Introduction: 3D Printed Sheikah Slate Nintendo Switch Cover (with Stand)
As a student at the University of Utah, I have really enjoyed using the 3D printing resources available to the students. I have been able to make some really remarkable things over the last couple of years - many of which have been uploaded and featured here on Instructables. However, up until this point, I have never used our library's Gigabot printer which has a 2ftx2ftx2ft build volume - until this Instructable! The Gigabot is great because it let's you print much larger prints without having to slice your larger print into several smaller pieces. I know this may not be available to everyone, but I figured I would take advantage of it while I still can! While this project may not be as complex as the life sized goat that was printing on the Gigabot before me (yes, that is actually what some people print at our library) it is a project that I'm sure you will recognize and enjoy.
I love the Breath of the Wild game. In fact, I often listen to the game's soundtrack while I am studying because it is so relaxing! For anyone who has played the game, you may feel the same way.
You may also be very familiar with the Sheikah Slate since it is essential to use different powers, take pictures, enter shrines, and take on the divine beasts. Developers of the game wanted the Sheikah Slate to feel like an in-game Nintendo Switch for the players which I thought was an interesting concept. However, I wanted to take this idea to the next level and make it into a reality! I did this by designing and making a covering for my Nintendo Switch that made me feel like I was using a real Sheikah Slate! The result is amazing will have your friends and family asking Santa for one on your Christmas list this year! Today, I once again combine my love for Breath of the Wild with my love for creating. Let's get to it!
For this project, you are going to need:
- Access to a 3D printer (a cheap and fantastic starter printer)
- 3D printer filament
- A Nintendo Switch (it's about time don't you think? :D)
- Acrylic Paints (see photo in Step 4)
- Beige-ish color
- A paint called "Pearl" (or whatever blue you think looks best)
- Access to Color Printer
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Step 1: 3D Modeling
For this project, I used Autodesk Fusion 360. As far as I am aware, it is free to hobbyists, students, and creators alike and is a preferred modeling software for many people! There is also a very strong community behind it with forums, online tutorials, and many other resources as well. If you are interested in downloading Fusion 360 for free, follow this link.
I started by creating the general shape of the Sheikah Slate. Then, I imported an image on top of the shape and traced each element of the Sheikah Slate using the sketch function. Then I extruded each piece and added some fillets to remove the sharp edges. I used a sweep feature for the stringy parts on the handle of the Sheikah Slate as well. Finally, for the slate, I created a rectangle just a bit larger than my switch and extruded it through the majority of shell so my switch could fit inside (see the picture with red arrows). For the stand, I measured what angle would be best so that I could comfortably rest the Sheikah Slate on it and not have to contort my neck in such a way to get a good view of the game. I drew the side profile of the stand and extruded it. Then I used the mirror function to make it the same on the other side. Finally, I put a Triforce on the bottom for aesthetics. Nothing that 3 easy triangles won't be able to manage. Then I extruded the Triforce and added some fillets.
It is important to note as well that I added some holes in the top and bottom so you can turn the system on and off, adjust volume, access the headphone port, and charge from the bottom! You can see an example of these holes in the final picture
I know this may sound like a lot of information if you are just starting out. But like I said before, rely on the resources that are available to you and you will be doing these types of projects in no time! A great resource that I would recommend and what I used to get started was Jon-A-Tron's class here on Instructables. He goes over a lot of the basics and will have you 3D modeling/printing like a pro!
Step 2: 3D Print Your Parts and Remove Supports (STLs)
Whether you make this on your own, or use my files provided, go ahead and slice and 3D print your parts. This does use a lot of support material so that you can preserve the important surface features of the Sheikah Slate so keep that in mind. I used about 940g of filament too which is just under a whole spool of filament.
If you have a smaller printer bed (like most people will) you will have to 3D print in parts (STLs provided) and glue them together.
Once the pieces are 3D printed, remove any support material and sharp edges. You don't want to be scratching you or your switch when you are using the shell.
Here are the original STLs that I used and some STLs that make the project more manageable for smaller printers.
Step 3: Glue the Two Halves Together
Using the wood glue, and just enough pressure from the Irwin clamps, line up and glue together the two halves of the Sheikah Slate. Don't squeeze too hard or you will surely crack the 3D print. Wait for at least 24 hours before removing the clamps.
Step 4: Sanding, Priming, and Painting
Depending on the level of smoothness you want, you may have to spend some time sanding down the print lines. My print turned out surprisingly well so I didn't have to spend too much time sanding.
Next, I use an auto primer to spray several coats. This preps the surface to accept paint and also helps to cover up those pesky print lines. It also dries very fast so you can get right to painting.
Then I started painting using the colors I picked from my last Sheikah Slate Instructable. The only difference is this blue color that I had to add since I used LED lights last time. I used a color called pearl (not pictured - sorry) but you can use whatever blue color you think looks best! Cover with as many coats of paints as you see fit to get your desired look. For everything I used around 3 coats.
Finally, I painted the Triforce gold and added a brown accent to the stand.
Step 5: Customize It to Your Liking!
This is an optional add-on so if you want, you are done! At this point, really just let your creativity take over. For me, I thought it would be cool to add a little piece of Breath of the Wild art to the backside of the stand. I printed out an image and glued it onto the back side making sure that it wouldn't fall off (sorry had to edit it out but its a picture of the silent princess flower - pretty cool!). Make sure that if you decide to do a similar method, that you make sure no air bubbles pop up during the process.
I think it makes it look even better than before!
Step 6: You Are Done! Play Time!
Now all that there is left to do is to play your favorite games in style . Show off your new Sheikah Slate Switch Cover to your friends and family. Not only will they be impressed but they will likely want one too! :D
If you liked this Instructable, please leave a like, a comment, and a vote for this Instructable on 3D Printed Student Design Contest page.
Thank you for making this with me and I hope to see you on the next one!
Runner Up in the
3D Printed Student Design Challenge