3D Printing a Pinephone Back Cover
#1
Hey, y'all - I decided to download the 3d model of the pinephone's back cover as linked to from the wiki and give it a go through my 3d printer to see what happened.

Of course, I've only got a tiny printer, so I had to print it standing on it's side edge to get it to fit on the print bed.

The print quality wasn't high enough to actually use on my phone (I printed in PLA with 0.2mm layers for these initial attempts, will switch to a more appropriate material eventually) but it came close!

Here's a jumpy timelapse video of the case being printed that I posted to the fediverse last night:
https://toot-lab.reclaim.technology/@djsundog/103666555853072932

There are also some pictures in this thread:

https://toot-lab.reclaim.technology/@djsundog/103659721702310396

Has anyone gotten a good enough print to use on their phone yet? I'd love to hear about it!
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#2
I've had a couple of offers to print it in a Prusa i3, but I was waiting until it arrived so I could see if anything had changed since the release of the model, and whether all the finer details were necessary. Now it's arrived it looks to me that the catches could be redesigned for better strength when printed. Another option would be to have a solid back but flexible sides that wrap around the sides and have a slight lip on the front, giving the phone more protection from drops etc. That wouldn't need the catches at all. It's what Motorola did with some of the alternate backs for the original Moto G. It should make the buttons easier too. I'll be asking them about it when we meet later in the week.
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#3
I haven't tried 3D printing a back cover yet, but I did use the CAD model of the back cover to design a pair of cases which I've thrown on Thingiverse, along with the associated CAD files on OnShape: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4164993/comments
[Image: featured_preview_bettertux.PNG]
Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to print it yet- waiting on a new extruder to come in the mail. But I'm hoping to run down to the local hackerspace later this week and give it a shot!
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#4
Would any of you skilled enough in CAD software be willing to isolate the phone's back plane shape as a simple vector and export it for me? I'd like to try setting up some skins for the Phones, but have no CAD experience, and know it would take me way too long to figure out how to export that.
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#5
(02-17-2020, 07:58 AM)tophneal Wrote: Would any of you skilled enough in CAD software be willing to isolate the phone's back plane shape as a simple vector and export it for me? I'd like to try setting up some skins for the Phones, but have no CAD experience, and know it would take me way too long to figure out how to export that.

I'm just getting into this stuff myself, but I'll see what I can come up with at some point today
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#6
(02-17-2020, 09:16 AM)sundog Wrote:
(02-17-2020, 07:58 AM)tophneal Wrote: Would any of you skilled enough in CAD software be willing to isolate the phone's back plane shape as a simple vector and export it for me? I'd like to try setting up some skins for the Phones, but have no CAD experience, and know it would take me way too long to figure out how to export that.

I'm just getting into this stuff myself, but I'll see what I can come up with at some point today

Much appreciated! I shouldn't need much, just the basic plane (before it starts to round at the edges) and where the camera bump resides, so I can make them into cut lines.
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#7
I know almost nothing about 3D printing other than what I've seen on YouTube. I've gathered that it's very slow and can take multiple runs to get an acceptable end product.

I am however into firearms and have seen a ton of laser stippling work and it just takes a minute or two to complete. Here's come examples of one companies work;

https://www.sharkcoasttactical.com/our-s...-stippling

Maybe it would be more cost effective to mail the back to someone, have them etch it and mail it back. If it's not very complex like Tuxx, they might cut a deal.
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#8
(02-17-2020, 09:42 AM)MIchael Wrote: I know almost nothing about 3D printing other than what I've seen on YouTube. I've gathered that it's very slow and can take multiple runs to get an acceptable end product.

I am however into firearms and have seen a ton of laser stippling work and it just takes a minute or two to complete. Here's come examples of one companies work;

https://www.sharkcoasttactical.com/our-s...-stippling

Maybe it would be more cost effective to mail the back to someone, have them etch it and mail it back. If it's not very complex like Tuxx, they might cut a deal.

Unlikely it would be more cost effective, as I have a direct line to a production facility that deals specifically with decals and vinyl. A small batch of PinePhone skins would cost less to produce than the shipping for sending it to be etched. The end goal for these would be to make them available for everyone in the Pine Store.

(Sorry I'm veering this to off topic territory, I'll dip out of here until someone @'s me, now.)
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#9
(02-17-2020, 07:58 AM)tophneal Wrote: Would any of you skilled enough in CAD software be willing to isolate the phone's back plane shape as a simple vector and export it for me? I'd like to try setting up some skins for the Phones, but have no CAD experience, and know it would take me way too long to figure out how to export that.

@tophneal How's this: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-81IiD2...p=drivesdk
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#10
(02-17-2020, 12:37 PM)loefflerlabs Wrote:
(02-17-2020, 07:58 AM)tophneal Wrote: Would any of you skilled enough in CAD software be willing to isolate the phone's back plane shape as a simple vector and export it for me? I'd like to try setting up some skins for the Phones, but have no CAD experience, and know it would take me way too long to figure out how to export that.

@tophneal How's this: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-81IiD2...p=drivesdk

WONDERFUL! Thank you so much!

EDIT: it appears I spoke too soon, there's some apparent differences when I overlay the template onto an image of the phone's backplate. (After getting a CAD program to open/view the file I understand exactly why.) I want to see if I can bring the decal closer to the edge/bezel of the case sides. Would anyone be able to export the pieces of the back panel as highlighted here? I'm trying in Fusion360, but I'm having no luck.
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