Since getting my hands on a Nintendo Switch a couple of months ago, I’ve spent the time creating this: a carry case made completely out of LEGO, that can be quickly transformed into a stand with enough space to charge the console while using it in tabletop mode.
This is only slightly less ridiculous than it sounds. Apart from just wanting to know if it was possible, I don’t think there’s any other product or project that combines these two into a single item.
I hate carrying stuff around, so it made sense, to me anyway.
The hinge mechanism in the lid that is used in the stand mode took the most amount of time to get right, but I’m really happy with how it can be transformed in a single action that requires no rebuilding.
The reason this build worked the way it did is the lucky existence of a certain LEGO piece – these large Technic panels. The cavity on the inside is the perfect size to accommodate both the triggers on the back of the console, and the thumbsticks on the front.
This allowed me to make a case which is only 25.5 X 12 X 3 centimetres large (32 X 15 X 4 studs). This is smaller than even some official carry cases and avoids any unsightly bumps I would have needed to build in if these pieces didn’t exist.
I went with an all-black colour scheme because I thought it would look the best, and Technic parts are usually easiest to find in this colour.
A half blue, half red variant to match the Neon version of the console is possible, but this will increase the price due to the availability of certain pieces.
The cost of building one of these will fluctuate a lot depending on where you live and how much the pieces are going for on Pick A Brick / Bricks & Pieces / BrickLink. I think you can make one for less than the price of the more premium cases and, hey, the cost of the stand is built in.
This build took around two months to complete, but most of that was faffing with the hinge and waiting for pieces to arrive. Someone with more skill than me probably could have knocked this out in a few days.
If there’s enough interest I may release some partial breakdown pictures on Flickr or Twitter, and if there’s interest after that I’ll buckle down and draw up full instructions for this version.
My only hesitation is that it currently has a lot of little niggles that could be ironed out. I’d also love to work in more functionality – like a carry handle and storage for cartridges – but I think that’s above my skill level.
If you’re good enough to do something like that, please let me know. If I could improve this I’d even consider putting it on LEGO Ideas, but I’m sure it doesn’t fit within their rules.
I’ve tried to address a few other concerns when building it too. On the inside, to provide some cushion between the two hard plastics, I’ve inserted rubber pieces that LEGO sometimes uses in tank treads to give their RC builds more traction on smooth surfaces.
This isn’t a perfect solution, and I would never suggest trying this case out without a screen protector, but it goes a long way to providing some piece of mind.
I’ve been carrying my Switch around in the case for a while without incident, but I’ll leave it to someone with more disposable income to try stuff like drop tests.
Higher resolution pictures of this build, with annotations providing more information, are available on Flickr. One of my favourite parts is embedded below: the locking mechanism pieces just so happen to line up with the buttons and colours of the Joy-Cons.