If you think about it, lots of phone and computer accessories are just pieces of plastic shaped specifically for their purpose. Also, if something’s made of plastic, it can likely be 3D printed.
Better yet, you might not even need to make the 3D model yourself. A welcome bonus of buying a good 3D printer is the huge online community of enthusiasts, which provides hundreds of thousands of models you can print, organized in online databases.
There are a few good repositories you can check, like Printables and Pinshape. For this list, we’ll link models available on Thingiverse because it only lists free 3D models, while the other two also feature paid ones.
1. Cases for Just About Anything
A good starting point is printing cases. It’s probably not surprising that you can get protective covers for phones, like this one for the Galaxy S22 Ultra, and laptops, like this one for the 2019 Razer Blade Stealth. Although there’s a lot more down that rabbit hole.
If you bought a SATA-to-USB adapter, there’s this case to prevent your HDD from being exposed. There’s one that protects your Nintendo Switch cartridges with a design that probably won’t please Nintendo’s always-on-duty legal team. What about a chest—complete with a functional key—to carry your tabletop RPG dice and minis around?
Products with more standardized designs have a myriad of options available. There are literally dozens of Raspberry Pi cases, for lots of different models, ranging from a TARDIS-shaped one to a handheld console to a full-fledged laptop. Memory cards also have varied case models for download, like this one that also stores USB thumb drives or this one that holds microSD cards and uses a microSD to SD adapter as a lid.
2. Port Covers
With iPhones finally adopting USB-C, we’re heading towards the single-port utopia. For now, though, there are still lots of different connection types. And whether you need USB-C, USB-A, Lightning, DisplayPort, HDMI, headphone jack, or just about any port on any electronics you can imagine, you’re—pun intended—covered. If you want to be extra-safe, be sure to print cable caps as well.
3. Strain Reliefs/Cable Savers
Since we’re talking about cables, there’s another way 3D printing can help: strain reliefs and cable savers. The former prevents your wiring from peeling, while the latter is an emergency measure if the cord is already worn out but still functional.
There are more generic strain reliefs, like these for USB cables, headphones, HDMI cords, Ethernet connectors, and Lightning as well. However, you may find less common ones, too, like this one for the Surface Pro. The same goes for cable savers, with lots of formats to choose from.
4. Cable Holders and Organizers
While we’re at it, let’s also add holders and organizers to the mix. This one lets you kind of “plug” your USB cables to a wall, so they’re always at hand, but there are also organizers if you’d rather have them sitting at your desk. Don’t forget to add identifying cable tags!
There’s one to keep the cord from tangling during transport, too, and, if you own a MacBook, you can try this wrapper that also acts as a case for the charger. Some Apple laptop models may benefit from this cable lock, which keeps all the wiring in place.
5. Headset Hooks
No gaming PC setup is complete without a headset hook. In case you have just got home from the store and realized you forgot to buy one, fret not! Your 3D printer is here to help!
You can even choose where to place it. There are options to put it under your desk, on your monitor’s corner, on your computer tower’s side (with the help of double-sided tape), or even on your cubicle’s wall, if you’re in the office.
6. Webcam Covers
Laptops (and dedicated webcams) with privacy covers are becoming more common, but they’re far from mainstream. If you want a cheap and fast solution to ensure you’re not being watched, a 3D-printed camera cover works better than a piece of paper, and doesn’t leave your computer sticky like using tape.
There’s this one with square edges, this model with rounded ones, and this one with… Well, with both. You can also get a more straightforward one, that just slides over your laptop’s lid, or decorated covers for die-hard brand fans. This “anti-spy” model deserves a mention as well for being very on-point.
Perhaps you got unlucky and purchased a keyboard with nonstandard keycaps, like Logitech’s MX Mechanical duo. Perhaps you’re just in need of a change and don’t want to wait for online-purchased keycaps to arrive. Well, why not use your 3D printer to make your own?
You can get more generic ones, like this skeletonized keycap that will fit amazingly with your ultralight mouse. This 3D model can be configured to print keycaps with varied angles in an OEM profile. There’s also this sliced model which looks great but may be somewhat hard to customize. And this one with pins that fit perfectly into LEGO blocks. Oh, and you’re also served if you just want regular keycaps that you can customize yourself.
There’s also a Master Chief helmet if you like Halo, and this Diablo-shaped keycap to show your love for the RPG series. The latter’s sharp edges might be a continuous source of physical pain, though, but it may work as a more stylish version of the anti-ragequit keycap.
Last, but not least: you can also 3D print a keycap puller.
8. Replacement Parts
Often, when a small piece or accessory breaks, we’re tempted to just keep using the device without repairing or replacing that part. You may think it isn’t worth the hassle of finding a replacement, buying it online, and waiting for the package to arrive, but what if you could just print it?
Laptop feet, keyboard legs, battery covers, headset hinges, the cap protecting your Apple Pencil’s charging connector, or the hooks used to hold the cable on a MacBook charger… There are lots of parts you can print instead of living with the (admittedly minor) inconvenience of their absence.
9. Laptop, Tablet and Phone Stands
You wouldn’t believe how many different laptop/phone/tablet stands there are on 3D model repositories. Like, dozens of them. We selected a few to show you the possibilities, but be sure to check other stand models for yourself.
Need a stand with an adjustable height? No worries! This one is listed as made for drawing tablets, but will work just as well with regular tablets and perhaps even with lighter laptops.
Some minimalist laptop stands may pick your interest as well. The Fulcrum is a lever-type stand that uses your laptop’s own weight to keep itself attached. This one works similarly but requires a thinner machine. And this one, for phones and tablets, allows for two different angles on a single, small piece.
To close this section, take a look at the peculiar Octopus Stand. It’s limited to tablets, but apparently, it’s very popular—with over 8,000 downloads. It yielded a Version Two, and a smaller Version Three, better suited for phones.
10. Silly and Fun Accessories
Just because something’s useful doesn’t mean it has to be all that serious. This laptop tummy holder, for instance, does exactly what its name implies. The laptop drawer stand too: pull the drawer, place the stand over it, and you have solved the lack of space on your desk.
Ever heard of the DIY phone amplifier with party cups and a cardboard tube? You can 3D print a slightly less hacky version of it. Want an inexpensive (and, to be fair, not very trustworthy) way to protect your data? Check this USB drive cryptex out. There are also wired earphone holders, like this bat-signal-shaped one or this one that fits into an Altoids case.
3D Printing Is As Useful As It’s Fun
Whether you’re a newcomer to the 3D printing community or a seasoned veteran, there are always new projects to discover. However, if printing accessories gets too boring, you may consider 3D printing a whole new 3D printer. Or a house.