3D-Printed Custom Smartphone Cases to Fuel Creativity
UCreate3D, a day-old project on Indiegogo, looks to be a winner with a rainbow of rigid cases for smartphones and tablets that can be quickly personalized using 3D printing technology.
So far, the two Dutch entrepreneurs behind the project, Koen Munneke and Vincent van de Poll, have raised more than $12,000 of their funding goal of $20,000, with about a month left to raise the full amount.
Indiegogo funders, individuals who donate to a project to be among the first to receive a product, can preorder their personalized cases. Smartphone cases (for 13 different phones, including iPhone 5, Galaxy Note 2 and Xperia Z) run $39, while cases for iPads, Galaxy Tabs and BlackBerry's Playbooks cost $79. The cases are formed with two snap-together pieces: a frame that covers the sides of the device and a back panel, which means you can design several panels in different colors that would be interchangeable.
Although the cases don't come cheap, they allow users to customize their own smartphone and tablet cases with an image and text that can include a name or favorite slogan. Both the back panel and the frame can be personalized. In fact, if you can upload a .jpg image file from your computer and type a few pieces of text, you can place an order in less than five minutes.
Like with most Indiegogo projects and others on crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter , early buyers get perks that won't be available once the product is available to the public. At the basic funding level of $39, buyers will get an extra back panel when they order a smartphone case, while those who pledge $1,500 will get a new case every year for the rest of their lives.
In June, UCreate3D plans to open the site to funders to design their cases; the company will ship them out out two weeks later. The cases will be made on a 3D printer and coated for protection. They will be available in seven colors: Juicy Orange, Pretty in Pink, District Red, Batman Black, Go Green, Sterling Silver and Caribbean Blue.
UCreate3D could also have the first customizable case for an anticipated new iPhone — that is, if Apple cooperates. (Of course Apple won't. But UCreate3D could quickly modify its iPhone 5 specifications to fit what is likely to be a similarly sized iPhone 5S.)