French startup Sculpteo is showcasing its customizable 3D-printed iPhone cases at CES in Las Vegas this week. While 3D printing and iPhone cases have met before, the hook here is that by browsing the company's website or downloading a free app, users can customize one of the predefined templates or create their own designs from scratch. The design is then 3D-printed and delivered to their doorstep.
Over the past few years, we've covered our fair share of iPhone cases. This may not be one for the pragmatist – it doesn't add memory and battery life, it doesn't charge the phone via waterproof solar panels and it doesn't deter .50 caliber bullets – but it will undoubtedly make your iPhone feel like your very own.
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The 3D-printed case is made entirely out of polyamide, built according to the design provided by the user within a tolerance of 0.1mm. The case, the company says, is solid, resistant, and will not peel off or fade with use.
To make things easier, the company starts you up with a library of ready-made designs (including cutouts, skulls and speakers), which you can personalize by changing colors, patterns, text and, where applicable, even parameters such as thickness and curvature. If you want, you can even make the profile of your face (or your friends') a part of your case.
If you've created a design you're particularly proud of, you can also share it and allow others to use it (although you won't receive royalties).
Sculpteo's cases are available for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4/4S, and iPhone 5. Pricing starts at US$24, with international shipping free for all orders over $35 or €35. According to PCWorld, the company is also looking to expand into the Android market.
The video below illustrates portions of the 3D-printing process.