With smartphones practically hanging off our faces, accessories for them are essential. Do you want to be the person without a custom case or a cracked screen? Of course not, which is why those cases and other accessories are as important as the phone itself. With a variety to choose from, it’s easy to customize your phone and protect it, but how about accessories that are not only stylish, but “socially conscious”?
Remember Fairphone? Well, the Netherlands based technology company recently released their latest smartphone the Fairphone 2, which is aimed at being open, ethical and easily repairable. (They’ve sold over 60,000 phones to date.) To replace main components like the screen, camera, and main circuit board all you need is a screwdriver and the new parts from Fairphone. Sounds pretty good when you think about how much repair shops try to charge. Another big advantage to the phone is how environmentally conscious it is. Not only does it use metals from conflict-free mines, but it now has wooden 3D printed accessories designed by designer Alan Nguyen. In a partenership between Fairphone and 3D Hubs, the products include a sleek looking nightstand and a modern-esque amplifier.
Modeled using 3ds Max and printed with an Ultimaker 3D printer, Nguyen’s nightstand is “inspired by the simplicity of the Fairphone 2’s clean aesthetic and the Amplifier was inspired by conch shells due to their naturally acoustic structure.” Both of the items mix classical with futuristic for a unique and eye-catching design.
But wait, 3D printed wood? Sounds almost impossible, but both of the items use ColorFabb WOODFILL 3D printing filament, a material made from recycled wood fibers. These accessories are only available on Fairphone and are printed on demand by 3D Hubs, eliminating overstock and reducing waste.
“What I really liked about this project was the ability to make use of a distributed manufacturing project helping to lead a ‘new way’ for products to get made,” said Nguyen. “Not only are we helping minimise waste and help the environment, but we’re also helping lay the foundation for the future of local manufacturing.”
3D Hubs also has a wide range of 3D printed phone cases for the Fairphone 1. All accessories can be downloaded and printed to a location near you, which 3D Hubs helps you find. Sadly, both the Fairphone and the accessories are, currently, only available in Europe. Fiarphone is planning expansion outside of Europe for 2016.