I recently had an inquiry from a 3d hubs customer, asking for a custom image engraved on his Fairphone case.

I know that it should be possible using Blender and the Model at https://fairphone.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/201194477-3D-Files-CAD-, but I’m no Blender pro and I’d love to have some kind of guide.

Does somebody know of such a guide?


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Hi there !

What slicing software are you using ?

Ie Simplify3d can handle two overlapping stl files and will print them as one solid model, as long as you just go with one extruder.

So the easiest method would be, to first import any fairphone case and a cuboid. Then you scale the cuboid to the size of the case’s back and place the cuboid on the back so that it will cover the current design. Next up you could either use a tool like the “2d to 3d” feature from Simplify3d or CAD software to model the design that your customer wanted. The design has to be exported as a solid model (stl) with an appropriate thickness (i think 0,5-1mm will do the job).

In the last part you can place the design (scaled to the case’s size) on the cuboid to attach a new design to the case.

This is probably one of the easiest methods since you just have to tinker around in your slicing software and you don’t need any CAD (specifically Blender) experience (except for making a model of the customers design).

The downsite of this method is, that the printed case will be thicker then the normal fairphone cases and maybe your slicing software can’t handle overlapping models, in this case all explained above wouldn’t work.

You could also look at the fairphone website or a similar one, i remember, that they had “designer contests” where designers could publish their fairphone models. Maybe you get a 3d model of a blank fairphone case at that site, but i don’t know more about that.

Blender guides can be found via google or youtube, but as I don’t work with blender I can’t tell you what to do and what guide you have to watch.

If all of this exceeds your capabilities I could offer you to do the modeling work for the customers design, in that case you’d just have to find any fairphone case model and a cuboid (-> ie test prints found on thingiverse.com) to use the first method. However your slicer has to be able to handle overlapping models so check that in the first place.

I hope this helps, for more information about 3d modeling (except for questions about Blender) you could contact me via skype:

nickname: “railes123”

or via 3dhubs:

link to my hub: https://www.3dhubs.com/siegen/hubs/marius/



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Ohh, we don’t really have a guide for this. But I can ask my colleague who does this more often if she can write this down quickly. Only thing is that she is currently really loaded with other work which has priority.

@GloomySparker @SIXEDGE do you guys have any tips on this? Thanks

Hey @MB3D, Do you think you could make a separate post about this with pics and everything! I see that you do have a lot of insights in this! I am sure this would get a lot of attention and you’d help the community a lot :slight_smile: I think you could also get some feedback and input from others as well :slight_smile:

Let me introduce my skills first so you’ll know if I would be able to answer your future questions! :wink:

- good knowledge of colorFabb filaments (reseller)

- good knowledge of desktop 3D printing (especially with Rep2)

- good knowledge of different CAD (Blender, Meshmixer, 123D Design, SketchUp, … )

As @MB3D told, the starting point seems to get a blank Fairphone case CAD model. With this you’ll be able to have an easy start without trying to modify an existing case. If you do not find this model and have some CAD abilities, it is not that difficult to modify an existing one by removing all unnecessary vertices.

Next, you’ll have to define if the customer want to get his image engraved or embossed. This won’t have any influence on the technique but I will definitively not recommend to engrave anything on the Fairphone case before you are sure of the process because the case could be a lot more fragile.

You’ll also need to get a vectorized and cleaned version of the image (Inkscape is capable but because I am on Mac, I prefer Affinity Designer).

Next step is the CAD software… If you are not comfortable with Blender, perhaps you should look to another software like SketchUp which is also free. These two software ARE NOT designed for 3D printing BUT can handle 3D models that will be printed. It is far more easy to have the manifold checks in SketchUp by adding some plugins (see Solid Inspector).

In the CAD software, it will be easy to import the blank case model and the vectorized image. Next step is to get some volume out of the image. Linear extrusion a way to get it.

After that, you’ll only have to play with your two objects so you’ll have the desired result.

My advise is make a simple test and print it first.

Contact me for any question or just to let me know how is it going

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Hi @Arnoldas,

I’ll try to make a guide based on my described method soon, at the moment I don’t have the time for it, maybe I’ll get it done during the upcomming weekend.



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Nice Marius!

Appretiate it! You’re the best

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Thank you all for your answers.

I figured out my own solution, and here’s how:

  1. Open the blank Fairphone case model (it is to be found here) in Blender
  2. Import a .svg of the image to emboss. extrude, scale, rotate and move it to match the case.
  3. Export (.STL) and reimport the embossed image. I would probably work without, but step 3 seems easier this way.
  4. Magic Sauce: Bend the embossed image to shape, by applying the SimpleDeform->Bend modificator (here’s a Youtube tutorial on it)

4. Export both the case and the embossed image as a single .STL

That’s basically it, but the STL-output from Blender will have errors.

Cura seems to be able to cure it with the Fix horrible->Combine everything (Type-A) option.

To fix the model I found several ways (one of them free):

  • using Simplify3D to combine the separate parts (repair didn’t seem to work)
  • netfabb (netfabb basic didn’t seem to work, but the free https://modelrepair.azurewebsites.net/ service did)

That’s it.


Hi @universalist sorry for not answering your question earlier. Might be it is not relevant anymore now, but if it is I could ask my colleague who always makes the designs if she can provide a simple explanation.