I can still remember those elementary school days, about 15 years ago for me, as I walked through the hall with my Game Boy in one hand and a binder full of trading cards in the other, just strutting around looking for someone to battle or trade Pokémon with. Now, with the recent release of the Pokémon Go augmented reality smartphone app, the world is once again in a mesmerizing craze over these virtually mythical creatures. As the internationally acclaimed franchise continues to rise back to prominence, the 3D printing community has found ways to integrate this emerging technology into this revamped past-time.
At the start of the year, 3D Hubs celebrated the franchise by offering a collection of 3D printable Low Poly Pokémon. Since then, the Pokémon Go app has reinforced the popularity of these pocket monsters, as a number of 3D printable items related to the game have recently popped up. Some players are even finding actual 3D printed Pokémon models at the virtual pokéstops and gyms located in the smartphone-based game, which were initially created and placed around by Pokémon fan and 3D printing enthusiast Matthew Beaman. Ultimately, 3D printing technology has primarily been used to create novelty objects for Pokémon fans, but now, a new 3D printed phone case will actually help young trainers throw their virtual pokéballs more accurately.
The “Pokéball Aimer” was created by designer and maker Jon Cleaver, who recently uploaded the design for free download onto the 3D printing marketplace MyMiniFactory. At the moment, the design is currently made to only fit the iPhone 6, but Cleaver writes that he will redesign the Pokéball Aimer if high demand merits it, so more iterations should be coming in the near future. Once the case is applied onto the smartphone, players will be able to flick their pokéballs with perfect aim, making the process of catching Pokémon a much easier endeavor.
As someone who has dabbled with the Pokémon Go app himself, I did notice that this case seems like it would prevent users from conjuring up and throwing the special curved pokéballs, so beware if that is your preferred style to capture these creatures. For those without access to a 3D printer, Cleaver is selling the completed version of his Pokéball Aimer in his Etsy store for AU$8, which comes 3D printed in ABS plastic material and are available for shipping across the world.
In fact, Cleaver claims on his Etsy page that demand has been so overwhelming that he’s currently closed his store to catch up with orders, but he will return with even more versions for different types of phones. For now, players with an iPhone 6 and access to a 3D printer can get ahead of the game with Cleaver’s Pokéball Aimer, which will help ensure that not another pokéball will ever be wasted again. As the classic franchise has become revived through the smartphone app format, 3D printing technology seems to be a major proponent to the game, helping to excite and assist hopeful Pokémon trainers across the world. Discuss further in the Pokéball Aimer 3D Printed Smartphone Case forum over at 3DPB.com.[Source: The Verge and My Mini Factory]