UPDATED 8/19: Custom, thin, snap on case

theledman

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2010
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Custom Hard Case for TFP + Dock
This is a thread exists to explore the possibility of creating our own custom thin hard case for the Transformer Prime. Currently, there is no manufacturer out there who does it so we've taken it into our own hands.

FAQ, PLEASE READ, IMPORTANT INFORMATION BELOW:
1. What is it?
This will be a thin, plastic, snap on case for the Transformer prime and the dock.
2. How can I get it?
Please fill out the following form to be included in the list of people who want the case. IMPORTANT: I'm sorry but the old survey has been deleted and a new survey with more relevant questions has been created. Rather than sending emails or PM's to everyone on the list individually to gather additional info (not everyone gave a username or email), it will just be easier for me to collect the information all at once. Plus it will weed out those that are no longer interested. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHVXVWNNa0NnVDlFRGFQVlp3aDh2cmc6MQ
3. How much will it cost?
Currently, I'm aiming for no more than $30 a case to compete with other cases out there but until I find a vendor who is willing to take on a low volume job, this is still up in the air. A preliminary quote from an online parts manufacturer had it at $100 a case! So if anyone works in the plastics or injection molding (or even rapid prototyping) industry, shoot me a PM. UPDATE: Cost will be $20 shipped. Kickstarter page will be up by 8/18/2012
4. When can I get it?
As soon as I get a plastics vendor and finalize the case dimensions and geometry, I can give you an estimated date of completion. I have a full time job and many other commitments so I apologize if I can't move this project along faster. It takes time (and a bit of sneakiness) to get my prototypes printed at work. Update: Waiting on update from manufacturer on the timeline.
5. What colors will this be available in?
Again, once I get a plastics vendor, I can see what colors the majority of us want.

LAST NOTE: Please be patient. I have no desire to abandon the xda community and your interest in this project, especially when you have all been so supportive. With that said, I'm only one man doing this in the little spare time I have....not to mention it's my first time being an active participant in xda (look at my post count) as well as designing, manufacturing, and distributing a product all on my own. So give me some time, and those that are willing to wait will be rewarded.

UPDATES
All past posts have been reorganized, with the most recent post being at the top:

--EDIT 8/19
Kickstarter has been submitted for approval! Check out the link here! This will be live (with a video!) once kickstarter approves the project.

--EDIT 8/11
Kickstarter Postponed to August 18 because Amazon Payments account registration (required to start a kickstarter) takes 7 days. This is at the latest, may have this live earlier since I registered this past Thursday.

Stay tuned. Will update thread as soon as kickstarter goes live. Everything is ready. Thanks for your patience.

--EDIT 8/9
dear xda tfp community,

it's been a tough couple months for me (hence the lack of an update) but without getting into specific details, i no longer have access to CAD or 3D prototyping capabilities :( i really apologize for the lack of communication and i know many of you are eager to get a case.

before everything in life changed for me, i managed to [sneakily] backup the models i made of the case so i'm still going to finish this, even if it kills me. i won't abandon you guys, you've been understanding and supportive throughout this process

so here's the situation. my contact in china tells me it will cost $7150 in tooling costs to be able to make the case. the case itself will cost $1.60...meaning if i get 500 people to sign up, it'll be about $16 a case which is my target. bear in mind, this yields NO PROFIT for me.

the problem is that I only have 150 signups, which makes each case $50.

Unless everyone is ok with that (i doubt it) we need more people. that is where i am right now. the only solution that i can think of this is to make a kickstarter so there is financial commitment from everyone that wants in. the kickstarter will be live by THIS SATURDAY. once it goes live, i'll update this post again and will need your help to promote it to all the folks who aren't on xda. please note that the kickstarter price will be $20 a unit to account for kickstarter and amazon's fees as well as shipping.

TL;DR...life got messed up, i still love xda so this project WILL get finished. kickstarter for project will go live on saturday. sorry for being MIA.

--EDIT 6/21
Update: I've found a vendor in in China that's able to produce these for an agreeable cost! I just received a quote so it will still take time for them to produce the tooling needed to make the cases.

Once I get a prototype returned from them to sample the material and ensure it's to spec (and post pics), I'll set up a kickstarter so people can fund the order for the cases. Or i might just purchase a bunch and sell it that way since kickstarter actually charges a percentage for all successfully funded projects.

TLDR: FOUND VENDOR. WILL UPDATE WITH CONCRETE TIMELINE ONCE CASE MATERIAL IS VALIDATED.

--EDIT 5/8
Finally have a case that fits. Here are some pictures...next task is to have the dock case made. Case thickness has been reduced to 1.75mm. I think i might push it down to 1mm but we'll see. 3D prototyping material isnt too strong but I'm pretty sure our finished production case will be 1mm or thinner.






--EDIT 4/24
Finally got the prototypes! here are the pictures. The scale is a bit off so they didn't really fit perfectly but since I have a physical object in my hands, nailing down the dimensions and having it perfectly fit will be easier from here on out. I will tweak the model and have another round printed out for next monday, when I will be in the office. Until then, enjoy! (By the way, i will be sending out a survey for colors and textures soon so everyone who filled out the google form, look out for a message! If you haven't filled it out, click here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHUxa3B2U0FsX01vOXNodVBack44S2c6MQ)




--EDIT 4/20
Yea I know it's not 4/20 in the US yet, but I'm overseas in Switzerland where it is 4/20. Plus i couldn't wait until tomorrow to update so I'm doing it now :)

Here's the picture of the dock case finally! I know it looks pretty simple but if you take your dock and flip it over, you'll notice the curves are all blended into each other and arent too straightforward. Plus i'm measuring it all with a caliper and ruler, nothing else. No 3D models to go off of...it's quite difficult!
1. Overall view
2. Side view
3. I made the chamfer for the SD card slot opening small so it would be more recessed to prevent any SD cards from popping out.
4. Added a Macbook-esque cutout to make it easier to open and close the dock+tablet.


ANDD here's the two pieces together. Random colors to differentiate between the two, not actual production colors (though if the masses vote for it, we can certainly see if this matte metallic blue would be possible)


I sent this off to be printed and should have it by Monday the 30th when I finally return to the States. My coworker should be bringing the tablet side of the case over to where I am by next Monday so I should have pictures then!

Until then, remember to fill out this form and to hit the thanks button if you can!
[/COLOR]https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHVXVWNNa0NnVDlFRGFQVlp3aDh2cmc6MQ

--EDIT 4/19
Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about this. I'm currently in Switzerland until the end of the month which is why I haven't been able to take pictures of the prototypes which are finished (how frustrating!) and sitting on my desk in Jersey. I'll try to see if I can get my coworker to bring them next week when he comes. For now, I will have pictures of the Dock model done by tomorrow so stay tuned!

Thanks for all the support everyone! 78 of you have already signed up which is great considering I was originally just going to print a case just for myself! Remember to keep filling out this form if you want in:
[/COLOR]https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHVXVWNNa0NnVDlFRGFQVlp3aDh2cmc6MQ
Once I have verified the prototype will work, I will begin taking votes on the surface finish/colors/configurations etc.

--EDIT 4/13
3D printer at work apparently failed twice to print it. :mad: Tech guy said he can have it by monday, but I will be out of the country for work from the 15th until the 30th. I know i promised pictures by today...but unfortunately, unless you want pictures of failed print jobs, I won't be able to get pictures until the 30th.

Fret not though!... instead I will be working hard during the next two weeks to get models of the dock and other variations (origami cover model, one with a kick stand etc) done as well and submit those models for printing so that I can have them all on the 30th. Consider this delayed gratification...you'll get them all at once instead! :)

On a side note, I do not own an origami cover and can't accurately measure dimensions from pictures so if someone has one that they can do measurements for me for, shoot me a pm

--EDIT 4/11/12
I've created a form for those interested...this will be my point of reference for who might be interested so please fill it out if you want in. As of right now, I'm focusing on making a case that would fit with the dock. If I have time later, I will consider the other requests of having built in stands or ones compatible with the origami cover.
[/COLOR]https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHVXVWNNa0NnVDlFRGFQVlp3aDh2cmc6MQ

Also, as promised, here are some quick teaser pics of the case. Wall thickness is about 2.25mm (Will be thinner if we use different plastic...the 3D printer uses soft plastic so I had to beef up the thickness a bit. Expect final wall thickness to be sub 1.5mm). Also sent my design in to be printed by this Friday. Hit the thanks button if you can! This took a bit of time to mock up and 3D print material ain't cheap!



Original Post:
Just wondering if anyone would be interested in a custom, thin, hard case for the prime and the dock. No one makes a thin case...they're all either leather slip-in type cases or bulky rubber+plastic cases that dont show off how attractive and thin the prime is.

I'm thinking along the lines of this:
http://www.amazon.com/Ultra-iPhone-Transparent-Clear-Around/dp/tech-data/B002NGEFSC

Basically something that's thin and keeps the curves and the form factor of the prime that will stop it from scratching and whatnot. I have a 3D printer at work and would be fine with designing a model of it and testing it out. Once i have the form factor down and there's enough interest, I could set up a kickstarter or send it off to be made in bulk. I'll be posting pictures of the progress on this original post once i get my design done.

--edit: doesn't have to be clear either. im sure we can kick around ideas like this: https://www.speckproducts.com/tablet-ipad-cases/ipad-2-cases/pixelskin-hd-wrap-for-ipad-2.html ...especially if speck isn't going to do it.
 
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agentdr8

Senior Member
Mar 4, 2007
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Cowtown, CA
In like Flynn! As much as I like my Poetic case, I really wish there was a simple & thin case like the HP TouchPad ones or even the iPad1 OEM case. As long as it can stay installed while the TFP is docked I'm all for it. I had briefly considered the origami Asus cover but having to remove it every time I want to dock it just wasn't for me.
 

Gary_O

Senior Member
Mar 21, 2011
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Would be very much interested in a thin sturdy non-leather case that would provide various viewing angles.
 

subhani

Senior Member
Dec 9, 2010
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It sounds like a great idea. I'm in. I've been thinking of this same thing but none available.

Don't mix all in one. Maybe produce more than one for separate functions.

One minimalist slim snap on for max protection and form factor.

One compatible with dock

One that is like the speck which allows for front and back cover and angled typing or kick stand angle.

I know its ambitious but I think your onto something pretty serious here mate. Show us some mock ups.

Cheers.
 

Fmstrat

Senior Member
Aug 3, 2007
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What kind of order size would you need to produce and what price point would work out for you?

I'm certainly interested. There are tons of cases that work with the dock, so I would personally focus on tablet only since the idea here is to stay slim. Another option to clear could be a thin, textured black plastic like some of the iPad cases have to aid in grip, though I'm not sure that would be possible on a 3D printer.

Thanks,
Ben

*edit*
Couple of thoughts if you decide to go down this road:
  • Make sure the gap around the charger port is large enough for the USB dongle for those not using docks
  • Watch out for the headphone jack, too, since many connectors are slightly wider than standard
  • A single hole around the flash and camera lens will keep from shadowing the lens when the flash goes off (I.E. don't make two holes)
  • I can take a picture, but I have an iPad case similar to this I picked up at Five Below. It "clips" on the edges, very slim, and probably an easy model for a 3D printer
 
Last edited:

theledman

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2010
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What kind of order size would you need to produce and what price point would work out for you?

I'm certainly interested. There are tons of cases that work with the dock, so I would personally focus on tablet only since the idea here is to stay slim. Another option to clear could be a thin, textured black plastic like some of the iPad cases have to aid in grip, though I'm not sure that would be possible on a 3D printer.

Thanks,
Ben

*edit*
Couple of thoughts if you decide to go down this road:
  • Make sure the gap around the charger port is large enough for the USB dongle for those not using docks
  • Watch out for the headphone jack, too, since many connectors are slightly wider than standard
  • A single hole around the flash and camera lens will keep from shadowing the lens when the flash goes off (I.E. don't make two holes)
  • I can take a picture, but I have an iPad case similar to this I picked up at Five Below. It "clips" on the edges, very slim, and probably an easy model for a 3D printer
Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I will updated the original post when I get mockups and a prototype printed out.

No worries on the ports, I will be making very generous chamfers around each of the openings to allow for a variety of peripherals.

As for now, I'm focusing on making a thin case for the tablet and the dock combined but there's no reason why we can't have other variations.
 
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emilgue

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Oct 22, 2007
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preferably with some sort of lock for the microsd slot, or just leave it covered (easier) for security since some ppl said that they lost their microsd that jumped out by itself.
 
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almightywhacko

Senior Member
Aug 18, 2010
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I would buy something like this if someone made it, preferably in clear TPU.

If someone made something like this that also included a screen cover similar to the Transleeve or Apple's smart cover, I would buy 2 or 3 :) (make sure it stays over the screen with a snap or magnets!)
 

theledman

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preferably with some sort of lock for the microsd slot, or just leave it covered (easier) for security since some ppl said that they lost their microsd that jumped out by itself.
Thought about this too, but if the chamfer on the opening for the card is small enough, you would retain access to the card without compromising on security. That way you wouldnt need to remove the cover every time you wanted to swap the card

Anyway, we'll see once i print out a prototype
 

fredgar75

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Feb 18, 2012
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I would love to have a clean case for my prime and dock. I have a bulky one that works but its huge. just something to cover it while its closed and you can still remove it from the dock and put it back with out extra steps.