Until now, most of the 3-D printed items I have seen have been slightly scratchy, brittle-feeling plastic prototypes sent to me by Kickstarter pitch-men.
But now Shapeways has teamed up with SoundCloud to bring us this cool-looking iPhone case which really shows the potential of 3-D printing. Using a custom app, you can freeze the sound-wave of your favorite piece of music and have it immortalized in a plastic case.
To make your case, you are forced to sign in to several different accounts: Shapeways, probably SoundCloud, maybe Facebook — I lost count. Once you get into the editor, you pick a song and play it. As it rolls along, the waveform scrolls across an iPhone-shaped box at the top. Stop it at the point you want (I picked the Nokia ringtone Gran Vals rendered in jazz piano style) and hit “buy”. After filling out your details and parting with $20, you wait a few days and your custom case drops through your mailbox.
Of course, not everyone is going to be as ironically annoying as me in their choice of sound clips. I imagine there will be more than one sad-sack out there who will record himself saying “I love you” and sending the resulting sickly-sweet case to his main squeeze.
The more forward thinking among you might record the sound “ha, you’re dumped!” instead, and just pretend it says “I love you.” That way, when you inevitably split, a simple Facebook wall posting revealing the truth will send your ex into a tailspin of depression, and the entirety of your relationship will be called into question. Good work, sir!