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With the 's current short battery life, and no major improvement in sight (that I know of), it seems like a good idea to purchase a backup battery. Having to take out the whole back cover is a hassle though.

I just found that @PINE64 supplies the CAD file for the back cover in STEP format! I would like to have a cover with an integrated door, think TV remote.

But is there any current 3D printer that can print such fine details?!? Mine circa-2013 sure can't.

wiki.pine64.org/wiki/PinePhone

@PINE64
Bit of info that will be interesting only to CAD jocks: the STEP file was generated in Pro/Engineer. Not sure what version, it reads "PRO/ENGINEER BY PARAMETRIC TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION, 2010280".

Did you know? A STEP file is a plain text file. 🤓

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@lps @PINE64
What I meant is, I strongly doubt that any 3D printer can actually print to the level of required detail. At work I occasionally have 3D prints done by commercial machines. Lately in SLS (selective laser sintering) which is much more refined than FFF/FDM. Even in SLS I don't know if those tiny tabs can be done accurately.

@normandc
Oh, so you're saying it's possible with injection molding? Could you modify with your expertise to a bulkier design?
@PINE64

@lps @PINE64
The case is definitely made by injection molding, even if 3D printing it was possible (which it may be?), it wouldn't be cost effective at large volumes.

Yes, I was thinking of designing a thicker bottom cover to allow for a door, but the case still has to snap to the contour frame. So the snapping tabs on the sides need to keep their current size and shape.

@lps @PINE64
And I wouldn't say my "expertise". 😄 I've only designed a handful of thermoplastic parts, and none that required such precision.

@lps @PINE64
At its thinnest (battery area), I measure 0.80 thickness.

@normandc
Hopefully its affordable enough. Does 3dhub offer SLS?
I didn't look.

@PINE64

@lps @PINE64
They seem to outsource fabrication in Mexico, China and in India.

@lps @PINE64
I haven't looked at 3D Hubs in a long time. It used to be a community of DIY tinkerers offering their services, now it seems to have been overtaken by a company. They do offer SLS.

@lps @PINE64
3D Hubs services are very interesting... They even have an online sheet metal fabrication service. I wonder if they do very small jobs for private individuals. This can be very interesting for someone who'd want to build themselves enclosures and stuff.

@lps
I made a demo quote with their default part, a small enclosure 75 × 38 × 58 mm, printed in SLS. It would be $24, but 3D Hubs has a $100 minimum charge. Ouch! I'll have a look at other services. I don't remember Shapeways having a minimum charge.

@normandc I didn't realize they'd pivoted to another model, I thought it was using independents like you mentioned:( $100 minimum, that sucks!

@lps
I had a look at the blog section. There's a board of directors and everything. Fully business mode now.

@lps
I remembered a local 3D printer who was on 3D Hubs years back. His website is still online, he went commercial. He does SLS, I may inquire for a quote.

@normandc good luck, hope it works, I'd love to see the result:)

@lps
Ah well, first I need to find the motivation. I do design work for a living, and at the end of a work day, well, I want to do something else... It's the main reason (among others) why I left the FreeCAD community.

@lps
And about those small possibly difficult to print tabs, I realized that instead, I could screw the printed back cover, using the existing screws holding the internal assembly. Maybe get longer screws if needed.

And while we're talking, also making the SIM & SD card slots accessible as well would be a nice bonus!

Another possibility: get another back cover (only $5), cut out an opening for battery and card slot, glue the printed back cover over it as an outer shell.

@lps
Interesting. I wasn't the first to think about it, except this person did it to access the kill switches.

thingiverse.com/thing:4548120

@normandc
That's a bit odd the kill switches aren't directly accessible, I didn't know that.

@silkevicious
With sustained use (Internet browsing), no more than 3-4 hours I think. In standby mode, maybe 6? Man that battery drains fast! In daily use it certainly cannot last a full day at this time.

Still I'm happy to be back to tinkering with it for a few hours a day.

@normandc I think a SLA/SLS printer is capable of achieving the detail.

The choice of resin would be important to ensure the tabs don't fracture under attachment.

I've not committed to a SLA/SLS printer yet due to the requirement, until recently, to use copious amounts of Isopropyl Alcohol to clean the prints.

Water-washable resins are now addressing the eco-unfriendly aspect.

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