Working with mobile electronics, I often find myself in need of accurate CAD models of smartphones and tablets. In the past I have either built them myself or used something passable from GrabCAD or the like. The free, crowd-sourced sites yield hit-or-miss results. Does anyone know of a better source for reliable, dimensionally accurate CAD? It’s OK if it’s not free.
TurboSquid is great for data to use for renderings, but I would not trust it for critical dimensions. The data there is typically created by folks who may or may not have the product in front of them, and they are mostly building the data for animation/render purposes.
GrabCAD can be good, but again you’ve got to be really careful. I downloaded two iPad Air models from there, both with very high ratings.
Although the creators of both said they had an Air sitting in front of them when they built the models, the two files were different from one another in lots of things that are critical for creating cases (corners, button locations, etc…). They were different than Apple’s dimensioned drawings too. I ended up buying an Air and building the model myself. I did find that the real product differed slightly from Apple’s drawings too.
The best solution if you can afford it is to get a sample of the device and have it 3D scanned. Not cheap though, we have paid from $1200-$1800 for smart phones to be scanned.