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Freedom of Creation Unveils Custom, 3-D Printed iPad Cases

The Dutch rapid-protoyping juggernaut has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a intriguing new web tool.

Freedom of Creation‘s been around for about a decade now, but has never quite fulfilled its promise of bringing mass customization to the mainstream. Now, the Dutch rapid-prototyping powerhouse has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for an online tool that’ll put personalized 3-D printed designs directly at people’s fingertips. And they’re starting with something that’s already got plenty of mass appeal: the iPad.

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Freedom of Creation partnered with the electronics accessories brand Fresh Fiber to offer sleek iPad accessories to folks who pledge their hard-earned cash to the campaign. The accessories, including stands and cases, are 3-D printed in a perforated gray nylon to say pretty much whatever you want: your name, your logo, “Go Patriots!” (if you’re evil).

So pledge $7, and you’ll get your name on an iPad case — alongside a bunch of other backers — that’ll “travel the world” and may or may not end up at auction and/or at MoMA. For $37, you get a personalized stand that snap-folds to fit in your pocket; and for $77 you get your very own customized iPad case. Or, say you’ve got more money than God ($497, to be precise), you can collaborate with Freedom of Creation’s designers to adorn a case in any image imaginable, whether ?a rolling ball slide, a windmill or the statue of liberty.” Neat! Expensive!

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The goal here is to raise $20,000 for a web platform that’ll allow customers to virtually sculpt their individual preferences onto 3-D printed objects. We imagine the platform will look a bit like the one Freedom of Creation threw together for this 3-D typeface, and at first, it’ll produce iPad cases only. But the idea’s clearly to make a working prototype for other products — perhaps to create a sort of Etsy for mass customization, which, in turn, will nudge Freedom of Creation ever closer to its goal.

[Images courtesy of Freedom of Creation]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.

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