Although hobbyists and entrepreneurs use 3D printing for prototyping and manufacturing, the newly affordable printers are still in the early stages of going truly mainstream. Now, Nokia has announced a new initiative that looks to cater to those smartphone owners who are truly on the cutting-edge by offering a 3D printing option.
The smartphone maker has announced that it will allow consumers to create customized 3D printed cases for its Lumia 820 handset. Nokia's new program will offer a 3D-printing Development Kit including detailed mechanical drawings of the smartphone's back shell for 3D printing. According to Nokia, this is the first time a smartphone company has offering such a 3D printing customization option.
Nokia already uses 3D printing to do internal rapid prototyping, thus making this an easy option in terms of further engaging its more tech savvy users. In an statement released via the company website, Nokia's John Kneeland said, "In the future, I envision wildly more modular and customizable phones... 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!"
You can download Nokia's 3D printing Development Kit here.