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Create a phone shell/frame/body? Answered

Hello all,

The new phones these days break too easily and its harder and harder to replace the battery or sim card. Instead of buying or making a case, my idea is to make a phone shell/frame/body with a 3d printer, and just taking the parts out of my Samsung and just putting it into that.

Is it doable?


Hello frostieff,

Your idea is an interesting one but as randofo mentioned, transplanting electronics from your current phone to your 3D printed frame could be tricky for your electronics. Some electronics inside modern smartphones are held in place not by screws but by adhesive strips that will lose adhesion over transplants: your mileage, post-transplant, will vary.

The actual solidity of a 3D-printed case is another problem. Most hobbyist printers use fused filament fabrication to build your objects up, one layer at a time. Depending on the material, the frame itself might be too brittle to resist the stress of fitting components in or to each other or of being dropped. Flexible materials might work better, but are a little harder to get a decent print out of.

Overall it will be a complex process but again, it's not impossible! Definitely invest in a good pair of calipers and if you decide not to build a complete frame to replace the original, you can at least build a frame to protect the original. Several companies are designing ruggerized phones and smartphones design to be able to take a beating - see https://duckduckgo.com/?q=ruggerized+smartphone&at.... If possible, use a program with parametric design features that will let you easily adapt dimensions and test out new versions quickly.

Best of luck with your project, your friendly neighborhood charlatans.

I don't see what it is not potentially doable.

However, I think you are going to be hard pressed to make something as thin and reliable as your phone's existing case. I think you might run into trouble with clearance for the jacks. You also run the risk of damaging the parts by taking your phone apart.

If I were doing this, my concern is that the plastic frame you build isn't going to have the same tight tolerances as the mass produced phone, and it will ultimately be less reliable.

Invest in really good digital calipers.