Aug 7, 2016 | By Benedict
Pokémon Go remains as popular as ever, but the notoriously battery-draining app is leaving some players frustrated. Now you can Go for longer with the help of these cool 3D printed battery charger covers featuring iconic Pokéball and Pokédex designs.
We’ve all been there: you’re about to catch an Electabuzz outside your local power station, when all of a sudden your phone needs…well…an Electabuzz of its own. Given the camera, GPS, and graphical demands of Pokémon Go, it’s no surprise that the uber-popular popular game takes its toll on smartphone batteries. However, the problem was recently compounded for iPhone-based trainers when Niantic, the game’s developer, removed the game’s battery-saving mode due to bugs. In order to keep catching ‘em all 24/7, many players are now turning to external battery solutions, with their naked handsets simply unable to cope with the hours of gameplay necessitated by a full-on Pokémon Go addiction. Using these extra batteries is a great idea, but why settle for a dull grey block when you can spice up the device with a 3D printed, Pokémon-themed case? We’ve collected three great designs which you can either 3D print at home or order through an online 3D printing service.
3D Printed Pokéball USB Charger
Ah, the humble Pokéball. Whether you need a 3D printed Pokéball aimer to throw it or not, the iconic red-and-white orb is the heart and soul of Pokémon catching. In the world of Pokémon, these handy spheres are used to catch and store Pokémon, functioning as both a digital butterfly net and a Tardis-like hotel room at the same time. What better way to hide your boring Amazon-bought charger then, than with a 3D printed Pokéball case? Designer Matt Carl concurs, and has made a tutorial which shows you how to design and 3D print your own.
Carl used SolidWorks to design his case, measuring the outside dimensions of the charger with a caliper to get the sizing right for his 3D model. The maker started out with a sphere, before making a crevice for the charger and a circular cut for the “button” section, before finally adding a handy belt clip for on-the-go charging. Carl then printed the whole thing on a CraftBot 3D printer over the course of 16 hours, but recommends using this hollow design for shorter printing times. As you can see from the pictures, many supports were needed to print the spherical shape of the Pokéball.
After 3D printing, Carl used pliers to remove the support material, before taking 80-150 grit sandpaper to the object to clean it up for painting. The maker even sanded off the charger’s logo for maximum Poké-authenticity. After sanding, Carl glued the charger into the cavity, before painting the Pokéball by hand using acrylic paints. A smaller brush was needed to paint the indented equator section. When the paint had dried, the awesome case was ready for action. Train on!
3D Printed Pokédex USB Charger #1
Not keen on wearing a Pokéball on your belt? No matter. Using a slightly different smarphone charger, you can print this Pokédex-inspired design. Although we don’t know too much about the process behind Brian Westgate’s design, you can download its STL files from MyMiniFactory and get printing right away. While Westgate’s 3D printed design doesn’t really resemble the book-style Pokédex we know and love, its color scheme is unmistakably Pokémon, and we actually rather like the angular yet ergonomic structure of the thing. The download consists of five separate STL files: black ring, blue insert, red main, white buttons, and white inserts, so makers with a choice of filament colors can match the color scheme of the design without having to paint it.
3D Printed Pokédex USB Charger #2
Yes, yes, yes. Sweet, beautiful Pokédex of our childhoods. My parents might not have bought me the plastic Pokédex toy available in the 90s, but now I can get this stunning 3D printed Pokédex battery pack smartphone case instead. So there. SparkFun member NPoole kindly published this excellent design on Github a few weeks ago, with the designer printing the object in red ABS and polishing it with acetone. A 18650 lithium cell supplies the much-craved backup power for your phone through a USB microB Plug Breakout mounted in the bottom of the Pokédex. To enable charging, the battery’s 3.7v output needs to be boosted to 5v, which can be achieved using a SparkFun Power Cell. All electrical components can be stuck to the inside of the 3D printed case using double-sided foam tape.
Consider yourself a bit of a Pokémon expert? Think the classic Pokédex design is a little too common? Don’t worry, because NPoole is even planning to release new versions of the design based on other Pokédex designs from the Pokémon universe. Apparently the standard red design is just the “Kanto” edition, one of many. The designer is also planning to release versions supporting different smartphone types, including the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and HTC One M8.
With the Pokémon Go phenomenon showing so signs of slowing down, expect to see many more Pokémon-themed 3D prints coming your way in the near future. In the meantime, revisit our list of 10 awesome 3D printed Pokémon creations, published in February to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the franchise.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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