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DIY Milled iPhone case? Answered

I am taking a class in automated manufacturing this year in school, and thus have to do a few projects requiring laser cutters/cnc mills. So I thought as kind of an extra project, it would be cool to make a case for my iphone 4. So the question: is it possible that I can mill myself an iphone case, probably out of wood (I prefer aluminum/stainless steel but that might just scratch the heck out of the phone), and if so, what type of wood should i use (I am clueless... not a carpenter :D ), any ways, any thoughts, or maybe someone has tried it before? Just though it would be a cool project if I could make it happen...



Best Answer 5 years ago

I don't see why not, but you may need to add a lid or hinge to get the phone in & out.

As for the kind of wood, probably a hardwood, but plywood also looks good when carved and varnished.

Cool ideas, but I;ve been searching a bit on my own. I have found this case (made of aluminum), and to be honest, fell in love with the design... almost. I have contacted the company to see if I can get any information as to how they make them (mold, mills etc). 

I know I can mill out the basic frame for it, but that inside lip to hold the phone in would just be killer.... Any Ideas? The best I can think of is milling down to the lip and hand filing/removing the rest...

Also, if you happen to know, could a CNC mill mill a good, solid block of aluminum to about 1mm thickness?? I'll search around some.. I don't know the model numbers of the mills at school, but I know they have small, desktop ones, so it might be able to do it. They also have a laser cutter and a water jet, so maybe I could etch it after milling :D

The MACHINE may be capable of it, but your biggest problem is holding and registering the job as you mill the inside and outside.

You need a mill with a high speed spindle, so you can take lightly loaded cuts, or your job will chatter.

I presume you have access to a decent CAM package, to go with the milling machines ? freeform 3D can't be done by hand.


ok, will be looking into it. Found a decent CAM model of the iphone to base it off of.

I am using mastercam X5 if thats good :)

FYI, Apple actually have dimensioned drawings of the cases of their devices that you can download and use.