Sculpteo is offering 3D printed iPhone adapters for older iPhone docks so that you can use the new Lightning iPhone 5 and iPod connector.
The French 3D printing company will print you an iPhone 5 Dock Adapter for $17, but you will still need to buy the Lightning to dock adapter from Apple. Using this adapter your older Bose, Sony and JBL docks will connect to the new iPhone.
3D printing is ideal for a niche product like this, where replacement parts can be created when a manufacturer changes standards or ends production of an accessory.
“This story and this adapter is opening a new field of 3D printed spare parts for a lot of different devices. Battery covers, clips, docks, handles … a lot of things can be lost, or become unusable because some other device changed or has been updated,” said Sculpteo founder Clement Moreau. “We really see 3D Printing here as a way to work smoothly in a moving environment, where big companies have really good reasons to change standards from time to time.”
There’s not going to be a huge demand for a product like this and Sculpteo will provide similar niche products on a “print-on-demand” service which negates the need for full factory production of 1,000′s of units.