Sculpteo isn't the only iPhone case maker on the market, and is certainly not the only one at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. But Sculpteo is possibly the only case maker that combines customization with 3D printing, and offers it in an easily accessible package.
Last year, the company introduced its print-your-own iPhone case app for iOS, which introduced 3D printing to a crowd that knew little about the technology; this year, Sculpteo took home a CES Design and Engineering Best of Innovations award.
Sculpteo's 3DP Case creation tool lets you design, print, and order your own iPhone case directly through the free Sculpteo app for iOS. With it, you can select the image or design you want, pick a color, pick a material, add additional detail, and then have the case printed and shipped anywhere worldwide.
If you want to place a profile of a face on the case--the company's signature design--then just snap a side-profile portrait and open the photo up within the app. The app will detect the facial outline and apply the correct crop. You'll see a model of what your case looks like before you order, so if the face profile doesn't look quite right, you can retake the photo. You can also use two different photos if you'd like two opposing face cutouts in your case.
Originally, designs were limited to face profiles, but now you can print more complicated designs. Examples shown at CES included a 3D skull, a tactile map of a mountain range pulled from Google Maps, and a DIY-style crocheted Apple logo. If you don't want a 3D image, you can opt to create a case with a flat image instead, but it still will be made using the company's 3D printing techniques. Because Sculpteo uses a 3D printing process known as quadrichromy, the printers can capture a full spectrum of colors that translate well from photo to iPhone case.
Sculpteo 3DP cases are available for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4/4S, and iPhone 5; cases start at $24. The company expects to expand into the Android market soon.
For more blogs, stories, photos, and video from the nation's largest consumer electronics show, check out our complete coverage of CES 2013.