Introduction: How to Make a Phone Case to 3D Print.
The following steps will show you how to make a phone case using SolidWorks. You can use other software, but all of the commands I mention are from SolidWorks. If you are using a software that is not SolidWorks, make sure you know it well enough to find the right commands.
Note: You will need access to CAD software called SolidWorks and a 3D printer.
Step 1: Finding a File for Your Phone
Find an STP file of your phone on the internet and insert that into SolidWorks. I would recommend searching on GrabCAD and make sure it is the right size, like XL and such.
Step 2: Creating Outlines for What Needs to Be Open in the Case.
For this step, you need to create outlines around where your fingers will have to access on your phone or things such as the speakers, that shouldn't be covered up.
The best tool on SolidWorks for this step is the "surface sweep" tool.
You can either have straight lines coming off of the phone perpendicularly, or you can have a short perpendicular line and then another line that is at an angle. It depends on what part you are surrounding to be uncovered, and what your preferences are. It is fine if they are overlapping, and make sure that the lines extend far enough to be past the case thickness.
After you are done, save this file as the "Masterfile".
Step 3: Creating the Case Piece - Part 1
This step will be split into multiple parts.
First off, create a new part file, and insert the Masterfile into this file. Start by creating 2 sketches, and use the "surface sweep" tool to sweep one sketch along the other sketch which is around the phone to make the outside of the phone case. This step gave me a lot of problems and the surface wouldn't sweep for a while. Refer to picture 2 and 3 for an example of the sketches.
Step 4: Creating the Case Piece - Part 2
Now use the "surface fill" tool to fill the surface of the top and bottom of the case so that the phone is completely covered.
Next, use the "combine" command to subtract the actual phone from the entire phone case. Then use the "surface cut" tool to cut out each of the surfaces you made in step 1 with the Masterfile.
Now use the "split" and "save bodies" command to split the phone case into a front and a back part and save them as 2 different pieces.
Step 5: Connect the 2 Pieces
Now you get to decide what to do here. You have to figure out how to connect the 2 bodies. I used the "snap hook" command and "snap hook groove" commands, but you can use something entirely different if you would like to. Or, if you really want to, you can even split the case into more than just 2 bodies and connect it a different way. It is all up to you now, but the pictures show the snap hooks as that is what I did. Once you are done, you will want to save each body as an individual file as shown in the pictures.
Step 6: 3D Print Each Part
For the final step, save each of the bodies of your phone case as an STL file. Then you will send the STL file to your 3D printer and let it print.
Then enjoy your phone case. But, I would advise not testing it with your phone in it on purpose ;)