May 21, 2016 | By Tess

3D printing pens have opened up the creative possibilities of doodling and additive manufacturing, especially for those who do not have access to a 3D printer. What is remarkable about the 3D printing pen, and what we continue to see on a regular basis, is that it is not only a tool for making small trinkets and decorations, but can also be used to make large-scale art pieces, and even useful objects and designs. Among some of the more popular 3Doodled objects are phone and tablet cases, which can be easily customized with the creative capabilities of the 3D printing pen. Now, you can make your own 3Doodled phone or tablet case by following the tutorial below, which was explained by 3Doodler-enthusiast Anna Kelly.

The Minnesota based 3Doodling artist, who discovered the 3Doodler while she was window shopping for a 3D printer, has found the tool to be a fun and functional way to turn her drawings into physical objects. In designing her 3Doodled phone cases, she explains that she went through some trial and error, but has since found the perfect method to making a perfectly fitted phone case using a 3D printing pen. For the benefit of 3Doodler-users everywhere, she has shared this foolproof method.

The first suggestion Anna Kelly offers in creating your customized phone case is to purchase a dummy phone that is the same exact dimensions as yours. She says, “I decided that the best way to Doodle a case is to get a dummy phone. I purchased one online, wrapped the back and sides in filament tape, and Doodled directly on it.” If, however, you cannot buy a dummy phone, be sure to protect your actual phone as best as possible before 3Doodling on it.

In addition to your phone (or dummy phone), you’ll need a 3D printing pen such as the 3Doodler, FLEXY Plastic in the colors of your choice, masking tape or packing tape, a marker, scissors, and if you have a preference, a nozzle set for the 3D printing pen. Additional tools, which could be used in the finishing of the phone case, are wire cutters to cut off the melted ends of plastic, and tweezers to remove bits of plastic.

The first step in making your custom phone case is to carefully cover your phone’s back and sides with tape, making sure that the surface is as smooth as possible. In the diagram above you can follow Anna Kelly’s taping method, which uses thin strips at the corners to make the covering as tight and smooth as possible. Once this is done, it is important to outline your phone’s camera, buttons, and openings (such as charging port, and headphone jack) with your marker. This will help you to know where not to apply plastic.

After the essential buttons and openings are marked you can start to 3Doodle along the perimeter of the phone, both front and back. Here Anna Kelly suggests using a dot method rather than going in a straight line to “ensure many points of contact”. Of course, you can do a single line if you have an aesthetic preference. Once the perimeters are done, you can begin to fill in the phone case’s foundation. As in the photo below, she suggests applying the heated plastic filament first in widely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and then keep doing that until the grid is tight and almost solid.

With your foundation done, you should be able to remove your phone case from either you real phone or your dummy phone to see if there are any weak points that need reinforcing. Once you are satisfied with your case’s foundation you can decorate your case in any way you’d like, whether with swirls like Anna Kelly, or with an image, or another pattern, the possibilities are endless. When the decorating is done, you’ll find yourself with a brand new, custom phone or tablet case!

To see more of Anna Kelly's awesome 3Doodled pieces, check out her Instagram page here.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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