The possibility of 3D printing mobile phones at home might be a strong contender to be a killer app for 3D Printing . It will take time to prove this, but the 3D Printed Braille phone, OwnPhone could be a nice start along this path.
The company has been producing fully customizable and easy to use mobile phones for kids and the elderly and it is easy to see how 3D printing is key. The first models, dubbed “1st phone” and “2nd phone” for the kids’ models, and more generally OwnPhone for the senior and work-calls models, were partially 3D printed. UK-Based Customers can customize up to four buttons with the names or images of the numbers they call most.
The Braille phone takes personalization through 3D printing to a new level, since it’s required to make the braille codes (or 3D texts) pop out of the buttons to be read through touch. Like for the other models both the front and rear can be customized online before placing the order with colours and images. Depending on the level and type of customization the final price can vary from £40 to little over £70.
Tom Sunderland told the BBC that this is the first phone to have a 3D printed keypad and for people that can’t read Braille, they can print texture and raised text on the phone
A braille phone for the blind may be a bit of an overkill, with smartphone vocal helpers becoming more proficient, but a £40 3D printed phone that you might soon be able to manufacture at home may be a killer app.