Charging dock for 3DS with swappable plates

3D printed charging dock for the New 3DS. No special tools required and it comes with swappable plates!

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I wanted a charging dock for my New 3DS and as I happen to have a 3D printer, it seemed like a perfect choice.

I had two design goals in mind; no special tools or components and everything should be printable without having to use supports. I achieved both goals as you only need a bit of wire and spring that you can take from any old pen. Everything is 100% printable without any supports at all.

It also comes with swappable plates that you can print in multiple colors. Best of all, this works with most printers as it uses a often-ignored technique of changing the filament (plastic) during printing. There's also a blank plate for anyone interested in making their own designs.

For more details and the design process, you can watch my build video:

If you're interested in designing your own plates or want to learn more about the process behind it, check out my second video:


Standard Tesselated Geometry - 3.00 MB - 01/29/2019 at 10:47



Standard Tesselated Geometry - 3.12 MB - 01/29/2019 at 10:47



Standard Tesselated Geometry - 141.50 kB - 01/29/2019 at 10:47



Fusion360 project.

fusion - 1.17 MB - 01/29/2019 at 10:47



Standard Tesselated Geometry - 693.93 kB - 01/29/2019 at 10:47


View all 11 files

  • 1 × Solid core wire, 22 AWG / 0.3mm2
  • 1 × USB cable You'll have to cut one end.
  • 1 × Spring The ones found in most pens work the best.

  • 1
    3D print all the parts


    The charger is the most difficult part to print as it contains small holes with tight tolerances. I suggest you try and print this first before anything else. Use the best print quality on your printer, which are usually 0.10 or 0.05mm layer heights.

    Dock, cover

    You can print both at 0.2mm layer height.


    No supports are needed for any of the parts. The interior of the dock is already designed with sloping support.

  • 2
    Prepare the wires

    The holes are for standard jumper wires that you can find with any breadboard or Arduino kit, but they have to be solid. Look for 22 AWG / 0.3mm2 size if you're buying new.

    If you don't have any wires like that, you can improvise by cutting away an LED or a resistor.

  • 3
    Prepare the spring

    As for the spring, find an old pen and take one from there. The slot has a slope so that springs of different sizes can all fit inside.

View all 10 instructions

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Ali wrote 03/11/2019 at 12:51 point

Great videos and those swappable plates are gorgeous!

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Selina Zawacki wrote 01/28/2019 at 18:48 point

Love how accessible this design is with its simple components and multi-colors using the filament change technique. Great step-by-step documentation too!

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Hobby Hoarder wrote 01/28/2019 at 21:02 point

Thank you! It certainly took a lot of tinkering as I didn't want to simply use something that you have to buy or other lazy solutions.

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