Shapeways' 3D-printed Apple Watch Charging Clip keeps the clumsy power 'puck' that comes with Apple's smartwatch in place — and it costs less than a couple of large lattes.
By Al Sacco, Managing Editor, CIO
I’m always on the lookout for affordable accessories that make my favorite gadgets better, and the $10 Shapeways Apple Watch Charging Clip — a plastic, claw-like thingamajigee that secures your Watch while it powers up — fits that description like a new pair o’ skinny jeans.
Every Apple Watch owner knows the Magnetic Watch Charging Cable that comes with the device isn’t exactly a marvel of design and function. Its magnet connection to the Apple Watch rear panel is weak and it slips out of place with just a little jerk.
The “puck” on the business end of Apple’s Magnetic Charging Cable’s snaps into Shapeways’ 3D-printed clip, and it holds your Watch snugly in place while it charges.
The clip is available for both the 38mm and 42mm Watch, and it comes in nine colors. (The charging cable that comes with the cheaper, aluminum Apple Watch Sport is plastic, and all other versions come with a metallic charger, so they require different Shapeways clips.)
I got the white plastic Apple Watch Sport clip to match my charging cable. Overall, it works exactly as advertised. However, it feels somewhat fragile and that it might break if you’re not careful. It also doesn’t hold the puck in place well when it’s not nuzzling your Watch. Still, it costs just $10 (plus $4.99 shipping to U.S. addresses), and it’s worth every one of those 1,499 pennies.
Even if you already dropped a stack of cash on a fancy charging stand, such as the DODOcase Charging Stand for Apple Watch ($99.95) or a CalypsoTimeless ($149), the Shapeways clip is great for travel, when you might not want to pack up that bulky stand. With the holiday season just around the corner, it could also make a great stocking stuffer.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.