Perhaps a sign that 3D printing
technology is edging ever further into the mainstream is that a company like Nokia
is using it in a PR stunt. In this case, pun intended, Nokia is releasing 3D templates, case specifications, and handy best practices so that people can print their own Nokia Lumia
The phone’s shell can actually be removed and replaced with others that are ruggedized, or have wireless charging capabilities built in, or what have you, but Nokia has decided that letting users print their own custom shells is a good way to engage its community of users.
For users (with access to a 3D printer), this is nerd-tastic news. For Nokia, it’s also a way to quickly prototype new ideas via crowdsourcing, and the company seems to have a vision for customizable phones. In a Nokia-on-Nokia interview, John Kneeland, a Nokia Community and Developer Marketing Manager, teased some future-looking plans:
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!
Nokia already has multiple links up
for its 3D printing development kit, which it calls the 3DK. Hit up the links and have at it.