Sunday, January 21, 2018

My Custom iPhone 6 cover modification

I had a case for my iPhone 6 that I really liked.  It took me a long time to find just the right case and I grew attached to it.  So when I upgraded to the iPhone 8, I was disappointed to see that the new design was going to force me to buy a new cover.

The problem lies in the design of the camera in the iPhone 8.  The hole required in the cover is substantially larger if you want to actually use the autofocus, light, flash, etc.  If you have the same problem, this may be helpful information.  

Not being one to simply "accept the things I cannot change", I started investigating options.

  1. Does the manufacturer have the same case in an iPhone 8 version that will work for me? (No)
  2. Can I live with just removing the cover everytime I want to take photos? (No)
  3. Can I modify the cover to allow for the new design? (Well heck yeah!)

So off to the workshop we go. As you can see from the photo above, the existing hole is not large enough for the new camera design and it is in the wrong place.  I started by marking out the actual hole that was needed.

Next, it was a matter of cutting out the hole and trying to make it look as good as possible. I used a standard Dremel tool with a cutting bit and did it free-hand.  I probably could have made the job easier by taping around the cut lines and using a drill press stand, but hindsight is 20/20 as they say.

If your cover has a protective plastic coating, you will likely have to use a sharp utility knife to trim the edges of the hole where the plastic film has hardened and collected.  Follow that with a cleanup with a fine grinder bit and clean the whole thing with isopropanol as a final touch.

And there you go. A salvaged iPhone 6 case that now works on an iPhone 8.

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