July 9, 2014

The Dutch smartphone manufacturer FairPhone is going to sell 3D printed cases for its smartphones. FairPhone is the third smartphone manufacturer worldwide that uses 3D printing to fabricate its phone cases.

Launched by three Dutch groups (NGOs Waag Society and Action Aid Netherlands, and design company Schrijf-Schrijf) in 2010, FairPhone aims to make phones that are built to last using open, responsible design. 'We want consumers to have true ownership of their phones, including how they use and configure them.' announced the startup.

FairPhone is offering ten different 3D printed cases: talented designer Joris van Tubergen came up with five case designs that will serve as a starting point to inspire more ideas. These five cases are now available in FairPhone's online shop. The other five will be from FairPhone fans that they co-design and submit to the "Design a Day" Challenge. The challenge runs for five days only. Each day you can write descriptions, send photos, make sketches of your design and send your feedback by 09:00 the next day morning. Then Joris and the Fairphone team will review your feedback, make a new design and optimize it for 3D printing. The final design and the new case will be for sale in FairPhone online shop, and a new design loop will start.

Fairphone is partnering with 3D Hubs, a distributed network of printers, to create the protective Fairphone cases that can be 3D printed at local printers near you. That means the cases will not go into mass production, but instead, users can print them at any of the 3D Hubs' 6000 locations worldwide.

"This project combines creativity and design with local distribution and on-demand production – eliminating the need for long-distance shipping or producing excess stock." notes Fairphone.

Here's how it works:

1. You go to Fairphone's online shop and add the case of your choice to your shopping cart. Each one costs €18.00 including VAT.

(Here's the cost breakdown: For each case ordered, €1.45 goes to Fairphone, €0.92 goes to 3D Hubs, €12.51 goes to the selected local 3D Hub printer and €3.12 is VAT, for a total of €18.00. )

2. Select your payment type and place your order. Once your payment is received, you'll get a confirmation email with further instructions and a link to select your preferred 3D Hub printing location.

3. Your selected 3D Hub will confirm your order let you know when your case will be ready. You can then pick it up in your city.

FairPhone is the third smartphone manufacturer worldwide that uses 3D printing to fabricate its phone cases. Earlier last year, Nokia released the 3D printing files for its Lumia 820 and allowed its users to print their own custom cases. This year, Finnish smartphone manufacturer Jolla has also released 3D files and technical specs of two replacement back covers for the Jolla smartphone so you can personalise your Jolla to match your mood and personality.

The FairPhone's 3D printed covers are designed for its first generation smartphones. The manufacturer will sell a second batch of the FairPhone this summer. If you want to have a unique case for your Fairphone, the Fairphone shop is now open for pre-orders.


Posted in 3D Printing Services

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Pulsar wrote at 7/9/2014 10:29:59 PM:

They was printing green cover and then showing how ready made light blue cover fits to that phone. I was waiting to see how that green cover fits to that phone, but I guess that cover was a failure.

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