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Nokia Releases 3D Printing Development Kit For Nokia Lumia 820 Shells

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Nokia says 3D printing could result in more modular smartphone designs

Nokia has released a 3D printing development kit (3DK) that lets users create customised shells for its Nokia Lumia 820 smartphone.

A number of official Nokia shells are currently available in different colours and some add wireless changing capabilities to the device, but Nokia wants the development community to come up with its own designs – perhaps using glow-in-the-dark or waterprrof materials.

The kit comprises 3D templates, case specs, recommended materials and best practices, meaning that anyone versed in 3D printing has everything necessary to print their custom case.

3D printing potential

“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,” said John Kneeland, a Nokia Community & Developer Marketing Manager.

Kneeland said that while developers have always been able to create software for Nokia devices, it has been difficult to create hardware due to the mass manufacturing processes and major amounts of capital required. He said that although 3D printing is relatively primitive and that it is currently only possible to create cases from one or two materials, its “potential is amazing.”

“Once in a while there comes along a technology that has the potential to utterly transform our lives,” said Nokia in a blog post. “The internet did it and so did mobile phones. Now, it looks like 3D printing could join this exclusive list.”

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