Jolla and SailfishOS
ShapewaysTOH - The (second) Other Half
Today The Other Half I ordered via Shapeways arrived.
Basically what I did was, sending them the original STL files from the The Other Half developer kit. This way it should be easy to assess the quality of the parts. In theory they should be exact copies of the original ones.
To be honest, I did not expect to much. There are a lot of fine structures in TOH, mainly at the sides to hold TOH in place on the phone body.
I used Shapeways "Strong & Flexible" 3D printing program to have TOH manufactured. In this process nylon particles are sintered together using a laser. Producing the parts using this method is quite advanced (compared to other 3D printing technologies), but still has it's limits when it comes to fine stuctures.
So how good can they actually be?
Turns out: Quite good!
Outside (black:printed, white:original)
The surface is quite rough to the touch. This is not very surprising, considering the fact that the part is made from powder particles melted together. I did not have the part polished. First of all, because TOH is very thin (pretty much on the limit what can be done). And also I was afraid that polishing might remove the small features I need for TOH to stay on the body.
Exactly to find out, if
- these small features will be there in a printed TOH
- how good it would fit on the phone
I have to say, that I'm pretty impressed by the level of detail, these printers can reproduce.
- the surface is rougher
- you notice some steps in the printed TOH, where the original starts to bent inwards slightly
- structures look a little bit rough in general
- everthing is there
- even the all important fine structures to the side of the part
So, does it fit?
Yes, it does!
It does not sit as tight as the original. But it is not loose and it will for sure not come off by itself.