Without a doubt, people love their iPhones. The latest versions, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6s, were received with rave reviews. Apple has made the smartphone nothing short of an art form and to showcase the newest versions, Swedish designer Paul Palmer has created an extravagant frame to suit–let’s just call it what it is–the king of all smartphones. Palmer’s 3D printed Rococo Frame is, indeed, the chic complement to the iPhone 6 and 6s, reminiscent of the ornate, Rococo frames that often competed in elegant frivolity with the paintings they contained.
Palmer, who resides in Akersberga, Sweden, has been a designer for more than 15 years and the Rococo Frame is his latest project. He’s launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project and supporters–presumably iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s owners–will be the first to showcase their own state-of-the-Apple devices with his ornate, Rococo-style frames.
Rococo, which probably comes from the combination of two French words, “rocaille” (stone) and “coquille” (“shell”), was in many ways an elaboration of the more symmetrical although lively Baroque style, its 17th- and early 18th-century artistic predecessor. Whereas Baroque art, music, architecture and décor could be somewhat bombastic at times, the Rococo style toned down the drama to frivolity, inserting pastel colors and lighthearted motifs in the place of sharp contrasts of shadow and light and sometimes over-the-top passion.
Palmer’s frames evoke images of the ornately playful interiors of 18th-century palaces. In place of mirrors or paintings, however, the display of the iPhone 6 and 6s emits a high-tech glow. The frames, which measure 173mm (6.81”) x 130mm (5.11”) x 27mm (1.06”), are 3D printed in lightweight ABS plastic, featuring elegant floral motifs of the Rococo style. The front of each is carefully finished, smoothed and spray painted and there are three different finishes available: white and gold, plain white, and black and gold.
Probably obviously, the Rococo Frame isn’t particularly portable in the sense that it won’t double as a phone case when you’re on the go–you’ll have to remove the latter, in fact, to use the frame as a dock for your iPhone. Palmer’s Rococo Frame is instead designed to be used when your iPhone is in hands-free mode. The phone is held in place by a rubber band, part of Palmer’s pretty ingenious design. The back of the Rococo Frame includes a hole in which the end of a pencil can be inserted to serve as a prop for the frame and the phone itself.
Palmer plans to produce a limited number of the Rococo Frames–10 or 15 at most–and, he explains on his Kickstarter page, “if the campaign goes well [he] would like to go into full production.” As the production process is somewhat time-consuming, he’ll need new, better equipment with which to produce the frames in larger quantities–thus the fundraising effort. While he could have outsourced the 3D printing, Palmer felt that doing so was too expensive because of the complexity of the design. He opted for the DIY approach and, in the spirit of the product, which derives its name from the art movement, he’ll sign each frame that goes to his campaign supporters “as a limited edition.”
Contributors to Palmer’s Kickstarter campaign, which ends on November 19, 2015, can give $58 (500kr, Swedish currency) and they’ll receive one Rococo Frame in their choice of the three colors. Contribute $580 (5000kr) and receive 1) a frame printed in wood filament with a special gold patina finish as well as 2) the .stl file and, notes Palmer, “an unlimited license to reproduce the Rococoframe for your own marketing and company purposes.” Even if you can’t contribute to Palmer’s fundraising campaign, you can purchase the .stl file for the Rococo Frame through Pinshape.
Stay tuned as Palmer’s project develops further to include a website, rococoframe.com and check out his artful video for the Kickstarter campaign below. The Rococo Frame really does transcend function; it’s a surprisingly elegant objet d’art.
Discuss this design in the 3D Printed iPhone Frame forum thread on 3DPB.com.