Design and 3D print your own cell phone case

So you want a 3D printed cell phone case? First stop, Thingiverse. Which is great, unless you don't own a popular cell phone. So we are going to make one ourselves.

You will need:

  • Cell Phone
  • Calipers
  • CAD

First I'm going to model the phone. I measured the phone and modeled a rectangle with matching length and width. To get the radiused corner you can use your calipers and measure from the top quadrant to the edge. We use this number to radius our corners.

I offset this curve by 0.01"  to account for fit and shrinkage. This curve will be the inside of the case. I then offset the new curve by 0.1" to represent the outside of the case.

We need to figure out how thick to make the case. I measured my phone and it was 0.31" thick, so that's at least how deep the case will be. The back should be around 0.1" so 0.41" total. I extruded the inner curve and moved it 0.1" (thickness of the back) from the rear surface. Then with a Boolean difference I removed the inner from the outer.

Now we need to cut holes for the camera, finger print sensor, light, side buttons, and ports.

I measured each component and made the corresponding cut out. As a quick test I printed the 2D layout with my laser printer, then cut the shape out with an x-acto knife. My first try showed me that my measurements were off. So I tweaked the CAD model and tried again. This process took about 5 minutes and saved me a failed print.

Now I can use a Boolean difference to subtract the shapes from the case.

We are going to need a way to keep the phone from falling out. One easy way to do this is to add retainer clips.

Time to print it!