3d printed phone case

These days almost everyone has a mobile phone because of the ton of benefits that mobile phones offer. However, one of the downsides of having a mobile phone is durability; the average mobile phone is fragile and easily damaged. That is why most people opt for phone cases which reduce the risk of damage to their phones.

Thanks to advancements in technology, phone users now have more options to protect their phones, enter 3D printed phone cases.

3d printing is a  new technology which allows you to produce a range of things: tools, prototypes and different kinds of accessories like phone cases. Depending on what you are printing and the equipment used, you get to fabricate things in a relatively short amount of time.

You could quickly produce a 3D printed phone case using TPU filament or plastic. All it takes is a great DIY spirit, valuable information and some practice.

Since you are here, you have some DIY acumen that you are willing to tap into. That leaves the valuable information and practice aspects.

The article will serve as a guide that walks you through the process of fabricating durable 3D printed phones cases that are tailored to your taste. Hopefully, at the end of the guide, you should have enough information to create 3D printed phone cases that improve over time. In the meantime, read on.

Table of Contents

Things You Will Need

Before you get into the process of producing a 3D printed phone case, ensure that you have all the necessary materials. Here is a checklist for you:

  • The phone you are building a case for
  • Callipers (digital or dial) 
  •  A computer that has a reliable design software(CAD program) installed on it
  • Basic mastery of the installed software
  • Writing materials
  • A 3D printer
  • File
  • Spray Paint(optional)
  • Putty Knife
  • Pliers
  • Print material

You must use only quality materials so that you can get the best 3D printed phone case possible. Once you have sorted out the checklist, it’s time to get to the process proper.

How To 3D Print Your Phone Case

One of the reasons why 3D printed phone cases are such a great idea is that you get a range of choices that makes the production process more manageable. You can get a 3D model for printing by scanning a phone case, downloading a file from the internet or by designing a model.

Each of the options come with peculiar benefits. A designed model will allow you to create a unique phone case but will be a more tedious approach than simply downloading a file from the internet. Downloaded models are more likely to fit since they are the exact specifications.

In all, how you get the 3D print model comes down to what you want and the resources at your disposal. If you don’t opt to download your 3D model from the internet, you will need to take the following step.

Take Measurements

Ensure that you take accurate measurements of the phone which you want to print a case for. Use a digital calliper if you have access to one because it will provide more accurate measurements than a dial calliper. It would be best if you got the measurements right so that you can get the right dimensions for the phone case.

Here are the dimensions of the phone that you should measure:

  • The space between the edge of the phone and the home button(s)
  • The distance from the edge of the phone to the edge of the camera
  • The phone’s thickness
  • The height of the phone
  • The width of the phone
  • The space from the top to the bottom of each button(s)
  • The distance from the charge port to the headphone jack
  • The radius of the phone’s corner

Designing the Phone Case

This is where the measurements taken are put to use. Your knowledge of the design software also comes into play. Use the software and the phone case measurements to create a 2d sketch that is a barebones copy of your phone. Remember to craft the cut-outs for access to all the buttons and ports while you are it.

Here are the steps you should take when designing your 3D phone case:

  • Draw a rectangle using the measurements for the height and width of the phone.
  • You can then filet the corners to match the measurements for the radius of the corners of the phone.
  • Offset the drawing by a few millimetres
  • Elevate the edges of your basic rectangle
  • Fill in the back of the case.
  • Offset the outer edge of the front to form an edge
  • Cut out some space for the camera and speaker.
  • Do the same for the openings on the side of the phone case.
  • Clean up the squared edges on the case by fileting them

To fashion out the back of the phone case, you will need to start with a 2D sketch. After that, you can then cut out shapes or do any other thing that you want as far as designs go.

How to Modify/Customize A Downloaded Phone Case Design

This step is necessary for those who opted to download the phone case model. Here is where you customize the model to suit your taste. Follow the steps below to modify your phone case design:

Select Your Phone Model

Choose the model of your phone.

Add Protection

Decide on how much protection you want to give the phone case. You could add a liner to make the phone case more durable, or you could opt to remove the liner so that the phone case has a slim, sleek look. It depends on if the phone case is just a stylish phone accessory or a means of protecting your phone.

Select a Finish

Choose how you want the phone to look like. You could opt for a glossy, shiny finish or a less loud, matte finish. Choose an option that suits you.

Select Your Layout And Photos

This step is where you decide on the number of images that you want to be displayed on the phone. You could opt for a single photo that covers the whole phone case or a two photo design with overlaid text.

Then again you get the option of a photo-booth style layout for three photos, a  symmetrical design for four photos or an asymmetrical design for five photos.

Phone Case Background

This is the last step in modifying your model’s phone case. This where you pick RGB colours to make the phone case look better. Pick a background colour that matches the photo(s) that you are using on the phone case. However, if the pictures you chose spans the entire case, the background colour might not be visible. Bear that in mind.

Print Your Phone Case

Make sure you like the design. Go over it as many times as possible to correct any defect. Once you are satisfied with the design, you can then proceed to print. You have two options to do this: the DIY approach or the paid service way.

It is relatively easy to work with a 3D printer. Baring the increase in temperature, it is similar to printing a standard PLA filament. Make sure that you choose the right kind of material for the 3D printer you intend to use. One of the 3D print materials of choice is TPU filament because of the flexibility that it offers. Another great thing about this material is that it comes in a variety of colours so you can choose what works for you. Depending on the CAD program you use, the process of 3D printing should go like this:

  1. Select “export.”
  2. Download the design as an.STL
  3. Upload the.STL into a 3D printing software
  4. Print

If you can get everything right, it should take you about an hour to complete the printing. After printing you then gently remove the phone case from the build case using the pliers or the putty knife. All things being equal, you should have a well-shaped 3D printed phone case in your hands.

You could also use the paid service option as there are a lot of online solutions that cater to do this. Contact any of these firms to get a quote for your 3D printing. You then sort out the details after which you upload your customized phone case design to them. After it has been printed, they then deliver the phone case to you. It is the costlier option, although it is an excellent way to go when you don’t have access to a 3D printer.


Most people who have a phone case got it for its functionality. You could add some style and class to your phone case by customizing it to suit your style.

3D printed phone cases are fast becoming a trend because of the creativity and flexibility that they offer. If you read the article to this point, then you should know enough to get yourself a 3D printed phone case. Why not try to build your own 3D printed phone case?