News: mobile phone maker Nokia has released open-source files that will let Lumia 820 smartphone users 3D print their own customised case.
John Kneeland, community and developing marketing manager at Nokia, explained the move in a blog post: "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," he wrote. "In doing this, Nokia has become the first major phone company to begin embracing the 3D printing community and its incredible potential."
"In the future, I envision wildly more modular and customisable phones," he continued. "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's move adds to a growing database of 3D templates available to ordinary users from websites like Thingiverse, run by 3D printer manufacturer MakerBot, which provides digital designs for a variety of everyday objects such as toys and jewellery.
Dezeen has been following the rise of 3D printing with reports on 3D-printed electronic devices that use a new type of plastic to conduct electricity and the introduction of 3D printing on the frontline in Afghanistan.