webOS Nation Forums >  webOS Devices >  HP Pre 3 > Possibility of new replacement screen bezels for the Pre3... Anyone interested?
Possibility of new replacement screen bezels for the Pre3... Anyone interested?
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Old 01/19/2013, 10:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Just asking around to see how much demand there really is.

It's a relatively simple part to recreate, and if there's enough Pre3 owners who are interested, it might be worth going forward with this project. I'm not talking about a factory run of 1,000 units but rather carrying over from the Veer adapter thread, about having a silicone mold made by a professional and using that to cast components made of epoxy resin.

The molds are extremely precise, and you can't really go wrong with black. So, you know, what do you guys think?

Just an idea of mine, but look here and here:

Cabochon Mold Mould 40mm X 30mm Resin Polymer Clay Wax by MoldMuse

Etsy Transaction - Vintage Button Mold Flexible Silicone Mold/Mould for Crafts, Jewelry, (chocolate, fondant, candy, resin, pmc, polymer clay) (288)

The 2nd one was made from actual vintage buttons, and you can't tell the copies from the original. The originals aren't in the picture, but i'm talking about impression quality and that the grain pattern of the Pre 3's frame will also be recreated in the same way. I think the only problem will be finding someone willing to lend the part to be copied.


P.S. Here's another high quality piece, the mold also shown. The detail is quite impressive: http://www.etsy.com/listing/99837580...-mould-polymer

Last edited by Remy X; 01/20/2013 at 01:21 AM.
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Old 01/20/2013, 04:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would LOVE this!

I have been trying to obtain the 3D drawings of the Pre3 components because I wanted to make a midnight blue bezel. I've also been trying to contact Mugen for the 3D model of their extended battery back so that I could do the same, and add space for some components (Touchstone/TTS, and a Flomio FloJack NFC).

EDIT: I could probably lend a bezel to be used.
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Old 01/20/2013, 12:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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And why stop at Pre 3 bezels?

I remember tracks recently bemoaning a cracked back on his Veer.

dkirker mentioned colors and alt parts like extended backs with mods.

Sounds like a whole slew of requests would open up if one mold proved to work properly.

This is a pretty exciting idea.
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Old 01/20/2013, 05:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dkirker View Post
I would LOVE this!

I have been trying to obtain the 3D drawings of the Pre3 components because I wanted to make a midnight blue bezel. I've also been trying to contact Mugen for the 3D model of their extended battery back so that I could do the same, and add space for some components (Touchstone/TTS, and a Flomio FloJack NFC).

EDIT: I could probably lend a bezel to be used.


I appreciate it

Hey, if it turns out that Mugen is absolutely un-interested in sharing its 3D models, we could always talk to the lady who makes those molds, and have her pour the Mugen back mold very thin, so that the silicone remains flexible.

Then, once the mold is cured, remove the cover and add it back in with a piece of felt fabric stretching the thin, flexible silicone but not creating visible lumps. Reinforce the outside of the mold with more silicone, so that once it's cured, the added bulk remains. Cast an epoxy slug and use it to pour the final mold that will be used to make actual back covers.

Yes, it's complicated, but might be a good "analog" backup plan if the "digital" plan fails


We'll still have to see how well large parts like backs will turn out, but in any case, we can narrow things down to a list of parts that will be in demand, and work out a viable business strategy.


I'd think some of the fail-safe (where we won't lose our investment) replacement parts and accessories would be the Veer headphone adapters Toadfrog and i are working on, Veer photo flash, Pre3 screen bezels and then maybe something else... i'd think for now anything else would have to be funded with donations, if there's no guarantee of selling more than one copy.

I have other interesting accessories in mind, but those might have to stay as a "proof of concept" for now. Veer microSD reader, Veer USB-in adapter for connecting a thumbdrive, things like that. In theory, we could even make copies of the rare Pre3 audio dock or build a different one like it with the correct Pre3 curvature, but that's likely not gonna happen.

If the business takes off, we could of course take some calculated risks. Or take custom orders on "premium" versions of existing products, like for example casting a bezel and back for the Pre3 in clear resin, with "silky", unwoven carbon fibre (Dave Brown Carbon Fiber Tape (3/4"x12') [DAV5220] | RC Airplanes - A Main Hobbies). The stuff looks divine... very classy and eye-catching...

I kind of have a vision for things, but we'll get there when we'll get there. As long as there won't be too many idle spectators and window-shoppers, this is doable. Support from people like you really counts.

@RumoredNow,

The possibilities are nearly endless, as long as they square well with actual demand and don't take a disproportionate amount of work (or monetary investment), and if the members of our community who'll be doing the manufacturing are well compensated. It's not every day that electronics and their accessories are hand-made in the USA, so it has to be worth doing....

I just wish we could do some market research here, considering how so many are now abandoning Palm devices, and if we are looking at selling only three copies of some part, it might not even be worth doing.... 10 is good, 20 is good, but 1 or 2 is just a waste of time...


P.S. That's the straight carbon fibre here in the attachment. Beautiful, isn't it?
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Old 01/20/2013, 07:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Also... if we can get the 3D drawings, or if someone knows how to use calipers and CAD software, that will allow us to have a place like Shapeways print the stuff for pretty cheap.
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Old 01/20/2013, 07:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Print it, then have the molds made, then cast 30 copies... sounds good and doable...
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Old 01/20/2013, 08:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The other thing worth noting... I will try to bug Enda about this... We don't have to get the Mugen extended battery back. If we can get the 3D drawings for these devices, we can actually use them to create derivative items. There are a few modifications I would like to make to the Mugen extended back to accompany some other things.
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Old 01/20/2013, 08:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Print it, then have the molds made, then cast 30 copies... sounds good and doable...
Actually, thinking about it... I know that Shapeways usually puts a restriction on thickness of their printed items. So... bezels *may* be too thin. But... That is a route I would be willing to investigate, too. Basically, anything that doesn't cost me $1k+ to create a small quantity. :P

I definitely think that having molds and 3D drawings on hand would be best! Maybe we can shoot one into space for future civilizations?
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Old 01/20/2013, 10:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I am interested in pre3 bezel and back case original and extended.
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Old 01/20/2013, 10:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I am interested in pre3 bezel and back case original and extended.
Thanks for the interest. If you don't mind, please vote here: http://forums.webosnation.com/webos-...d-you-buy.html
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Old 01/20/2013, 10:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dkirker View Post
Actually, thinking about it... I know that Shapeways usually puts a restriction on thickness of their printed items. So... bezels *may* be too thin. But... That is a route I would be willing to investigate, too. Basically, anything that doesn't cost me $1k+ to create a small quantity. :P

I definitely think that having molds and 3D drawings on hand would be best! Maybe we can shoot one into space for future civilizations?
Printed bezel "slugs" can be made "solid" without the proper clips, and a two-part silicone mold can be made to compensate for having to take impressions from two different objects. But from what i can tell, for the OEM version, just making a mold off the original will work.

It might be nice though to have a non-OEM glossy style mold, which will work better with clear resin, to which we can add carbon fibre or a sheet of 0.6mm thick exotic wood veneer. Teak, or Brazilian rosewood, or the kind of wood that has little curls.... a bezel made with the unwoven cf would definitely look better if it were glossy.

I'd think 95% of what we'll sell will be OEM-style black, but i just remembered that someone's wife here wanted a Veer in red... it's like, nevemind what i say about "premium" versions, but at the same time, i'm sure someone will be asking for special order this, special order that....
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Old 01/21/2013, 12:21 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm interested, count me in.

If we ever get a completely functional onscreen keyboard, we could use this same process to make a silicone case
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Old 01/21/2013, 12:34 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm interested, count me in.

If we ever get a completely functional onscreen keyboard, we could use this same process to make a silicone case
Sounds like you're talking about the Tactus popup on-screen keys/buttons. That's a really cool proprietary technology..

Or do you mean, if there was a webOS slab phone with no moving parts, you'd want a silicone case for it?

In any case, you're counted
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Old 01/21/2013, 12:37 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Ok. So. It sounds like 3D printing with the thin cases is really not too much of a problem. If you wanted to super customize your device (but not pay $$ for it), it would probably be best to have 3D mechanical drawings, if we can make those at some point. Then you can just print from Shapeways, or even Staples (Staples announces in-store 3-D printing service - CNN.com). If you want something more durable, cleaner, etc, then the resin mold. Or, if you want something more cleaner, but not customized, then the mold.

I'm still going to try to get the 3D drawings. But, I also have the items needed for sending off to create the molds.
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Old 01/21/2013, 12:55 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Sounds like you're talking about the Tactus popup on-screen keys/buttons. That's a really cool proprietary technology..

Or do you mean, if there was a webOS slab phone with no moving parts, you'd want a silicone case for it?

In any case, you're counted
I mean: If we can ever get a completely stable on screen keyboard on the HP Pre 3, so that the slide-out keyboard is no longer necessary, I would like a silicone case for my HP Pre 3
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Old 01/21/2013, 01:01 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Ok. So. It sounds like 3D printing with the thin cases is really not too much of a problem. If you wanted to super customize your device (but not pay $$ for it), it would probably be best to have 3D mechanical drawings, if we can make those at some point. Then you can just print from Shapeways, or even Staples (Staples announces in-store 3-D printing service - CNN.com). If you want something more durable, cleaner, etc, then the resin mold. Or, if you want something more cleaner, but not customized, then the mold.

I'm still going to try to get the 3D drawings. But, I also have the items needed for sending off to create the molds.
Hey, that made me think... with clear molded resin, it would be possible to add things like cloth or printed images into the resin... customization
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Old 01/21/2013, 01:15 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Hey, that made me think... with clear molded resin, it would be possible to add things like cloth or printed images into the resin... customization
Very likely.

What I have wanted to do is create a brushed aluminium case (real metal), and create plastic pieces where the antennas are. Though... I guess when all is said and done... that is the entire back... (GSM antennas at the bottom, GPS in there, and then BT and Wifi, and TTS/TouchStone over the battery) So, maybe a good plastic back, and then aluminium bezel?
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Old 01/21/2013, 02:28 AM   #18 (permalink)
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hi guys...

on the resin stuff.. you need to make sure the following.
1) ability to take the heat-- resin is unlike plastic which can take a certain amount of heat and not warp. We all know the pre 3 GSM board / battery does release alot of heat - when in long use + when we do the docking charge. The last thing you need to worry about is warped resin.

2) Quick prototyping sites- most of the material is powder + some form of epoxy glue that is printed. So there is limitation on the thickness - as there is relevance to its strength. The prototypes using clear material is not 100% but like opaque..and you might worry about yellowing later. Secondly the detail and the granularity of the finish might be an issue. Thirdly is the cost - which is a factor of the volume of material used.

Just my thoughts as i've used resin and also those quick prototyping sites before, but it would be interesting....I am thinking if someone can design a new case which can incorporate another larger display /touchscreen and accomodate a larger battery on a slab... hmm....this would be an engineering feat
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Old 01/21/2013, 02:35 AM   #19 (permalink)
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You bring up a good point, it might be that the backs will need to have some kind of fiber reinforcement... but then cf+fiberglass(cloth)+epoxy automotive hoods can take a lot more heat from the engine than a phone battery produces, so i think with proper backing it should hold up pretty well
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Old 01/21/2013, 04:01 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Is it that what you are talking about?
Face bezel
Pre3 Display Frame slowly breaking away
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