3D Phone Case — Two Pieces That Fit Together

For this project, with the prompt of creating a 3D object with two pieces that fit together, I decided to go with a phone case for my iPhone 11 Pro. Overall, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out! I’m not too positive how well it would fit once it became a physical object, but nonetheless, I’m feeling good.

Sketching

I started out sketching for case for the phone, with measurements for everything, so it was easy to come back to, but also with a blueprint for what I was wanting it to look like. The phone measured out to be 144mm tall by 71.4mm wide by 8.1mm thick. Additionally, I made the two pieces cut at about 2/3 down the case, so the top piece is 96mm tall and the bottom piece is 48mm tall — plus, there’s the hole for the three cameras on the back, with a square opening with a height and width of 31.2mm. For the connection, the top piece has a missing rectangle at the bottom, that I ended up measuring as a 3mm tall, by 2mm deep, where that same size rectangle would stick out of the top of the bottom piece so they converged together.

Opening measurements

I began by making a sketch with the size of the two different pieces, as well as adding a 7mm fillet on all four corners for the curve at the corners of the phone.

I then extruded both sketches into one body (which I later found to be a mistake), and created a shell (probably not the best way to go about it, but alas here we are) that had the exact dimensions of the phone on the inside. I also made the 31.2mm square for cutting out the camera hole.

I then cut the camera lens hole with the 31.2mm square into the back side of the case.

I then realized that the inside of the case could split into two, but the outer shell was still one piece. So, I made a construction plane at the 48mm height, and split the body on the connection line for the two pieces. I later went in and merged the correct sides of the shell to their respective halves. Additionally, the rectangle-cube fit snug into the opening that the top half made, allowing the two parts to connect.

Lastly, I added a fillet on the top, outer shell, as well as the bottom edge of the shell.

Overall, I do think the sketching helped visualize what I had in mind, and it was great to have a reference for when I was feeling lost on what I was doing. I did stumble on the shell when I realized that I didn’t create it so the shell was connected to the two halves, but once I realized it, it was easy to fix. I just made a construction plane and split the body on the line and later merged the pieces.

It feels really hard to visualize this digital piece in the physical world, just because it doesn’t feel that real in the digital space, I guess? I’m not sure that the shell would work if it was actually 3D printed — I think it would, but it might be a little clunky and thick. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to getting my hands dirty and actually being able to make digital pieces become real.

UPDATE

I realized after posting that I completely put the camera lens hole on the wrong side of the case…not sure how I messed that up. Anyway, I just went back in the timeline to right before I extruded the cube and moved it to the correct side, and went back to present time and it was fixed!

Student at New York University. Passionate about visual art and the intersection between technology and sports.