Following an incident involving some hard to find AirPods (not mine), and the discovery that the Tile I have had attached to my car keys ran out of battery back in August, but failed to let me know this somewhat critical fact until I launched the app to check it was working, I splashed out on a pack of four AirTags.
These relatively inexpensive trackers come with no way to attach them to anything however, and when I went searching online for options, many of them were as expensive, or more expensive than the AirTag itself. I have ordered one nice carbon fiber one to see, but in the meantime I thought there must be some 3D printable options, and I wasn’t wrong…
Hard Case for AirTag
The first, pictured above, was the Hard Case for AirTag by tonyb486. I liked the industrial look of this one, and while it wasn’t what I wanted for my keys, I had decided that one of the new tags should be in my backpack too, and this looked ideal for that use case. This, as with all the designs I tried, is printed in PETG, which is a little more flexible than the more common PLA, but harder to get really clean prints with in my experience.
I ended up making a slight remix of the original design (I will post my modified files) for a couple of reasons. The main reason was that I didn’t want the bolts, four 8mm M3 bolts in the original, sticking up above the surface. The second was that I only had 6mm and 10mm M3 bolts in my box of assorted nuts and bolts. So, I added a 2mm deep recess allowing the bolt heads to sit below the surface, and then also being the perfect depth for my 6mm bolts.
Smallest AirTag Key Fob/Ring
Next up was the Smallest AirTag Key Fob/Ring by weberflo which looked really appealing. I printed the version with the back to protect the shiny side of the AirTag, and the tag snapped in nice and tight.
Where it went wrong was when I came to try to pop the AirTag back out. The fit was so tight that it ended up breaking off the top layers that hold it in place instead of popping out cleanly.
Apple AirTag Keyring Holder
The final design I tried was the Apple AirTag Keyring Holder. I printed the V2 Bold variant, and I am pretty happy with this one. The tag fits tightly, but not so tightly that I can’t pop it out to change the battery when I need to.
As with the other prints, one side of this is not that clean. In order to get this to print I had to use a raft, and that always seems to leave the underside looking messy. Without the raft though there is very little of the underside in contact with the bed, and the model did not adhere well enough.
It is possible to 3D print holders for your AirTags, and there are a lot of designs out there already to either print directly or use as the starting point of a custom design for your specific needs. These holders cost me less than a quarter each in material, making them a lot cheaper than purchasing a commercial holder. I was also able to print them in under and hour each, so I could try them quickly, unlike the ones on Amazon where I wouldn’t see them for a few days and if they didn’t work out would need to return them.
The negatives though are the finish is not as clean as those commercial products, and the design may not be as durable, although the two I have kept for now both seem pretty much indestructible.
If you have a 3D printer and some suitable filament already, why not try out some of them and see whether they work.