Nokia wants you to 3D print your own smartphone cases

18 Jan, 2013

Did 3D printing enter the mainstream today? Nokia just released what it a so called ’3D-printing Development Kit’, or 3DK, which allows users to print their own back shells for their Lumia 820 phones.

Here’s what Nokia’s John Kneeland said on the Nokia ‘Conversations’ blog:

Our Lumia 820 has a removable shell that users can replace with Nokia-made shells in different colors, special ruggedized shells with extra shock and dust protection, and shells that add wireless charging capabilities found in the high-end Lumia 920 to the mid-range 820.

Those are fantastic cases, and a great option for the vast majority of Nokia’s Lumia 820 customers.

But in addition to that, we are going to release 3D templates, case specs, recommended materials and best practices—everything someone versed in 3D printing needs to print their own custom Lumia 820 case. We refer to these files and documents collectively as a 3D-printing Development Kit, or 3DK for short.

The kits can be found herehere and here.

According to John Kneeland, 3D printing is already heavily used by Nokia internally to churn out prototypes rapidly.

But in the future, he hopes that 3D printing of Nokia stuff might become something very much like a hardware “app” business.

In the future, I envision wildly more modular and customizable phones. Perhaps in addition to our own beautifully-designed phones, we could sell some kind of phone template, and entrepreneurs the world over could build a local business on building phones precisely tailored to the needs of his or her local community.

You want a waterproof, glow-in-the-dark phone with a bottle-opener and a solar charger? Someone can build it for you—or you can print it yourself!

via GigaOm via Nokia


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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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