Obscure Object of Desire?: iStab Phone Case


The iStab is the mashup lovechild of 3D-printing plans for an iPhone cover and a small folding knife.

3D printing is going to revolutionize manufacturing. Cody Wilson’s liberator pistol grabs headlines, because hoplophobes fear that which they do not understand. But other than providing a philosophical test case for libertarianism (and striking fear in totalitarian regimes around the globe), they are not going to have much if any impact in the United States where you can get a better firearm for a lesser investment. 

It is in the realms of medicine, logistics, and consumer products where 3D printing is going to have the greatest impact. At the present time, most consumer-grade 3D printing is used to make tchotchkes. Like the iStab.

From ThinBlueFlorida.com

“The iStab is a great way to keep a cutting implement on hand at all times. This can be used as a weapon for self-defense for the next time you’re in a knife-fight like Michael Jackson in Beat It, or harmlessly used for everyday actions like opening packaging or cutting items to size. Forget highly-contentious 3D printed firearms and flimsy iPhone knuckle dusters, the iStab has you covered for all your cutting needs.”

Combining existing plans for a folding knife and an iPhone case, the design was created by Instructables member Mike Warren. The blade is from a dollar store paring knife, and the rest is created by the printer.

I am not sure how useful this would be, the the setup looks a bit awkward and flimsy to me. But I like any time people are pushing boundaries. Someday there might be an practical knife/phone case combination. Personally, I would rather see a removable knife of higher quality that could be stored on or in the case.

Until then I will make do with my waterproof Otter Armor. It is burly as heck and I love it. But if you tried to add a knife to it, it wouldn’t even fit in your pocket.

If you have access to a 3D printer and want to make an iStab for yourself, you can find the plans HERE.

*h/t to NavyRetGold for tossing this my way.  Thanks! -HCA




  1. Matt in FL says:

    More like “From the deepest depths of uselessness.” 3d printing is a maturing technology, to be sure, but it ain’t there yet.

  2. dph says:

    Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

  3. Cliff says:

    Just be sure to fold it before taking a call.

  4. Roger says:

    I’m working on a design now that uses a detachable fixed blade knife set up for the case. But it’s feels too bulky in the pocket.

  5. SigGuy says:


  6. Tom in Oregon says:

    Geez. I totally snorted at the headline.
    IStab. Oh geez.

  7. My cousin-in-law has a 3D printer and is going to make me one to test. I will keep you posted.

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Obscure Object of Desire?: iStab Phone Case

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