Although I'd heard all the buzz about 3D printing for the last few years, I'd not actually done any 3D prints, or really had any need to.. until last week. At Christmas I bought my kids a Nintendo Switch. The hardware is generally really well thought out and works well, if a little on the expensive side (£80 for an extra dock, and £70 for extra joycons, are you kidding me Nintendo? ).
One thing that isn't great is the built-in kickstand which you can use when you're out and about.. it's located near the edge of the device, and isn't stable in the slightest. Even on a table in the house, my kids were knocking it slightly & making it topple over. This will get a lot worse on a train or plane tray table.. I just can't see it being usable.
We'd spotted a bunch of stand designs on Thingiverse, and this one stood out to me.. it's a nice foldable design by Justin Poel, and looks to be pretty sturdy.
However, what I didn't like was how much space was underneath.. that's there to lift it high enough to plug in the charging cable, but I wasn't interested in that for a portable stand, which is where 3D printing and open source CAD models come into their own. I was able to take the 3 STL files from Thingiverse, and import them into a web-based design tool called TinkerCAD. In there, I could import the 3 pieces into one workspace & lop off the bottom, fill in the triangles on the left+right, and re-add the curve to the lower edges.
Once I'd done that, I exported the individual pieces and sent them over to cstanton who imported them into a Windows application called Cura that sends the print to a Raspberry Pi attached to the which we have in the office. The print took couple of hours & came out really well using this . To pin the hinges I used a red paperclip. As you can see from these pictures, it's a solid design, and folds up great for portability.
Without 3D printing, I'd have had to have waited for a manufacturer to come out with a design that fit the bill, or buy something close & take a hacksaw to it
The altered design is published here; https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2762333