Mar 8, 2018 | By Tess

Portland, Oregon startup Defox has launched a crowdfunding campaign for a 3D printed smartphone camera accessory that is ideal for “active photography” or hands-free portraits. The accessory, called the Periscope Case, consists of a 3D printed frame that fits over your smartphone and a mirror component.

How often have you wanted to pose in front of a nice landscape or landmark with your friend or significant other, but have had to resort to an undignified selfie? None? Well, consider yourself lucky. My camera roll is full of them.

Which is why this 3D printed smartphone accessory featured on Crowdsuppy caught my attention. The phone case integrates a simple mirror system that enables you to take photographs without having to hold your phone upright. This means that you could simply place your camera on a flat surface and still be able to capture a nice photo of yourself using a timer.

Funnily enough, the 3D printed phone case wasn’t actually designed for taking better quality portraits without a phone stand or person to capture it—it was designed for capturing action photos or videos.

“The inspiration for Periscope Case came when some of us at Defox tried to live stream the crawlspace inspection of a new house by strapping a smart phone to an RC Car,” the firm explains. “Getting it secured and at the right angle was impossible. Eventually we found that a correctly angled mirror and some zip ties did the trick!”

This DIY phone accessory was then refined somewhat—thanks to 3D design and printing—and is now a marketable product. Because the accessory enables you to take photos while your smartphone lays (nearly) flat, its uses and applications are extremely varied.

Defox recommends the 3D printed phone case for capturing action shots or videos while you are biking or skateboarding, capturing images from remote control devices such as R/C cars or drones, and even snapping discrete photos. (This last application could be somewhat worrisome to those who are paranoid about being photographed by strangers...)

The Periscope case also integrates a simple strap system, which enables users to easily attach their phone to just about anything. If you’re ok with looking a bit silly, this feature could be handy for turning your smartphone into a DIY headlamp. The grips on the side of the case used for attaching straps also double as finger grips.

The 3D printed case, which is 3D printed using HP’s Jet Fusion additive manufacturing technology, was developed in partnership with Oregon-based product design studio OpenFab. 3D printing enabled the Defox team to iterate a multi-function smartphone case that is still compact enough for your smartphone to fit in your pocket.

“Throughout the process, we have been working very closely with David Perry at OpenFab, to design the Periscope Case specifically to be 3D printed,” said Defox. “With their collaboration, we were able to optimize the design to keep the manufacturing costs as low as possible while printing the entire case, the loops, the grips, and the mirror latches as one solid part. This would not be possible using standard techniques such as injection molding.”

If the crowdfunding campaign is a success, Defox will move ahead with the case’s production in partnership with RapidMade, which will 3D print the cases locally in Portland.

Backers can make a pledge for the Periscope Case starting at $28. Defox is currently offering versions for Samsung, Google, and iPhone devices. A customized Periscope Case is also on offer starting at $120. See all the reward options here.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Anja wrote at 3/10/2018 12:48:14 PM:

@Defox: Thanks, fixed.

Defox wrote at 3/10/2018 3:20:02 AM:

Thank so much for writing about our case. That's great. Just wanted to point out that the autocorrect kicked in and the company name is Defox, instead of Detox. Link to the campaign:

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