Dutch designer Matthijs Kok is no stranger to 3D printing. With experience working as a product designer and 3D modeler for 3D Systems and as the creative director at innovative design agency Freshfiber (a position he still holds), the young designer knows better than most how additive manufacturing can revolutionize design.
His most recent design, the Fold Case for the iPhone X, demonstrates this understanding beautifully. With an elegant, flowing design, the Fold Case ignores the typical rectangular form of phone cases and introduces something more dynamic, all without sacrificing functionality.
“The Fold Collection explores the fluent, dynamic movement of draped textile and its geometry,” Kok writes on his website. “Draped in intricate ways, the Fold Case curves smoothly along the iPhone X’s exterior. Influenced by structured garments and architectural lines, the smooth, undulating pattern creates a topographical landscape, radiating from the outer contour towards the inner signature fold. This results in a characteristic silhouette with emphasis on structure, shape and form.”
The case itself, available for order on Freshfiber’s website, is 3D printed from a nylon material which provides flexibility, strength and lightness. The designer says a flexible material was chosen to improve the phone case’s shock absorption. After all, the primary function of a phone case is to protect.
Similarly, while the Fold Case’s design might appear completely aesthetic, with its undulating ripples and curved cutouts, Kok reinforces that the structure of the case takes into account the iPhone X’s most vulnerable points and covers the device where it requires protection.
In terms of finish, the 3D printed phone case undergoes a special polishing process which gives the phone case a “subtle wood-like texture,” which could presumably provide some grip for users. The Fold Case also comes in a range of muted colours (described as a modern minimalist palette), including white, black, grey, teal and brown.
The €28.90 phone case is manufactured on a made-to-order basis and can be customized to include personalized initials. Freshfiber does emphasize that because of its made-to-order policy (which enables it to operate without unnecessary waste and stock management) that clients should expect to wait an additional week (on top of shipping) for manufacturing time.
Freshfiber was founded in 2009 as a brand dedicated to bringing innovative design objects and accessories to life with 3D printing. The Netherlands-based company claims to have been the first brand to sell fully 3D printed smartphone cases in retail stores. Now, it offers clients a range of functional and design-oriented 3D printed smartphone cases. Kok tells us that Freshfiber is also preparing to launch 3D printed watchband and lighting collections soon.