Apple, the rotten so-and-sos, have this pesky habit of changing power connectors when you least expect it. When they released the iPhone 5 complete with new Lightning connector, rendering docking stations across the globe useless, they were met with vitriolic discordance. Another change, which went slightly more under the radar, was the MagSafe 2 connector for the “next-generation” MacBook Retina display. The slimmer connector means those of us who hot desk or use other’s power packs may come unstuck as the chargers are not backwards compatible.
Apple’s solution to both of these problems is to purchase respective adapters at a quite handsome cost, though these solutions present further problems. Firstly, with the Lightning adapter, if you were to put it into a docking station without support it is liable to snap under the weight leaving you with a lightning connector in the base of your shiny new £550 ($649, €679) iPhone 5. Secondly, the MagSafe 2 adapter isn’t the biggest piece of kit and is easily misplaced, lost or forgotten when you need it most.
Here are a few ingenious bits of 3D printing that solve those issues:
1. Sculpteo’s iPhone 5 dock adapter: Couple with your Lightning adapter this nifty little bit of kit from French 3D printing service, is customisable and compatible with a wide range of previous iPhone/iPod docks.
Cost: £12($18, €13)
2. Johnr’s iPhone 5 universal dockadapter on Thingiverse: If you’ve got access to a 3D printer the cheaper alternative to Sculpteo’s version would be to download this ‘thing’ and print at will, in whatever colour you like. Cost: Your time and filament.
3. Bit wise’s MagSafe Adapter Key Ring on Shapeways: This is a lovely design by bit wise. Printed in stainless steel by Shapeways it attaches to your keys and magnetically holds your MagSafe adapter to keep it with you at all times.
Cost: £12 ($18, €13)