05 January, 2013

3D Printed Tank iPhone 5 Case by Mstyle183

The second item I bought from Shapeways: a 3D printed iPhone case!

First impressions: it feels light, but quite stiff. Since I ordered it in WSF polished, it wasn't that rough, except the money clip part. The stand was stuck at first and I needed a knife to separate it.

  • 3D printed
  • Holds 3 credit cards
  • Money clip
  • Stand
  • Customisable
Back view

It shows some attention to detail. e.g. there are steps so the cards are easier to remove separately.

This is the rough part. You can see the lines from the 3D printing. It feels like paper. The hinge is a proper hinge, not a living hinge. The material to the left and right of the hinge is reinforced. I hope the hinge lasts, it feels like I'm wearing down the material every time I open it.

There is a notch for you to open the stand, but the hole in the stand works too.

I wonder what these are - a notch in the stand and a pin below. Are they meant to lock the stand closed? There isn't any pin on the other side - did I break it off while freeing the stand? Also, the pin doesn't seem to fit into the notch.

The stand in operation. It only works in landscape orientation. It feels like the hinge could break if you put it in portrait orientation (the hinge will open all the way and the phone will press on it).

It fits the iPhone's curvature very well.

Also, it seems to match the bevel's angle perfectly!

Update 19 Mar 14
After at least 14 months of use, this case is still going strong! In that time, I dropped my phone once from pocket height onto tiled floor and there was no damage. This material is amazing. I thought it would at least creep, being porous and made from powder, but it still seems to fit perfectly. The only wear is that it's yellowish now, and there's very slight delamination near the power button hole.

This is the power button hole, seen from the inside of the case. The hole on top is the camera cutout. At the bottom of the power button hole, you can see the material splitting, but it doesn't affect the case in any way.

Of course, being porous, it's quite dirty now. I didn't realise this until I saw its pristine white original condition when I reread this post.

I don't use the money clip or stand (except to play with it), so I'm not sure how long they would last.

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