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Improved! iPhone Gear Case with Geneva Mechanism

by QuentinT, published

Improved! iPhone Gear Case with Geneva Mechanism by QuentinT Mar 25, 2013

Description

You can now buy this case from my Shapeways shop here: shapeways.com/model/997471/iphone-gear-case-for-shapeways.html?li=modelEdit

For iPhone 4/4s

This is a version of the iPhone Gear Case that I completely designed and drew myself. It is much easier to print than the first case, as well as being stronger and a better fit. The areas beneath the buttons and sliders has been removed to make them easier to use, and a cutout has been made around the headphone port so bigger jacks will fit without having to remove the case. The edges of the case are also tall enough to prevent the screen from touching when placed face down. I added a bevel to the ledges that hold the case onto the phone that makes the case very easy to print without support.

Here's a video of the gears in action
youtube.com/watch?v=lWJ5edtyhjU
flickr.com/photos/quentint/8587604437/

I got the Geneva Mechanism idea from jessed, and used msruggles' solidworks gear generator to create the gear profiles.

Recent Comments

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Love it, though i'm having a couple of issues.
1) The design seems to print backwards/flipped so that the cut outs for the volume and power buttons are on the wrong side.

2) .2mm resolution. Will that work or should I not waste my time?

Hi QuentinT, first of all your design is great!! but I have some troubles when i print it... Do you agree to send me the files that I can modify in Catia ? If you do, please send me the parts at [email protected] It will be so nice of you! Thks :)

Is it possible that your hot end pushes on the free standing wall slightly while printing? It may be pushing the corner out further than intended. It's also possible that you need to very slightly shrink the case when you print. That top left corner will be the most obvious at showing dimensional errors in the print as far as space between the case walls and your phone are concerned.

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Instructions

1. Print one of each part, except for the 3x2.75mm pin, of which you will need two.

Print the case shell and ridge with 0.1 mm layer height, no support, and single perimeters. There is a slight bevel on the ledges that hold the case onto the phone that make it printable with no support. The bevel will only work if layer heights are low enough though. You may want to scale the case up by 1% to account for shrinking.

Print the gears with taller layer heights and single perimeters, I used 0.25 mm.

Ideally, print the pins with a fan. lower layer heights work best for strength, but anything should work.

2. Glue the case ridge onto the back of the case shell, making sure it lines up well and the pins still fit. You can use acetone or super glue for this.

3. Sand the gear faces a little bit to make sure they can spin smoothly against the case.

4. Attach the gears by press fitting the pins into their corresponding holes. Look at the pictures for gear placement. After you are happy with the way the case functions, turn it over and put a dab of glue on each pin securing it to the case. I sprayed the gears with some CRC Heavy Duty Silicone, and it made the gears turn effortlessly.

Comments

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shart290 on Apr 7, 2014 said:

Love it, though i'm having a couple of issues.
1) The design seems to print backwards/flipped so that the cut outs for the volume and power buttons are on the wrong side.

2) .2mm resolution. Will that work or should I not waste my time?

JuluSama on Mar 24, 2014 said:

Hi QuentinT, first of all your design is great!! but I have some troubles when i print it... Do you agree to send me the files that I can modify in Catia ? If you do, please send me the parts at [email protected] It will be so nice of you! Thks :)

TAung35 on Mar 6, 2014 said:

I've printed his twice, the top left corner is never right - no pun intended. The iPhone won't snap down. Any help?

QuentinT on Mar 6, 2014 said:

Is it possible that your hot end pushes on the free standing wall slightly while printing? It may be pushing the corner out further than intended. It's also possible that you need to very slightly shrink the case when you print. That top left corner will be the most obvious at showing dimensional errors in the print as far as space between the case walls and your phone are concerned.

Azzy on Feb 18, 2014 said:

Is it just me, or do none of the pins fit in the case holes?

QuentinT on Feb 18, 2014 said:

It can be very hard to tune your printer to print properly sized holes. The files have the holes slightly larger than the pins (~.2mm) but if your printer is extruding more plastic than your slicing program thinks it is, your pins will be oversized and your holes will be undersized due to excess material

Azzy on Feb 18, 2014 said:

Would love to see one of these for a 5C, so I can print one out as a gift.

joshterrell on Feb 15, 2014 said:

Great design, but I'm having netfabb issues too. Only 3 pieces would slice right from the download. I tried to netfabb the others but the 21toothupperleftconnectedtobiggearandupperleftconnectedtogene.stl failed netfabb.

QuentinT on Feb 15, 2014 said:

I get no issues when downloading the parts individually, are you downloading them all at once as a zip? I think thingiverse may cause some issues when compressing files. Try clicking each individual file instead and let me know if it works

jpan on Jan 26, 2014 said:

Hi guys,
I'm having hard time printing those pins. How did you guys handle that?
My pins are always tilted.

QuentinT on Jan 28, 2014 said:

When you print a larger object with straight walls, are the vertical walls always perpendicular to the bed? If they are not your printer may not be square. It is also possible that you are extruding too much material and the print head is dragging through the pin, pushing it over. Your temperature may be set too high, so the pins do not get time to harden before the next layer. Fix this by lowering the temp slightly (probably no more than 10 degrees if printing ABS), slowing the print speed, and also spreading the pins around your print bed so the radiant heat from your print head doesn't keep them melted. If you aren't having trouble keeping the pins stuck, I would also lower the bed temperature or even add a fan. Don't go overboard with any of these things though, or you will likely have bed adhesion issues.

cunrein on Jan 12, 2014 said:

My son gave my daughters a Cubify Cube2 for Christmas. We've printed a few simple things. Now my daughter wants me to print this iPhone case. The Cube2 prints at 0.2mm resolution. Will this work, or will I need to upgrade to a different printer in a few months. I see lots of cool things on Thingaverse; I just need to know if my Cube2 will print most of these acceptably. Thanks.

3DMcGee on Dec 31, 2013 said:

Hello Quentin, very nice design! I built most of the parts fine on my MBot R2. The ridge piece however, seems like a corrupt file. It only builds the top 1/4 - 1/3 portion, and it looks messed up on top of that. I have resliced on Makerware, but it still it's just partial. Is it possible for me to re-download only the ridge piece as I'm thinking maybe it got corrupted in the download? Thanks

QuentinT on Dec 31, 2013 said:

What is the issue exactly? I can open the file (iPhone_4s_Gear_Case_Ridge.stl) after downloading it from this page in netfabb with no issue, and also view and slice it with Slic3r. Netfabb also says that the mesh is clean. I'd be happy to help, but I don't really know what to do.

Scottbee on Dec 18, 2013 said:

101% ended up being the trick for me. Made the unit in ABS on a MakerBot 2X. Two shells and 100% fill with .10mm layers worked great on the gears and Geneva mechanism (no raft on the Kapton covered heated bed). Glued the shell together with Loctite Gel CA, but wish I would have used acetone. Popped the pins in and fused them to the inside of the case with a soldering iron.

benf on Nov 18, 2013 said:

I tried printing this out but it seems like I am missing a gear and it's pin, which would be 21_tooth_upper_left_connected_to_big_gear_and_upper_left_connected_to_gene. Which pin would go with this?

QuentinT on Nov 18, 2013 said:

If you are using it in the same place as my images then you will need the 4x4 pin. If you are using it in the place above where I am using it, then you will need the 4x2.75 pin. Both gears are 21 teeth of the same dimension, so they are interchangeable. Their pins only differ in length, so the long one (4x4) goes with the raised gear, and the short one (4x2.75) goes with the recessed gear.

forum8 on Nov 14, 2013 said:

Do you have plans to publish an Iphone 5 Version?

QuentinT on Nov 16, 2013 said:

I do, but I've been busy lately so I don't know how soon it will happen

unknownsector on Oct 31, 2013 said:

Hi QuentinT, I've tried printing the case shell countless times and each time it's the same problem, The portion where the sides start to go vertical, the first 3-4 layers in that area just ends up being brittle because they seem hollow. The reason is clear when I look at the sliced gcode, the middle of the. Did you run into this problem? Here's a picture: http://img43.imageshack.us/img...

Slic3r 0.9.10b settings
layer height: 0.1mm
Perimeters (min): 1
randomize starting points: enabled
generate extra perimeters: disabled
Solid layers: top-3 bottom-3

QuentinT on Oct 31, 2013 said:

If this fixes the issue please let me know, and I'll fix the instructions

QuentinT on Oct 31, 2013 said:

If you look closely at the file, that bottom edge that you are talking about is actually wider than the rest of the wall, because the screen of the phone is not as wide as the metal edges are. I added this extra thickness because I thought it would create more stability.

When I look at your print I notice that these walls have been filled with a pretty open infill, leading to the openness you are talking about. You may want to try adding another perimeter, so when Slic3r sees that this width is not quite wide enough for 2 outer and 2 inner passes, it will instead create 1 outer and 1 inner pass, but then fill the middle of the two passes with a solid infill. When I made my case I was using 0.9.8 I believe, so the algorithms may have differed and I didn't have to worry about this.

You could alternatively increase your solid infill threshold area to something like 360mm^2, which also may fix the problem.

someone123 on Oct 15, 2013 said:

Is this the design for the iPhone 5 or iPhone 4/4s case, because the dimensions looks like an iPhone 5 case, and i need an iPhone 5 case

QuentinT on Oct 15, 2013 said:

This case is meant for the 4/4s

Esphera on Sep 16, 2013 said:

Hey I am in the middle of printing the case, and I was wondering which pins go in which holes, because it does not say in the instructions and it is kind of hard to tell from the pictures. Thanks. Great design by the way

QuentinT on Sep 16, 2013 said:

Once you print out all of the pins you will see that they are pretty self explanatory, because there is only one way to arrange all of them without having them stick out of the back.

The largest pin will go into the main double layered gear. the second largest diameter pin will go into the geneva mechanism. The next diameter pins come in two lengths. They both go into the two equally sized gears on the side, with the longer of the two holding the elevated gear. There are three smallest diameter pins. The long one will go into the geneva mechanism's gear, and the short ones will hold the two smallest gears at the bottom of the case.

Maciel on Sep 11, 2013 said:

When I finish my case, it's shrinks... what I can to do to print correctly?

QuentinT on Sep 12, 2013 said:

ABS tends to shrink about 1% after cooling. I only print in ABS, so I have fixed this by increasing my x and y axes by 1% in the firmware for my printer. Your other option is to import the .STL into netfabb and scale the X and Y axes of the model by 1%. If you are experiencing warping, try increasing the temperature of your bed up to about 115C, and covering it with a cardboard box. Raising the temperature of the ambient air around the print works wonders for preventing warping.

GarrettAlbert98 on Sep 6, 2013 said:

How protective is it if i drop my phone?

QuentinT on Sep 7, 2013 said:

It's no Otterbox, but it does protect your phone better than most thin shell cases because the edges of the case are actually higher than the screen, so the case will absorb some of the impact when dropped on an edge. My phone has yet to break while using this case even though it has been dropped on tile and concrete. I'm very happy with it because of how slim it is while still protecting the edges of the phone.

GarrettAlbert98 on Aug 30, 2013 said:

Is this for the iPhone 4s??

QuentinT on Aug 30, 2013 said:

It will work for both the iPhone 4 and 4s

MikhailV on Aug 30, 2013 said:

Quentin, hi !
AllShapes company is interested in your 3D designs.
Please contact us for further info: allshapes.info@gmail.com

garrett777 on Jun 9, 2013 said:

About how much filament is needed to create the case and gears.

QuentinT on Jun 9, 2013 said:

It will take about 2.8 meters of 3mm filament, or 8.2 meters of 1.75 mm filament.

gedp on Jun 1, 2013 said:

Nice work. Quite amazed the gears are running smoothly! Pay attention when gluing the ridge, I was off a bit...
Thanks.

muringuets on May 16, 2013 said:

QuentinT is it possible to add a motor to the case? This one perhaps? http://www.aliexpress.com/item...

QuentinT on May 18, 2013 said:

It would probably be possible to add a motor, but it would add a decent amount of thickness to the case. Also, a coreless motor like that is very weak and can not handle side to side loads very well. Even if a worm gear was used, the motor would probably have to be larger than that one.

donovan2580 on Apr 29, 2013 said:

Stupid Question as I am new to this... I am using Makerware and Skeinforge to slice this.. When you say 1 perimeter would that be 1 shell?? The default in Makerware is 3.
BTW - Printing on a Replicator 2 with 1mm layer thickness...

QuentinT on Apr 29, 2013 said:

As far as I know you are correct. Having one perimeter just prevents the printer from leaving holes in your teeth that are too small to be infilled. If you look at the gear teeth in the cases that other people have made you can see that some have gaps that could weaken the gear.

donovan2580 on Apr 29, 2013 said:

Stupid Question as I am new to this... I am using Makerware and Skeinforge to slice this.. When you say 1 perimeter would that be 1 shell?? The default in Makerware is 3.
BTW - Printing on a Replicator 2 with 1mm layer thickness...

QuentinT on Apr 29, 2013 said:

As far as I know you are correct. Having one perimeter just prevents the printer from leaving holes in your teeth that are too small to be infilled. If you look at the gear teeth in the cases that other people have made you can see that some have gaps that could weaken the gear.

kwalus on Apr 28, 2013 said:

this thing is outstanding!

jwheels1 on Apr 3, 2013 said:

Thanks- cool design. I was wondering. My large pin does not snap into place and even with glue is not holding. Any suggestions.on how to make the flange tip slightly larger?-wider? thicker?

Luke321 on Apr 5, 2013 said:

I use a soldering iron the weld the pins into place, you may want to try that!

QuentinT on Apr 3, 2013 said:

The easiest solution would be to scale up the pin by a few percent when slicing, or if your slicer doesn't allow scaling, scale the whole stl in the free version of netfabb. I'm hesitant to change the dimensions of the file because the big pin was difficult for me to snap in, and it has also been working for others. If you still can't get it to work just let me know and we can figure something out. Are you printing in ABS or PLA?

Sybren on Mar 28, 2013 said:

The large gear is in fact two gears intersecting, it can be repaired with the netfabb online service.

Andychn on Mar 28, 2013 said:

Worked in Kisslicer. Nothing I could do in RepG/Skeinforge worked.

Andychn on Mar 28, 2013 said:

Funny... Same thing happens using the gcode included in the files...!

Andychn on Mar 28, 2013 said:

Just tried to print the largest gear. Sliced in SkeinForge/RepG... It has some problems in the file:
" Warning, the triangle mesh slice intersects itself in getLoopsFromCorrectMesh in triangle_mesh." It then prints reversed with the gaps filled in and the gear body missing. I Netfabbed it... nope, no change. Netfab can't fix it. The smaller gear intersects the larger and somehow leaves gaps that Netfab Basic won't fix. Any chance you can fix it in the CAD file and export it to .stl again?

PixelFyre on May 1, 2013 said:

Try uploading it to cloud.netfabb.com, that's fixed all the issues I've had with errors during slicing.

QuentinT on Mar 28, 2013 said:

I redrew the gears properly, so they should be good now. Let me know if you have any more issues.

QuentinT on Mar 28, 2013 said:

I used slic3r to slice mine and got no errors, and netfabb didn't see any problems. I used autodesk inventor to make the gears by assembling two gears in an assembly, then saving them as a part file. I wasn't very happy with the way that the gears appeared to be separate, but netfabb didn't give me any errors so I thought it worked. I'll redraw the gears later today and update them. I'll let you know when I do.

Sybren on Mar 26, 2013 said:

Really nIce!!
The 1% extra is a must in my case...

PeteD on Mar 25, 2013 said:

OK, same question as before: Is there an iPhone 5 version?

CrazyJaw on Apr 16, 2013 said:

Ditto on the iPhone 5 version request

QuentinT on Mar 25, 2013 said:

I have one drawn, but not tested. I need to refine the dimensions before I post it

RichRap on Mar 25, 2013 said:

Looks very nice, must give it a try.

TheNewHobbyist on Mar 25, 2013 said:

I'd love to see a video of this in action.

QuentinT on Mar 25, 2013 said:

I just made a link in the description instead

QuentinT on Mar 25, 2013 said:

that second picture was actually supposed to be a video, but I don't know how to make it appear as a video instead of a picture

TheNewHobbyist on Mar 25, 2013 said:

I'd love to see a video of this in action.

QuentinT on Mar 25, 2013 said:

I just made a link in the description instead

QuentinT on Mar 25, 2013 said:

that second picture was actually supposed to be a video, but I don't know how to make it appear as a video instead of a picture

TheNewHobbyist on Mar 25, 2013 said:

I'd love to see a video of this in action.

QuentinT on Mar 25, 2013 said:

I just made a link in the description instead

QuentinT on Mar 25, 2013 said:

that second picture was actually supposed to be a video, but I don't know how to make it appear as a video instead of a picture

TheNewHobbyist on Mar 25, 2013 said:

I'd love to see a video of this in action.

QuentinT on Mar 25, 2013 said:

I just made a link in the description instead

QuentinT on Mar 25, 2013 said:

that second picture was actually supposed to be a video, but I don't know how to make it appear as a video instead of a picture

TheNewHobbyist on Mar 25, 2013 said:

I'd love to see a video of this in action.

QuentinT on Mar 25, 2013 said:

I just made a link in the description instead

QuentinT on Mar 25, 2013 said:

that second picture was actually supposed to be a video, but I don't know how to make it appear as a video instead of a picture

SlaveMassaDrivaJDCUBED on Mar 25, 2013 said:

Good Job! Nice Clearances.

QuentinT on Mar 25, 2013 said:

Thanks!

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