Three of the best 3-D printed smartphone accessories
One of the downsides to all of those dominating big brands is that individuality slowly becomes a rarity as businesses start to adjust their aesthetics to be more in line with whatever is selling best. While this does mean that you get a product that is stylish, you also lose a bit of yourself in the sameness. This is even true with many of the accessories you can purchase to help stand out. Many of the designs and colours tend to boil down to being the same. However, this is where 3-D printing helps you make a break.
No longer are you limited to what sells best because, these days, you can customise your smartphone accessories yourself thanks to the range of 3-D printers out there.
Cases are the easiest and cheapest way to customise your device while adding protection from spills and drops.
Other than the size needed to physically fit on your phone, the design choices are limitless. Any colour that is available to print from can be used for your case, and you can make intricate designs that are not normally available or are prohibitively expensive in store-bought cases.
You also have the ability to include cut outs that show off logos or to give a better grip when you 3-D print your case.
Sometimes you just want to stay in bed watching YouTube or Netflix. But using your hands to hold it all night can be annoying, so a custom stand makes it easier to relax.
With a little ingenuity you can add custom functions to a stand, such as including places for wrapping your charging cord or adding amplifiers for your phone’s speakers.
Because you have the ability to create negative spaces within a 3-D printed object, you can easily run charging cords or plates to create a customised charging stand or night stand clock, so you’ll always know where your phone is in the morning.
The old party trick of putting your phone into an empty glass to increase the resonance of the speakers also gets a bit more mature with 3-D printing. The stands can be integrated with this space, giving your phone’s speakers a boost while being a little bit more classy than a red solo cup.
Recently, there has been a push to more seamlessly integrate the use of mobile devices into a full-fledged gaming experience. This is evident with devices like the Sony Xperia line that work as a mobile screen for the PlayStation 4 system.
You can design custom cases and holders to make a phone-based gaming experience more comfortable. Incorporate grips that resemble traditional controllers, so there is less strain on your hands.
These custom rigs also translate into holders for augmented reality headsets, similar to Oculus or Google Cardboard. While some phones like the Galaxy Note 4 work seamlessly with Samsung’s VR headset, other phones need 3-D printing techniques to have a more premium feel.
What would you print?
The wonderful thing about 3-D printing is that you are only limited by your imagination. Everything from skins, cases, bumpers and stands can be quickly and easily created.
Even if you don’t have the design experience, chances are someone on the Internet has already developed and created the idea, which means you’re never out of luck.