iPod Touch Gen4 Dovetail Case

by david49152, published

iPod Touch Gen4 Dovetail Case by david49152 Apr 1, 2013

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For an iPhone4 version, go here: thingiverse.com/thing:65553
For an iPhone5 version, go here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:59126

It's a case for an 4th Generation iPod Touch. There are many important differences between this case and others on Thingiverse. The most sensitive part of an iPod is the edge of the glass. (The face of the glass is also sensitive, but we can't cover that!) Other cases do not offer much protection for the edge of the glass. Also other cases have a sloppy fit. This case solves both problems.

This case is made from two halves that slide onto the iPod and snap together. When it snaps together, there is a strangely satisfying click! The two halves fit together very tightly, and will not accidentally come loose.


Print both halves separately. Because the surface finish is super important for a good looking case, use the highest resolution settings and slow down the speed. Having the filament diameter dialed in is also important.

Do not use rafts or supports. This is designed with "mouse ears" and supports included in the STL.

After printing, some minor filing/sanding might be required on the dovetail joint. Also, break off the built-in "mouse ears" and file/sand down the spot where they broke off. The amount of filing/sanding should be minimal. It takes me about 2 minutes to do this step.

I printed this on a Replicator 2 in PLA with ReplicatorG/Skeinforge. My settings were:
Layer Height: 0.1
Infill: 100%
Shells: 0
Feedrate: 40
Travel Feedrate: 75

Remember to get your temperature and filament diameter set appropriately for your filament.

On my Replicator 2 it took about 3-3.5 hours for each half. About 6.5 to 7 hours total.

Taking the case off of the iPod can be tricky the first time you do it. What you do is pry up two of the dovetails on the same side with shim-like things. They don't need to be raised very much, just so they clear the case back. With the shims in place, just pull the halves apart. Make sure that your pry-bar/shim will not scratch the iPhone. I have used things like bamboo skewers, saxophone reeds, and nylon zip-ties for this task.

I have included the Solidworks file for this design, so people can modify it. There are two elements in the design called "Top Cutoff" and "Bottom Cutoff". Use the suppress/unsuppress functions to basically select which half of the case is "active", then save the STL file for that half.

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I made one today and it barely fits/doesnt at all, any tips? theres about a 1 mm gap between the pieces

If your printer is badly tuned, then these parts will have a very loose or very tight fit. And by tuned, I am mostly referring to how much plastic the extruder is extruding as well as the retraction/deprime. You can look at the broad flat sides of the printed case as an indicator. The smoother the sides, the better tuned the printer is.

I would guess that your printer is far from in-tune, and is not extruding enough filament. Decreasing the filament diameter when slicing will increase the extruded amount. Beyond that I can't really say what you should try since I don't know what kind of printer you are using, what software, etc. And even if I did know these things, unless you happen to be using the same stuff I have then I would be less than useful.

It downloads for me. I just tried.

ok thanks! I will prints this once I get a new PLA.

you should make the case just lay down while printing! it would make it would be more productive.

It wouldn't print correctly if it were lying flat. If the LCD side were facing up then the gentle curve on the bottom/back would have an inconsistent surface finish, and there are terrible overhangs. But if the LCD were facing down then the entire back would need supports and that would mess up the fit around the iPod. With it oriented the way I did, the surface finish is mostly consistent and there are no terrible overhangs-- it just needs a little cleaning up after printing.

Since I don't have a Gen 5, and have no plans to buy one, I doubt that I'll be making a Gan 5 case. Never say never, but I wouldn't bet on it.

please? think of the children... mainly me

okay. ill have to build my own lol

cool id like to see one for gen 5