09 October, 2011

Searching for new iPhone case

Thinking of getting a new iPhone case with:
  • 3D printed - because 3D printing is the next disruptive technology and it would be great to have something on hand to show people what it's about
  • holds (credit) cards - because I find I'm usually holding my phone and card when on the bus, this way I can hold both at the same time
Found 2 options meeting both criteria:
source: http://freshfiber.com/test/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/74091504-1.jpg
Fresh Fiber specialises in 3D printed cases for various products. The Mondriaan is also made to hold credit cards. Although the point of 3D printing is custom made, on demand, their products aren't made to order, you can buy them in stores.
  • Saw it on sale here for $80
  • Hesitant about buying a case with so many holes in it
  • Case feels rough and unrefined, a bit like cardboard
  • Not sure how long 3D printing lasts (is it brittle etc.)
  • Hardly any reviews, none mention how long it lasts
If you want more protection / better design / don't need to hold credit cards, consider the Weave:
I think it's perfect to show off 3D printing since the woven design can't be made by any other way.

Shapeways is a website where you can upload your own 3D designs and print them in various materials. You can also let other people print your designs at a price you choose. There's an iPhone 4 case with credit card holder on sale there.

Without 3D printing, there are 2 more options. It's surprising how few cases there are that hold cards!
Case Mate ID Credit Card Case
This is the standard plastic (maybe polycarbonate) iPhone case, with the back slightly raised from the iPhone and slots added for the card.
  • holds 2 cards
  • cards press directly against the iPhone (I think they give a back protector)
  • Doesn't really protect the top and bottom
  • Saw it on sale in Funan Centre for $39 and thought it was too expensive, then I found out most shops sold it for $59!
  • You can get one that looks exactly like it from eBay (about $2), making the original even more overpriced

Speck Candyshell Card
This has more protection than Case Mate's, but it's thicker. I think it's made of 2 types of material.
  • holds 3 cards
  • cards do not contact the iPhone

Found another one: Tangram Smart Case
  • I think it's Korean
  • Holds 3 cards, or 2 cards and a mirror or money clip

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