Nokia Releases Files for 3-D Printing Your Own Phone Case

by MIKE SENESE,  |  published on January 21, 2013

Nokia has opened its arms to 3-D printing with the release of printable design files and instructions for making your own Nokia phone case — and customizing it however you wish.

The mobile phone giant announced the new endeavor today, which gives Creative Commons-licensed access to the printable files for the Lumia 820′s shell. It’s the largest affirmation of 3-D printing by a major corporation thus far, bringing the world of on-demand product generation and customization one step closer to the desktops of consumers worldwide. That is, to the desktops of those who have printers so far.

In Nokia’s Conversations blog, community and development marketing manager John Kneeland discusses the launch of the project. “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 explains. “We refer to these files and documents collectively as a 3D-printing Development Kit, or 3DK for short.”

The files, in standard 3-D printer formats, are available on the site in three versions of the rendering: two STL options and one in STP. The company also launched a 3-D printing Wiki with material and software suggestions, and possible projects that consumers could design into these CAD files, such as built-in SIM card holders and bike mounts.

There may be more to come from Nokia in this space as well. “In the future, I envision wildly more modular and customizable phones,” Kneeland says. “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.”

While the printing community has large libraries of user-generated, printable files hosted on sites like Shapeways and Thingiverse, there has been little corporate involvement in the arena.

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