Kickstarter Campaign

The World’s Smallest 3D Printed Phone Charger

3D Printed Phone Charger

If you’re a heavy smartphone user, it’s hard to bring your device through the day with just one battery charge. Large screens and powerful processors and gaming apps are hungry for juice, so the “battery low” warning appears sooner than you expect. Therefore, most people keep their charger cables or a pre-charged powerbank in their bag.

That about to change, if this little 3D printed phone charger Kickstarter campaign comes to life.

The Nipper: World’s Smallest 3D Printed Phone Charger

Meet the founders of Nipper, the worlds smallest 3D printed phone charger (image: Kickstarter)
Meet the founders of Nipper, the worlds smallest 3D printed phone charger (image: Kickstarter)

Doug Stokes and Chris Tait, two recently graduated product design engineers from London, have launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Nipper, a tiny 3D printed charging adapter with a nifty design.

Soon, you can have a real emergency charging solution at hand for any smartphone or other devices that are charged with a micro USB port.

When idle, the Nipper is a little plastic thingy hanging from your key ring or another place you carry it.  With a strap made from either fabric or genuine leather, its 17mm x 17mm x 17mm dimensions and a weight of only 10g, it is absolutely no hassle to carry one around.

On its own, the Nipper can’t charge anything- there´s no battery built in, no means of converting solar energy or wind into usable power.

I don´t think you can design a phone charger much more minimal.
You probably can’t design a phone charger much more minimal. (image: Kickstarter)

As soon as you have two AA batteries at hand, you can open the magnet-closed 3D printed phone charger. Then you place the contacts on the corresponding magnetic surfaces of the nipper. Included into this tiny gadget is a voltage converter to make the battery 1.2 or 1.5 volts usable for your phone – it usually needs a 5 V power supply. Converting the voltage isn’t exactly using the potential of the AA batteries the best possible way, considering a lot of the performance is used up to achieve the higher voltage.

The Nipper is tiny, but nicely designed - and not for Apple iPhone yet (image: Kickstarter)
The Nipper is tiny, but nicely designed – and not for Apple iPhone yet (image: Kickstarter)

The key factor here are the AA batteries. They’re commonly available virtually anywhere in the world. If you’re in danger in the wilderness, you can still sacrifice your flashlight batteries to be able to request help. Should it be necessary, a fully charged pair of AA batteries can give you an extra 17 percent of battery life on a Galaxy S6 and 20 percenton HTC´s One M7. That’s enough for an emergency call.

That´s how the Nipper looks in use. Nothing you´d like to deal with on a daily basis.
That´s how the Nipper looks in use. Nothing you´d like to deal with on a daily basis.

The inventors of the Nipper claim it is ” the world’s smallest phone charger”. For smaller quantities, they suggest the Nipper plastic parts can be 3D printed out of nylon, but with the huge success of their campaign, they´ll have to get the plastic cases injection molded. The campaign still has 20 days to go and already is more than 50% overfunded.


Why Buy a 3D Printed Phone Charger?

The Nipper should be treated as what it is – an emergency solution. In our opinion, it seems to be a bit impractical for daily use. Not only because you may damage your USB port applying a lever like this on a regular basis, but also because you can also get a much more efficient powerbank for the 15 GBP ($24) one Nipper costs. If you only need to charge your phone spontaneously about once a year, the Nipper may be the gadget you’ve been waiting for.

You can find the Kickstarter campaign of the 3D Printed Phone Charger right here.