Obtaining 3d files for accessory design

Hey guys,

Just a quick question… I’m starting preliminary work on an initiative designing accessories for existing consumer electronics products. This may seem like an obvious question, but what is the best way to actually obtain the exact 3d data for those products? Let’s use Apple products as an example…

Any input is appreciated, cheers!

Apple for example gives exact dimensioning drawings for all their products. Not sure if this help you.
http://developer.apple.com/programs/mfi/cases.html

Great, that’s good to know thanks! I guess I’m also wondering about any .igs files that may be floating around, or how to go about getting them from the companies if they even give that out…

If you are having trouble getting your hands on 3D models TurboSquid isn’t a bad place to look, that have lots of formats, however I don’t know that they can vouch for the accuracy you’re looking for…

This might be the ideal application for a 3D scan. In practice, I’ve only seen it used once for more of an artistic sculpture going into CAD, but it seems like one of the big reasons those machines exist.

Most companies do not distribute any 3D data to the public.

Usually if there is any type of product development kit for accessories it is handled internally for licensed partners. Apple gives out the dimensions you should need for a pretty accurate design, but in many other cases it’s probably just a good old fashioned case of whipping out the calipers and reverse engineering it the hard way. 3D scanning can definately help and there are companies that will scan a product for you for a fee.

I used to have to retrofit parts onto products for one manufacturer - even when you get the ‘true’ original cad data, sometimes the design changes slightly at the toolmaker - molder and the changes aren’t updated into the CAD

Unless you are a OEM supplier getting your hands on the actual manufacturing data base in any format is near impossible. I did some after market things for BB and the manufacture provided me with the phones from an extremely high res 3d scan which I used to build on top of. Now keep in mind with 3D scans you get what you pay for… a quick scan is nearly useless if you are trying to create skins or anything that needs a snug fit. Especially in corner and round areas. The more poly’s the better! but that means a slower scan process which equal more cost. But to be honest it is still cheaper then building the the models from scratch. Also STAY AWAY from turbo squid unless you are looking for models that LOOK LIKE but are not dimensionally accurate.

Chevis W.