frame-3MakerBot knows that if they are to remain one of the leaders among desktop 3D printer manufacturers, they need to continue to provide an entire ecosystem for their users. There is no denying that the recent influx of new 3D printers coming to market, at prices just a fraction of what the MakerBot Replicator line of printers cost, they company feels a little heat. What MakerBot excels at though, is offering their users an entire experience. Rather than just selling their customers a printer and forgetting about them, MakerBot will remain a fixture in that person’s 3D printing experience, or at least that’s what they are trying to accomplish.

Back in June, MakerBot announced the MakerBot Developer Program, which provided developers with the resources they needed to integrate their applications and programs with the MakerBot 3D Ecosystem, as well as allowing access to the MakerBot 3D printing market. The company’s first partner and MakerBot-Ready App, under the program, was Modio, which allowed users to create 3D printable creatures through the Modio3D platform. Today the company has announced their second partner, Fraemes.

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For those of you who are not aware, Fraemes launched following a successful Kickstarter campaign back in March, raising over $16,000 from 139 different backers. The concept of Fraemes is to sell iPhone users a bumper for around their phone, and then allow them to print out custom designs which fit securely into that bumper, creating a personalized case for their iPhone. What’s so great about Fraemes is that users can quickly and easily switch out their inserts with whatever customized inserts they decide to print.

“We are excited to partner with Fraemes as one of our approved developers and offer 3D printable, customizable and personalized iPhone cases,” noted Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot. “Phone cases are always one frame-2of the most popular items to 3D print and now with the MakerBot-Ready App Fraemes, 3D printing customers can easily and simply customize iPhones cases — with no design experience necessary!”

The Fraemes MakerBot-Ready App allows users to connect their MakerBot accounts, select a desired insert design, and checkout. Once checked out, the design can be 3D printed directly from their Makerbot Desktop Library.

Currently, bumpers are available for purchase for $12 at the Fraemes site or a Makerbot retail store. Bumpers are available for iPhone 5/5s smartphones only at this time. Many of the insert designs are free, while some of them cost up to $1 a piece. If you are a decent designer, you can also simply create your own insert design and print them out for free.  Don’t own a 3D printer?  Then pay a visit to a MakerBot retail store in New York, Boston or Greenwich, Connecticut, and you can have an insert printed for only $20.

“When we worked on creating the Fraemes technology, simplicity was our number one goal. We wanted to make it easy for designers and non-designers to design and personalize in 3D,” noted Sakunthala Panditharatne, Fraemes’ graphics engineer. “With Fraemes, anyone can now print and carry around their own completely original piece of art, and change it up whenever they want.”

MakerBot is certainly expanding the applications available for their printers, bringing an expanded ecosystem to the user, and making the entire process fun, as well as profitable for the company. Let us know if you have printed out a ‘Fraeme’, in the MakerBot/Fraemes forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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