For every person who attempts to use a technology such as 3D Printing for a weapon (and whether the journalistic hype surrounding the drama actually meets reality), there are hundreds of thousands of people who use 3D Printing for something creative such as the iShooter, a 3D Printable ring stabilizer for the iPhone and iPad.. No more shaky videos and may even be handy for some gyroscope based driving/flying games (not first person shooters)...
Michael Williams, Shapeways forum moderator, had an idea one day...
It started one slow day at work. I wanted to sit my phone in a way that I could see the screen, charge it, and listen to a podcast. I set it up against my scanner, and the charger would make it fall over. When I put the phone in a cup I instantly noticed the sound being amplified. I could see the screen, hear the phone, and charge it! But I could not touch the screen as practically half the phone was in the cup. So I looked for something I could put my phone in that would solve this. I put it in a bowl, and was instantly sold.
So I decided to prototype my design using 123D Make. I tried some different versions and even made a paper model. I ended up making one out of cardboard using the stacked slices option. This option will make a fully solid model. So you will have more pieces to cut, but if you are using scissors as I was, it will make it so you do not have interlocking pieces that would be hard to cut out. After a few hours of cutting the paper, tracing onto the cardboard, cutting the cardboard, and hot gluing the cardboard, I had my prototype!
It worked great! With my prototype I noticed I was not able to hook up my charger while it was in the Acoustabowl. So I raised up the stand, and moved it out so that it would still hold phones leaning back and would now be able to hook up a charger.
Today Michiel Cornelissen is introducing the US/Canadian version of The Wrap, a little accessory that attaches to the USB end of the iPhone charger. It mirrors the charger's prongs, to create a convenient way to store the charger cable.
I originally designed The Wrap for the European iPhone charger, simply trying to get rid of an annoyance I'd been experiencing myself. Of course, the European iPhone charger is very different from the one in the US and other countries, so on the web page, I put up a note, saying that if I received 100 e-mails requesting a US/Canadian version of The Wrap, I'd try to design one. I thought that, at most, a trickle of e-mails over a few months would amount to the 100 e-mails.
One of the great things about 3D Printing is that complexity is free, which means customization is free. We have a large number of co-creator designs in the Shapeways galleries that are customizable, which means if you are a designer, you can offer to modify your designs to your customers requirements. If you cannot 3D model it means you have a way of getting a designer to customize an existing designs to your specifications.
Here are just a few customizable iPhone accessories from the Shapeways gallery.