Soon after I received my Pebble Watch, I wanted to create a mod and start personalizing. I initially wanted to develop some apps but the Software Development Kit had not been released. I had some experience with 3D printing from my high school robotics team and started playing with some ideas and designs for a 3D printed snap-on cover.
Since I didn't own my own 3D printer, I sent the designs to a friend that printed several samples. Everybody that saw the covers loved the idea. I was already familiar with Kickstarter as a backer and started researching how to create a project on Kickstarter. Within a month, I launched the Pebble Covers project on Kickstarter with the primary goal to earn enough money to buy my own 3D printer.
30 days later I had over $10,000 in pledges from 359 backers in 25 countries.
During the 30 days of the Kickstarter project, I was able to refine the designs, add new designs, design a complimentary snap-on watch band loop, and get my own 3D printer (a Makerbot Replicator 2).
The support of the Kickstarter community has been great and I had many requests to buy the covers after the project ended which led to pebblecovers.com.
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The original design with a flat, square surface and four straight edges. It does not need to be removed for charging.
A flat design with edges that slope down at an angle. It does not need to be removed for charging.
The most popular design made to match the shape of your Pebble, and it snaps-on at all four corners for ultimate protection. It DOES need to be removed for charging.
The only circle face design. Mainly for aesthetic purposes. Does not need to be removed for charging.
Not Yet for Sale
Grab a watch band loop to match your cover. Should fit any standard .33 mm watch band.
Not Yet for Sale
Why 3D printing?
3D printing is a great option for on-demand printing, prototyping, and small batch manufacturing. I researched various options for injection molding and thermal forming but they are very expensive unless you can produce large quantities. For Pebble Covers, it's also complicated by the number of colors since each color would require a fixed price per batch.
Thanks to the Kickstarter project, I have my own Makerbot Replicator 2 (learn more here) 3D printer and can print one cover in about 10 minutes with no cost or consideration for molds, setup fees, production lead times, minimum batch quantities, and inventory.
Can you connect the USB cable with the cover installed?
It depends on the cover style. The Max style does not have a cutout that allows you to connect the USB cable while all the other styles do have a cutout. You can easily connect the USB cable with the Bevel, Square, Rounded, and Oval styles. The Max style has 'arms' that extend over the 'arms' of the watch. When I tried designs with a cutout on the Max style, it was too easy to remove the cover and the cover would easily pop off if the lower left 'arm' hit an object (or caught the sleeve of a sweatshirt)
Does the Pebble Cover fit over other stickers, wraps, or screen protectors?
The cover will fit over any standard stickers, wraps, and screen protectors.
I've tested this on Pebbles with Slick Wrap stickers and screen protectors, which I believe are standard thicknesses.
However, if the edges of the protectors extend too far to the left edge of the watch face, it's possible that the Pebble Cover could snag or scratch the protectors during installation or removal (primarily on the left side of the watch) so extra care must be taken to position the protector correctly.
How thick is the cover? Does it add a lot of bulk?
The cover is only about 1mm thick all the way around. I've added a CAD rendering cutaway view that shows the cover from two angles and the thickness of the cover.
Will the cover scratch the face of the watch?
No. The cover is made of PLA plastic and will not scratch the face of the watch. You can view a video of my scratch test at http://youtu.be/XTZXUF559dA. The side walls of the cover that hold the cover in place and snap-on to the watch may scratch the sides of the watch but I've installed and removed covers from my watch several thousand times (maybe even more) and there is minimal marks on the left side.