStars, or Candy Crush. These will typically just sit around the back of the phone and may have additional handles.
Alternatively, some cases work for specific games or emulators. For example, some cases will cover parts of your screen to make it appear more like a Gameboy for when you’re playing retro games on an emulator like RetroArch.
3D Printed Accessory and Media Storage
While there is a lot of convenience that comes from digital downloads of games, it is still satisfying to buy a physical disc or cartridge that you can hold in your hand. Hardcore gamers can show off their dedication by showing off their vast libraries of titles stock up on shelves.
If you want to take this a step further, 3D printed storage solutions are a great way to showcase your extensive collection of games. There are patterns online that you can use to create wall mounts for all your favourite NES, SNES and Nintendo 64 cartridges. With the large artwork that stuck on the front of each, they can look like mini paintings adorned your game room.
Accessories like controllers and headsets can create a lot of clutter, especially if you have a lot of consoles with wired controllers. 3D printed controller stands can solve this problem, in a stylish way.
If that’s not enough, why not print a storage box to keep small items like memory cards and styluses in? Designs that are based on many popular games including Mario, Zelda and Grand Theft Auto exist online.
3D Printed Controller Accessories
Standard controllers that come with most consoles are designed to be a happy medium that work with every type of game that is produced. This means that you’ll be using the same input device for a first-person shooter as a racing game.
Of course, you can get dedicated accessories for each game, such as steering wheels, light guns and fishing rods, but good quality versions come at a cost and the cheaper ones are usually flawed.
That’s where 3D printing comes in, giving you the opportunity to augment your controller to give you an advantage while playing certain games.
For example, a small wheel that connects to your analogue stick with a rack and pinion system can give you more control over your steering input while playing games like Forza and iRacing.
Other augmentations include larger triggers to help you press buttons quicker.
Alternatively, you customise the styling of your controller to best suit your taste. This includes replacing the ABXY buttons on your Xbox controller with a different colour, entire skins for the controller itself, or covers for analogue sticks.
There are many of these available in popular repositories with Creative Commons licenses, so you can do with them as you please.
With 3D printing, you can level up your video gaming, with better controllers and a betting looking games room.
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