The next edition of Design a Day challenge starts on Monday! That means every day next week, the Fairphone team will be looking at community design ideas and creating a brand new 3D-printed Fairphone case each day. Hope you check back on Monday to see the latest designs!
I was quite happy to see the Design-a-Day winter edition happening… but…
Am I the only one who’s a little disappointed that basically, it’s the same case all over again, with different back pattern?
A friend of mine owns one I got one of the nice blue ones which says it is my case. So I’ve got a comparison, and I’d say my case wins. Like it. Helped my phone to survive my occasional clumsiness. Looks good. Is partly flexible. Has a hole in the back to rest my finger in, and to push the phone out of the case if necessary. Says ‘This is your case’. (Did I mention this already?) On the other hand, the 3D printed case already broke. The plastic was to rigid, the fit to tight, so a part broke off when the phone needed to be removed out of the case. It looks partly rough. It’s even larger than my case. It does not say ‘my case’, but it has a nice bicycle.
However, that aside: Shouldn’t the general design of the case be the point, not just colour and pattern? I saw some nice 3D printed designs on the web, a simple image search shows up tons of brilliant and quite exiting designs. Also, docking stations, stands, VR-headsets to put your phone in. There must be something more than putting a pattern or text on the back in there for the FP, surely?
I think the goal of the design-a-day campaign is to allow people to submit their own ideas for designs with a low barrier of entry. People can simply draw a picture, make a photograph or even describe the pattern they’d like to see printed and that’s that. If you’d ask people to submit designs that completely alter the physical shape of the case, then it’d be a lot harder to submit a design and it’d probably be a lot more work to modify any submitted designs that aren’t an exact snug fit with the phone to work properly.
People are already submitting ideas which are very different that what we see produced. And I’m surprised we don’t hear something like “nice, but too complicated”, or “we’ll try that out, it’s fantastic!” from Beth. If you look at examples like the Fairspeaker, the Soundprotector, or the case version with the card holder, then it’s clear that people take the challenge. I realise that the post already said it’s going to be 18€, so it seems that Beth and Fairphone already excluded the possibility of designing something really different. That’s a bit sad.
Considering your concerns considering modification of designs for perfect fit: I thought that’s what rapid prototyping and 3D printing were all about? As Stefan has pointed out, there are different other options out there which are also being produced. Just have a look at the shapeways-site linked in his post, and search there for “Fairphone”. Users Ghengis and Kevin K. produced stuff which looks quite different than the iterations of the design-a-day case.