I would probably imagine you’ve never heard of InCase before unless you own one of their mobile phone accessories.  The reason why I’m bringing them up is because we have yet another example of a company adopting exponential technology within their practice.  In my previous post I spoke about adidas and the use of 3d printing to create a next generation sneaker called Futurecraft 4D.  Now we’re seeing the same disruption trend within consumer mobile accessories.


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Exponential Tech + Programmable Material + Good Design = 10x Advantage

That’s the formula for a new collection of Incase mobile accessories.  The Innovation comes from a new manufacturing process called Digital Light Synthesis.  It stems from biologically inspired growth processes that originate from natural light and reactive resin materials found in the natural world. So what are the specifics to the innovations? 

Key innovative aspects of this partnership include:

  • Technology: A breakthrough printing process using both light and oxygen to generate high-quality production parts, Carbon’s robust M2 printer and proprietary Digital Light Synthesis™ (DLS) technology enables the creation of complex latticing structures, newly introduced to the mobile protection In contrast to the properties used in traditional injection molding, the intricate lattice structures generated with DLS are engineered to offer unparalleled performance with the generation of lightweight, durable elastomeric materials, which enables Incase to provide stronger elastomer protection solutions to customers.

  • Materials: Partnering with Carbon, Incase will utilize the widest range of programmable properties in additive manufacturing to create custom materials built for durability and impact-absorption – materials not found in mobile device protection today. This allows Incase and Carbon design teams to take an entirely different approach to innovating protection by designing unique, complex structures built from the ground-up using UV-curable polyurethane resin. With these materials, elaborate structures can be configured and intentionally engineered to create a semi-rigid structure and material composition to achieve unprecedented impact and drop protection.

  • Design: Carbon’s algorithmic design and simulation software inform and drive Incase’s end-to-end design process in delivering greater device protection. Using Carbon’s intelligent software, designers can engineer high-performance lattices in calculated shapes optimized to absorb the maximum amount of impact in the lightest frame achievable. These capabilities also offer the ability to design, test, and adjust structures rapidly – with far more iterations than current development allows – to deliver deliberately protective solutions for devices.

“We are unlocking a new era in design and manufacturing, enabling designers and engineers to create previously impossible products and open up entirely new business models,” said Phil DeSimone, Vice President of Business Development and Co-founder, Carbon.

As you can see from the video it’s quite clear that the concept of less material and stronger performance is biological in origin.  If you’re a fan of biomimicry much of these design methods stem from that concept of ecosystems.  Not to mention that the CEO is a biologist from Academia. Clearly bio-inspired objects have a unique look and aesthetic that screams cutting edge but the fact that product innovation is now stepping into a new era is evident.  I think it’s a smart move for Incase and gives all of us a glimpse at the new age of manufacturing for the 21st century. Now where can I buy one?