- 11-18-2012, 10:46 PM #1
Just a little background about me. Im a 3D artist and have done many productions including games, TV, and movies. One of the side things I have been playing with recently is 3D printing. I even designed and printed a ring for my wife. You can see my portfolio at www.gibbageart.com, and yes, my resume has lots of entry's from Microsoft, but im not involved in WP7/8.
I decided to try and make my own case for my new 8x using 3D printing! Why? Because all the available cases out there cover the the great design, and quite frakly, the surface of the 8x is picking up a LOT of scuffs and marks already. It seems the surface is rather soft and easy to damage.
What I want to do, is create a VERY minimal case design and let the color and design of the phone show through, while protecting the corners and surface from damage. My concept was born from watching the recent "Spiderman" movie. I was inspired not by his suit, but the webbing itself. The case will have 4 "bumpers" on each corner, connected by "webs" to each other, avoiding covering specific area's like buttons, camera holes, ports and so on. I highly doubt this is a new concept, and I think I have seen something similar on 3D printed iPhone cases, but the geomitry on the iPhone is AMAZINGLY simple. The 8x has some really nasty curvs.
First step in this process is to make an accurate 3D model of the phone itself, so I can build on top of the virtual phone. If the virtual phone is accurate, and it fits the virtual phone, it "should" fit the real phone. Thats my current problem. I really dont have any accurate measuring instruments for this sort of work!!! Right now, im using my eye, photo's and measurements found on the web. This should be enough to get a proof of concept, and I have the first model done. Here it is.
The silver/grey thing is the body of the phone. The red sections are "DNC" or "Do not cover". So the case will be built around this model, and printed out. I will use Shapeways - Make & Share Your Products with 3D Printing to do the printing or another place, and they have a braud selection of materials including plastic, metal, silver and so on. One cool thing about this method of making a case is the ability to make custom cases. I can add logo's, names, or almost anything people want onto the back of the phone. The thing is, the plastic is not very smooth, and it wont be cheap. Im guessing the case will be about 20$ just to get it printed. There is no way I could compete with 5$ cases on Ebay, so I dont plan on selling a lot of these if people want, but it would be an interesting way to customize you phone!
Ill update with renders of the concept at a later date once I have something to show, but I would LOVE to get some feedback on the project and suggestions from fellow 8X owners. What do you guys think?
Kevin "Gibbage" Miller
- 11-19-2012, 03:19 AM #2
Here is the base concept of the case design. The corners will be well protected from impact, and there will be a little bit of a lift off the glass for when you set it face down. Also the design will not obstruct any ports or buttons, and the thick sides will be textured for a better grip (one problem im having with this phone). I hope to start modeling the case tomorrow.
- 11-19-2012, 03:33 AM #4
I wish I could print in silicone, but nobody does that yet. I will make the case in two peaces (front and back) and have it snap along the side with VERY strong hinges. Something that wont just pop out from a fall. The hinge design I will get more into once I model it out.
- 11-19-2012, 11:30 AM #5
Cool idea, but would love to see more hard geometric lines than web-like, but just my opinion. As for the two-piece, I think the whole point is for the case to pop off when it falls, it absorbs the impact better that way, especially when you don't have an internal sponge/cloth sleeve.
Love the whole concept of making your own case, lots of potential.
11-19-2012, 06:35 PM #9
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I love it! How can I buy one? :D
I especially like the grips on the side and how that raises your fingers just enough not to accidentally push the buttons(which I've done a gazillion times and the phone's greatest flaw IMHO).
- 11-20-2012, 01:55 AM #13
Here is a materials list for Shapeways. 3D Printing Materials on Shapeways
They DO have metal. They have stainless steel and silver, but are very expensive. They have a material called "alumide" but its VERY brittle and will not work. Im willing to give it a try. They also have a clear plastic acrylic that could also be very cool.
There are other 3D printing services I will look into.
As for selling them, yes thats an option. First I will make sure it works and fits the phone well before I even consider selling it. I was also thinking of doing a kickstarter depending on the reception.
Also, for those who dont like the design, but like the concept, the process im making will allow ANY design to be made. Logo's, names, cartoon/anime characters whatever you want. I even have a template designed so people can just draw in the back, and I can transfer that into 3D. You can have your very own custom case! This web design is just a test.
- 11-20-2012, 04:31 PM #15
Update. I got the edges beveled. Not a very big bevel, but it wont cut into your hand. Here is the final design on a 3D mockup. I need to now split it down the edge, and make the snaps/hinges. I see about 2 more days on this till I send the prototype off to be printed. Things are going very fast and smoothly, and the process is developing well. Remember, ANY design can be made. I can include logo's and names very easly into the design for your own custom case!!!
- 11-20-2012, 04:40 PM #17
Ultimately, I would LOVE to see my design be done in silicone, but that would cost thousands of $$ for just the mold and would need to sell thousands of them to make up for the cost. At least with 3D printing, I can customize it.
- 11-20-2012, 05:30 PM #18
Just an FYI. I sent the model off to the printer to test out the cost. The cost is reasonable for the plastics! The metals will be about 40-50$ for the stainless steele, and over $120 for sterling silver. Anyone wanna bling there phone? Gold plate for about $60!
- 11-20-2012, 06:20 PM #19
i'd pay up to $70 for a full stainless steel back cover (not spiderweb design, but a full cover). or you could even just make replacement housings out of steel (i'd love this). I kinda like the rough dimpled effect of the steel. gives the phone a kind of steampunk vibe ;)
- 11-21-2012, 01:07 AM #21
Sadly the Steel is NOT an option. I checked the requirements and it needs a 3MM thick wall. The current walls are 1MM thick, so it would make the case EXCESSIVELY heavy and thick at 3MM, plus it would more then tripple the price. Silver is still an option though.
- 11-21-2012, 12:05 PM #22
silver could work. i believe silver is a lot softer though, but with the rough texture, it should age nicely even when it gets banged up. worst case scenario, can always use it to kill vampires and werewolves
i'm very excited about this. if you come up with precise measurements for a case in silver, i'm definitely purchasing.
I still urge you to consider just replacing the entire housing assembly though ;)
edit: considering you have all of the corners covered, as well as the curvature of the back integrated into your "web" design, it wouldn't be out of the question to create a fully covered back, would it?
Last edited by tofu.; 11-21-2012 at 12:28 PM.
- 11-21-2012, 12:52 PM #24
Making a solid case would be easy, but the extra materials would make it heavy and very expensive. The web design minimizes weight and cost, but still offers good overall protection. A solid silver case would cost around $200 or more. If thats still an option for you at that price, im willing to make it once I know the plastic case fits.
- 11-21-2012, 02:08 PM #25
I will certainly consider it! pricey, but extremely unique. won't have to worry about scratches and dings either because it'll be part of the "look"
let's see how the web process goes first :)
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