FINNISH PHONE FIRM Nokia has posted 3D printing data that can enable Lumia 820 smartphone owners to fabricate their own cases.
The company said that it will share a series of documents including 3D blueprints and specifications that will allow users to create cases for the handset with 3D printers. The collection will also include material lists and recommendations for best practices.
In announcing the move, Nokia community and developer marketing manager John Kneeland said that the company is looking to build on what it sees as a history of letting users customise their mobile phones
"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," Kneeland said.
"I view this as the spiritual successor to the great granddaddy of customizable phones, the Nokia 5110 and its rainbow collection of removable faceplates."
Kneeland went on to say that the 3D cases could be the first move in a progression by Nokia to make its handsets more customisable. Kneeland outlined a future in which the company could build and distribute prototype phones which could then be customised by smaller vendors and sold as specialised handsets.
Once considered an experimental technology, 3D printing has moved into the mainstream conversation in recent years. Late last year the market became sophisticated enough to warrant legal scrutiny, while an unlikely set of backers including US radio personality Glenn Beck have championed the field. µ