Companies are using 3D printing to crank out everything from Disney princesses to games to gun parts. But even with simplified hardware like the Makerbot, 3D printing has been limited to those who have piles of cash or who can maneuver the complexities of 3D design software.
That’s changing. App-based 3D-printing services are streamlining the design process and opening it up to smartphone-enabled consumers (see Autodesk’s 123D series). The latest example: 3DPCase, an app from French 3D-printing company Sculpteo that lets users design their own iPhone cases.
Here’s how it works: Users chose from one of five available templates — there are more in the works — and customize the design by tweaking the shape, switching the colors, or adding images and text. The entire process can take less than a minute, and the finished cases typically ship within two days for European customers and four days for North American orders. Prices start at $14.99.