iPhone Aux Adapter Holder
Made by Mark Ivachtchenko
To make a small carrying case for the very small iPhone lightning to aux adapter (that is very easily lost!).
Created: May 9th, 2018
My goal is to learn how to 3D print and make a very useful case for my iPhone aux adapter, which I lose way too often. I listen to music A LOT so when I'm without it, I'm not too happy. I'm hoping this case will allow me to keep my adapter in more convenient places, either through use of a clip or to kept in my pocket. In addition, it'll keep it from twisting and damaging the wires internally, ultimately leading to an early adapter death.
The iPhone adapter doesn't come with it's own box! However, there are tons of wire and cable organizers and cases already commercially available. But none of them are made for an adapter of this size and most of them are made so they are permanently fixed to your desktop either through suction cups or tape. However, I knew I wanted a case that is small, portable--just like my music--and can still be temporarily affixed to things or kept in my pocket without damaging the cable.
Below is my initial sketch. While sketching, I thought a lot about how the adapter would lay (straight, standing up, curved), how the lid would work (sliding, inlay, hinged), and how to incorporate a clip. It was tough because I had to "think" like the 3D printer, since it obviously wouldn't do hinges of any sort easily and definitely not a clip that had to flex. It was tough because I wasn't really sure how the materials would react or withstand certain pressures.
In the end, I decided to go with a sliding lid to keep it simple but loved the way the adapter laid in the case while curved. I decided to go with a store bought metallic clip that I can easily screw on after it was printed. In hindsight, I should've tried to 3D print the clip because the PVA had much more flex and strength than I originally thought.
I looked up a bunch of pre-existing designs and learned from their disadvantages. Mostly, they were either too big or designed to be permanently affixed. I used those cons to my advantage and crafted a case that was perfect for what I needed it for.
I also looked into miniature craft and container designer. I considered different types of lids but eventually went for a sliding lid for simplicity sake.
I went for a very minimalist rectangular design for two reasons. Partially because I love the minimalist style but also to keep it basic since this is my first 3D printing project.
After sketching my design on paper, I took a pair of calipers and got extremely detailed dimensions. I opened up fusion and modeled the adapter itself to start. This way, once I got the adapter modeled, I can just build up a case around it. This approach worked great and allowed me to really understand the space and how the adapter fits into it.
After I sketched the overall case for it, I extruded it and filled in the base with a patch which was later thickened. I added fillets to make putting it in and taking it out a lot easier. Also, so it wasn't so harsh in your hand. Then, I tried a number of different lid designs but ended up going with the sliding lid. I modeled a small rail for it to glide into and modeled the lid separately so it wouldn't stick together while being printed.