Gibbage Cases, a simple 3D printed case for your HTC 8X
Gibbage Cases has been a roller coaster, grass roots effort by Windows Phone enthusiast Kevin "Gibbage" Miller. Miller was looking for a simple case to protect his HTC 8X with three principles in mind; protection, design and function.
The end result was a unique case that offered a buffer between the 8X and harsh surfaces. The Gibbage Case may not offer much protection from falls but it should protect the soft outer coating of the 8X from scratches and rubbing thin. We received a Windows Phone 8 theme version (complete with the Windows Phone Central Logo) of the Gibbage Case. We took it out for a test drive over the past few days and found it to be a nice option for those who prefer a minimalistic approach to their cases.
It's been interesting to watch the development of the Gibbage Case. The case is created by a 3D printer and the first few attempts didn't go to well. The dye used in coloring the plastic leached off the case and stained the coating on the 8X. Then there were quality control issues with the 3D printing service, Shapeways, that just about scrapped the whole project. Miller stopped selling the cases and went back to the drawing board.
With assurances of better quality control from Shapeways, the Gibbage Cases are once again for sale. Instead of offering a color selection, the Gibbage Cases are being sold in white and alumide. The white models are more of a "do it yourself" option that can easily be painted to the color of your choice but actually look really good as is.
The case itself is made of sturdy plastic with just enough flex to accommodate easy placement on the HTC 8X. Each case model has ribbed sides that makes for a nice grippable surface. As far as fit and feel is concerned, the ribbed sides does give the 8X a nice feel and there is really no bulk or weight added to the phone. The case fit snuggly and the buttons, ports and the camera are nicely exposed and easily accessible except for the SIM card tray. You'll have to take the case off to swap out the SIM but that's not an everyday event for most and shouldn't be an issue.
As mentioned, the Gibbage Case won't offer much protection from drops. The case's main area of protection rests with the buffer it creates between the soft coating on the 8X and abrasive surfaces. The case will help reduce wear from pocket carry and scratches from every day. The corners of the case provides a bit of protection for corner drops as well as creating a buffer for the 8X's screen. The case's corners raise the phone just a tad to prevent it from making contact with surfaces when the phone is laid screen down.
While the white case has it's own appeal, painting it allows you to make the case your own. If you want a hot pink spider web case, it's just a spray paint can away. You'll need to prime the case and paint it to your liking.
In painting the review case, I went to the local hobby store and picked up a can of Tester's paint primer and a can of model spray paint. After painting the case with a coat of primer and letting it dry over night, I lightly sprayed the case with the colored paint. It took a few coats to get the case painted just right but in lightly spraying the case, you avoid over-painting that can cause drips or runs in the paint job. I let the paint set over night and once fitted to the HTC 8X, the Gibbage Case fit like a glove. I've had the case on the 8X for several days and haven't experienced any leeching or staining to the phone at all.
All in all, I found the Gibbage Case to be a very nice case for the HTC 8X. It's offers a minimal amount of protection, mainly protection from scratches and rubs that would mar the soft coating on the 8X. The plain white or alumide colors are nice and if you want to customize the case, the white plastic can easily be painted.
Additional Gibbage Case Designs
The developer is looking into similar cases for the Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820. We'll keep you posted on that progress. As far as the HTC 8X is concerned, there are four different stock patterns available for the Gibbage Case that range from $20 to $24. Custom logo inserts are available but at an extra cost. You an find all the ordering information here at the Shapeway website and you can stay up to date on any new Gibbage case styles and read up on painting tips here at Gibbage Case's website.
Oh... we just got word that the case prices have been reduced $5 through March 2nd. If you're on the fence about giving these cases a try, now's your time to save a little while taking the plunge.