Get a one-of-a kind iPhone case 3D-printed just for you

Sure, 3D printing is being used to create things like prosthetic fingers and hips, but why not use it for something that really matters: an iPhone case you designed?

Fraemes
Design and print your panel, snap it into the rubber frame and you've got your own unique iPhone case! Fraemes

Companies like Shutterfly, VistaPrint, and Zazzle have been able to print your photos on a variety of mobile phone cases for a while now, making them distinctively yours. But a new company seeking Kickstarter funding will actually be able to 3D-print an entire iPhone case for you, making it a one-of-a-kind creation -- if you have the design chops to dream one up.

The company, called Fraemes, uses Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printers to create plastic panels in a variety of colors and pretty much any design imaginable. SLS is a technology originally developed by DARPA that uses high-powered lasers to fuse plastic powders together, building plastic objects literally from the ground up. The Fraemes insert then snap into a custom rubber bumper that surrounds the phone. At launch, that phone will need to be either an Phone 5S or 5C, but the developers have their sights set on versions for the Samsung Galaxy S5 next.

In addition to letting would-be designers upload their own designs through a web interface, Fraemes has contracted about 150 different artists to make their own very cool versions of frames, which will also be for sale. These include the ones pictured at the bottom of this post.

According to the Kickstarter page, all designers get a portion of the profits when someone buys one of their designs. (Should the $15,000 funding goal be reached, the anticipated retail price is set to be about $15 for the bumper and $20 per insertable frame.) Plus, even if you choose an already designed insert, you can still customize many of them with a bit of text.

I'm partial to the reel-to-reel design. How about you?

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About the author

Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for Crave and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.

 

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