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Shapeways Seeks 3D Printable iPhone 6 Case Designs Via $500 ‘Extend the Function Contest’

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sh4One of the first things people usually print after setting up their new 3D printer, is a smartphone case. This is likely because it’s easy, usually quick, and is actually something one can use every day, as well as show off to their friends and family.

The capability of being able to customize your own smartphone case, as well as being able to create one within a matter of an hour or so at home, can be incredibly empowering. With this weekend’s release of Apple’s much anticipated iPhone 6, there are millions of new phones entering people’s pockets and purses, naked, without a protective covering.

The world’s largest 3D printing marketplace, Shapeways, has decided to do something about all this nakedness. In order to fill their marketplace with a variety of iPhone 6 case options, they have decided to launch the ‘Extend the Function iPhone 6 Design Contest‘.

Ethan Imboden

Ethan Imboden

The contest which will reward one lucky winner a $500 Shapeways credit, will be judged by Ethan Imboden, a serial innovator, incredible designer, and the Head of Venture Design at Frog. Imboden will be basing his decision on both form and function. The winning design must look nice, while also serving a functional purpose.

There has already been several unique designs submitted including a case which is also a noise maker, one which has a ring-like attachment to it, and a case which integrates pop-out flaps allowing the phone to stand up.

A basic case, which will fit your iPhone 6 perfectly, has been designed by Shapeways and is available for free downloaded.  Once downloaded, the model is yours to play with.  Shapeways has also provided a few guidelines for dimensions and shape to ensure a functioning, safe case design. Below are a few of these pointers:

  • Keep the wall thickness and wires to at least 1mm thickness.
  • You can engrave the design with a 0.5mm cut and still keep a 0.7mm thickness which is the minimum for the case.
  • Use rounded edges so that the product is not sharp
  • Adding a fillet between perpendicular planes makes the connection much stronger, eliminating much of the risk of cracking
A few designs submitted already

A few designs submitted already

To enter your design into the contest, simply upload it to Shapeways with the “SWiPhone6” tag. For extra bonus points, you may share your design via social media with hashtag #ShapewaysiPhone. Contestants will have until October 1st to enter for the $500 prize, and the winner will be contacted by Monday, October 6th. If you don’t end up winning, at least you may be able to make some money selling your design on the Shapeways marketplace.

Please feel free to share any designs you create for this contest in the Shapeways iPhone case contest forum thread on 3DPB.com. Good Luck!  Check out a couple of the designs which have already been submitted below:

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