Early talk on developing 3D printed Cases for Chestnut

It’s a tad premature, this post:
So I will recieve a Chestnut phone soon… (even tho I will likely be away for a few weeks before I get to actually spend time with it :sob:…) But then I will want to make a case for it. Am planning to use a basic “Prusa i3 MK3S” printer to make some kind of a protective case.

Will be a challenge for me to rise to, but I will do it: even if alone… If anyone else wants to design a Chestnut case… I am game for communal development of the files… and would even pay a 3rd party to print if they have a better printer/material.

Could be an interesting practical project. Community will probably have all kinds of cool ideas on optimizing design… for looks and function. Plus the specs will likely resemble the upcoming iterations of the L5… so that maybe this serves as a jumping off point of sorts for desgning cases for future batches.

I should be able to borrow workshop tools, AKA fine Calipers, to measure the phone with precision, and can share high resolution photos also. This would be my 1st “from scratch” 3D design where dimensions REALLY REALLY matter.

If anyone else is already planning this, might I hitch my wagon to your train? If not… I could put my wagon at the lead and invite anyone’s/everyone’s input.

This is exciting. In the end, I may even pay some 3rd party to print for me, with a superior material, after landing on a reasonably optimal case design.

LOL: oh the task of finding the balance between protecting the device and displaying it it in all its glory. :sun_with_face:

PS. Where might such a task/collaboration go down? (A group collaboration with sharing the design files and ideas)…
Perhaps use Telegram for collaboration and the sharing of ideas?

Anyone know whether such a detailed design can be done on the cloud based no-cost sites?

Sorry it’s a big post… but I do at least know enough to know that there are things I don’t know. :relaxed:

I would LOVE to male a case that uses wood… but that is probably a pipe dream. Oh god it is beautiful; I can imagine it now. Wood beats Orange filament… but still, black and orange do look good together.

For nonWood: As of now I envision a diagonal mesh design that resembles a silicon case shape… somehow strong enough to also protect corners from impact.

Maybe folks woukd have ideas on helping it wick away heat, without blocking antennae? (We need to see inside to do that… but just planting a seed perhaps, in case someone sees a way)

All ideas are welcome. No real rush. Just tossing the custom case collaboration idea out there like a fishing lure… to bob around for now.

‘Merry Christmas’ and All That Stuff to everyone.
Be Well. Thanks, MrFriday


Jeez… I apologize for the nesting of questions… it is just how my mind works. I could try to keep it simple if that makes life easier :dizzy_face:

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Peoples minds work different ways, I respect that :slight_smile:
This is what I know from past investigation for my own interest…

  • copper tape (I looked into it but keep in mind you’re going to account for the fact that you may have inadvertent wave guide (so I gave up because…math. Maybe you can do better :slight_smile: )
  • cherry and balsa wood is lightweight (but cherry is nicer)
  • d30 is awesome for impact absorption and you can get it cheap in the form of recoil pads

wood is nice to use as casing for high-end audio-playback instruments for Hi-Fi analog reproduction not so much for personal-compute-devices.

Sure would look perty though . A nice stained cherry wood case ? On perhaps the first full linux desktop distro cellphone ?

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Actually, by joining your idea about D3O® Recoil Pad very much, thickness might be the issue as additional, outer protection like TPU, is needed. Following your path on shock absorption protection layer (for the edges) I was thinking to use somehow (with calculated inserts/stripes on four edges under the molded TPU shell, kind of embedded into) something that is not thicker as 1 mm (and lightweight). And such material comes from NOENE® (100% viscoelastic Swiss made material).
I’m not having time to do this kind of handwork but might help if some investment needed in such private project by ordering offered option (within molded shell, preferably without back side or with purposely perforated one) in advance (or investing in needed material cost) . Additionally it is much better if someone can order/buy this material in bigger sheets as B2B, without having clue on where to make such order to get up to the potential needs calculated Noene® 1 mm sheets, Italy maybe. I hope that someone find out some workaround for this if Purism self not considering to offer something adequate (vibrations absorbing).
Test of this technology efficiency is in French … easy 1,2,3:

P.S. Balsa is very, very light and natural material, but without other necessary properties (including huge thickness issue that would be needed for stability) to be useful (and cut down for such purpose).

Gah! Sorry for the late reply, Christmas craziness plus night shift means no sleep and no time :open_mouth:

I think the noene is the superior product for sure but the d30 is cheap and fairly common comparatively. It’s thick but it can be cut if you go very slowly. I’m not sure but I think you can 3d print incorporating foreign objects (?) (I don’t know for sure but I’ve seen 3d printed models with embedded LED lights somehow).

Personally, the more I see ladies use them on the subway, the more I like the portfolio style cases (for r/f protection and also because they’re easy to make).


Oh yeah. Like portfolio style case… maybe that means like a book that flops open (flips open, or flops as it wears out or is it wears in). That could be interesting to make. Thinking outside the box. Like the phone would be tucked between little book covers. A form factor I hadn’t considered… maybe like where people can even put cash or a credit card tucked in slots.

Lots of time to decide, and to try ideas.


Yup, they’re on the market now and I see people using them on the subway (we use presto cards that you have to tap to get on the bus/subway so it makes sense to have everything in one place). Also somebody brought up concerns about r/f a while ago and, while this isn’t the forum for that discussion, I looked into it myself and I do have some concerns that would be easier to address with this style case.


Saw a reddit review where someone is using an off the the shelf folio…here’s a pic.

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I’m evergreen but I expect the case isn’t going to change drastically. I’m not sure where to find these specific measurements though…


If someone could please point me in the right direction or grab a protractor and ruler if they’ve already a librem 5, it’d be greatly appreciated :slight_smile:

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Buried somewhere on here there is a thread with all those specs on it . Im probably just going to cannibalize an existing case and cut out 4 corner bumpers and an L and a 5 out of a clear TPU case and use hot glue or whatever non permanent adhesive if I cant find a case .

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The Chestnut batch has hand milled back on it and/so the Evergreen back will be constructed differently (I want to say injection molding)… which may result in meaningfully different dimensions. Even different amount of space/air inside or dufferent bulge on rear panel.

Knowing it will change: I’d hesitate to produce a case for later batches based on Chestnut dimensions.


Oh, yeah, that’ a good point.