Nokia embraces 3D printing technology, releases Lumia 820 cover templates

Nokia has released a 3D printing template for its Windows Phone 8-based Lumia 820 smartphones in a bid to woo the growing community of 3D printer owners.

In a blog post, Nokia community and developer marketing manager John Kneeland says the mobile phone giant is the first company in the sector to embrace the technology.

“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,” Kneeland says.

“In doing this, Nokia has become the first major phone company to begin embracing the 3D printing community and its incredible potential, and continue to be the leading phone company in this exciting field.”

Aside from releasing cover templates, Kneeland revealed 3D printing has also become a core part of Nokia’s product development process.

“Internally it helps us with rapid prototyping as we, to borrow [Nokia chief executive] Stephen Elop’s words, ‘increase the clock speed of Nokia’. In the future, I envision wildly more modular and customizable phones,” he says.

The company is also examining whether the technology could be used to allow consumers to customise their phones in the future.

“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!”

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