Microsoft's Surface Pro Dock adapter is so scarce, you're better off 3D printing your own

pc sales recovering led by detachable tablets surface pro 4 hero
The Surface Pro is a wonderful device, and the dock is the perfect accessory for expanding its functionality. Unfortunately, the Surface Pro 3 dock isn’t compatible with the Surface Pro 4 without the help of a spacer to allow it to fit properly. Microsoft has one, but it’s hard to find, leading some users to stuff other objects in the dock to allow it to fit properly. In the true maker spirit, Microsoft has now shared the design files to 3D print one of these elusive docks at home, or wherever there’s a large enough 3D printer.

When Microsoft announced the new Surface Pro 4, it also promised that those who bought the dock for the Surface Pro 3 would be able to continue using it with the new device. The only catch is the new Surface Pro is slimmer than the last rendition, so the dock doesn’t hold it snugly. Microsoft engineered an easy solution — slip of plastic that fills the gap. But it wasn’t easy to obtain.

It’s a free attachment (you pay shipping and handling) from Microsoft, as long as you actually own a Surface Pro 4 and have it registered on the Microsoft support page. Alternatively, the brick and mortar Microsoft stores were supposed to carry them, but the issue arose that the people working at the shops had generally never heard of such an attachment.

The Microsoft files are available in both .STL and .STP formats to work with a large number of slicing programs, and as long as the 3D printer in question has a build size of at least 10.3 x 100.8 x 285.4 millimeters, it will be able to print the adapter. Installation is simple. Stick the adapter into the dock and secure it there with some double-sided tape.

While some users are already unhappy with the relative scarcity of the adapter, those with access to a 3D printer will no doubt be glad to see the schematics to print their own.

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