How to make a glass mock iPhone


I’d like to make a glass cell phone, like an iPhone or Android, and use our dye sublimation abilities to print the surface.

I’d like the edges to be rounded like a real cell phone.

My intention is to make personalized gifts like this:


Do you want to make it out of glass for a specific reason?

A resin mold would probably be a lot easier.

For glass, you would probably have to figure out a way to make a slump mold shaped as you desire.


I like the feel of glass vs plastic, plus modern phones appear to have a glass exterior.

Anita informed me that glass could be ground, so maybe our Glass Works or Machine Shop has tools I could use to make the rounded edges.

I could also machine a slump mold, which I had to Google, using any of our CNC tools.


I can’t tell whether this is mold is for fused glass or pottery, but at 4”x7”x1”, it’s close


Plastic: Your resin idea is starting to grow on me because Google told me that there are very clear resins available on the cheap. For me, the “very clear” aspect trumps the not-glass feel in terms of coolness, so I’m leaning this way at the moment.

Glass: I still like discussing the idea of doing the mock phone in glass. I appreciate your slump mold idea, which I could probably make myself with the aid of DMS CNC tools. Even with the slump mold I suspect there will be some grinding to finish it up.

Either: Or maybe this is a 100% HAAS thing regardless of plastic or glass… I’ll post this to the Machine Shop forum in a day or two, unless Nick or some other Machine Shop guru jumps in and educates us.


The plus with a resin casting is that if you have an old phone you don’t mind slathering in Vaseline, you could make a two-part silicone mold, then poor in the resin. There’s a YouTube video made by a local resin stuff supplier that shows that process. Or Max may be offering another class in the near future.


I’ve also taken Max’s excellent resin mold class so I can do this!

Max is one of my favorite teachers because he is quick and to the point, Edit: unlike this post.


That’s for wet clay/slip. I’m not sure that plaster would hold up to the firing temperatures for glass (think 1200-1500F). Most glass slumping molds are clay.


Yeah – check with @nicksilva and @hon1nbo about using the Haas on glass. The lube should be enough to satisfy the need that glass has to be wet while being worked. None of the glass-working stuff is CNC. It’d probably be easier to start with a thick piece of glass. You just want the edges rounded, and that would be easier accomplished via grinding.


Don’t ask me, I’m not yet signed off on the Haas


it can be done. it requires diamond encrusted bits and a lot of patience.


That’s amazing. Now I want to try it out of curiosity.

But I’ll put this on hold until I make some progress with the generic CNC.


Just as a curiosity, how does one hold glass on something like the Haas while machining it?

EDIT: Yes, I know. “Carefully”.


If I had to guess, I’d say tape.


I would guess a vacuum table would be best


It would require some sort of poly coating to dye sub on it, and if you want white, then the poly coating would have to be white.


Great, now this is going to happen, and my first version will be an iPhone X as pictured in the original post.

I would like advice on where to get the following:

  • diamond encrusted bits
  • white poly coating for dye sublimation
  • 0.30" thick machinable glass sheet


tape could only be used if no cutting fluid was going to be used. Unfortunately this can’t be done dry. some sort of hold down would have to be used. I’m not going to give it away - it sounds like a case study for my future fixtures and hold down class. :stuck_out_tongue:




How about a two-stage custom clamp from aluminum as follows? …