Fairphone – Can 3D Printing Cell Phone Covers Create a Fairer World?

Over the past year we have been 3d printing cell phone covers as part of 3DHubs partnership with Fairphone. In December, Fairphone asked its community to submit a range of designs and then chose five. Now, customers can choose a design and select a 3D printer based on location.

We have been Fairphone certified since 2014 and are part of the Glasgow community on 3DHubs.

Fairphone is a social enterprise that was created to raise awareness about mining conflict minerals that are used to make consumer products. As a general rule, conflict minerals are extracted in conditions of war and human rights abuses in the Congo.

As a result, Fairphone’s emphasis is on finding minerals that are conflict free. Each smartphone consists of about 50 different minerals, like copper and gold, and each serves a different function in the phone. The overwhelming desired outcome at Fairphone is to empower workers and create a more ethical world.

3D printing cell phone

When 3dHubs teamed up with Fairphone to create sustainable smartphone cases we were very keen to get involved in this fantastic project! We got involved because we supported the notion that a fairphone would ensure fairer wages for workers as well as offering a novel item to people who buy the phones in the form of a printed case, which they can pickup locally.

So, you might ask, how will this contribute to a more ethical world? Instead of mass producing the product, we are 3d printing cell phone covers only on demand. This reduces the need for long-distance shipping and therefore eliminates the need for producing excess stock. In our case we also found that is was a great way to meet new people interested in the 3d printing world.

And on that note we’d love to continue the conversation with you. If you have had a cover 3d printing as part of this collaboration tell us (and show us!) using our twitter handle @3dPrintWorks with the #WeAreFairphone hashtag.

We look forward to speaking soon!