Nokia Releases 3D Printing Kit For Anyone To Print Their Own Phone Cases

from the smart-move dept

While Nokia has quickly become an afterthought in the high-end phone world after being such a dominant player for so long, it’s been trying to make a comeback lately. My friend Tom recently sent over an interesting move that Nokia made: releasing its own 3D printing kit for anyone who wants to print cases for their flagship Lumia 820, that goes beyond merely the printing templates:

…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.

It’s still very early in the whole 3D printing world, so this may seem rather simple, but it’s neat to see companies starting to figure out how to make use of these kinds of new technologies in a positive way, rather than ignoring them or (worse) actively fighting them. In fact, it’s clear that Nokia is thinking beyond just this:

In the future, I envision wildly more modular and customizable phones. 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!

Again, small steps, but it’s through these kinds of learning experiences that we often see something bigger emerge.

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Companies: nokia

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Comments on “Nokia Releases 3D Printing Kit For Anyone To Print Their Own Phone Cases”

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Wow...

“A fairly large company not fighting the future.”

Correction: a fairly large company that’s been on a downward trajectory and needs to make up ground against its competitors. Such companies tend to be less protectionist than those currently in the lead.

It will be more interesting to see how they react in the future once they start making up lost marketshare (if that happens) than how they react now, but kudos for them for doing this now.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Even cooler

This story is a couple of days old, but I just saw it today.

Robohand: How cheap 3D printers built a replacement hand for a five-year old boy | Ars Technica: “Now, those two men?Ivan Owen in Bellingham, Washington and Richard Van As in South Africa?have published the design for Robohand, the mechanical hand prosthesis, on MakerBot’s Thingiverse site as a digital file that can be used to produce its parts in a 3D printer. They’ve intentionally made the design public domain in the hopes that others around the world who don’t have access to expensive commercial prosthetics (which can cost tens of thousands of dollars) can benefit from it.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Dear Nokia,

I remember you great times, you want them back, please, develop the following:

– Sensors. Cellphones today are full blown computers, develop lego like sensors that attach to a phone and that will sell. Infrared transceivers, infrared cameras, microscopes, pressure, luminance and anything else that can possibly be use in an USB or any other standard port.

– After the sensors you develop an easy to build app with a database.

Here is the case for it.

Mary likes to cook and she likes to get and give recipes she uses her cellphone to retrieve recipes from her own database in her home and sync with recipes that she took from others using other phones, she also in that database have a lot of videos that she can start streaming when she wants to and show how to prepare those recipes.

Mary also gets CT scans from here doctor and stores them in the cellphone until she syncs that with her own database in her home computer.

She talks about a great movie she rented which she can show it to the doctor on the spot or a music clip.

To make that happen NoSQL databases, HTML, CSS and Javascript are the bare minimum to make it happen, right now nobody has something like that.

Cellphones can be used as mobile sensors and they need a database to be useful but that database must be easy to create and share.

Thus investing in software development in that area seems obvious.

Make it useful and easy to use and people will come, that is what Apple did.

Dojo, NodeJS, MongoDB, CouchDB and others things may become the norm, if they had an easier interface, they are already easy to use, is just that they are not yet easy for Mary, what is lacking is a GUI that glues everything together in a transparent way, the tech is all there except for the sensors.

Everybody owns a tricorder today they just don’t know it yet.

The nice thing about the Nokia move is that they are starting to understand how powerful it is to become a platform.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Techdirt Templates

OK, I just checked the Insider Shop and I did not find a template for:
Mike Masnick
Tim Cushing
Glyn Moody
Leigh Beadon
Timothy Geigner
styled bobble head dolls.
For a group that claims to be “more awesome” and “connecting with fans” I would think they would be on the cusp.
(Including infamous characters from the current stream of infamous characters would not be inappropriate)
The Techdirt Bobble Head Production Kit should be forthcoming, cause Techdirt is more awesome.

Beech says:

Re: Re:

Well, if they decide to, it will be after it gains momentum. Wait til a handful of early adopters have it, let them show their friends how great it is. Then have them print their own case and show THAT off to their friends. If it becomes something so awesome the friends MUST print their own cases to be cool, that’s when the paywall will rise.

Beech says:

“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!


That..that sounds so awesome. I want my phone case to be a swiss army knife. Fold out knife, bottle opener, cork screw, and 8 other attachments that I don’t know what they are.

DannyB (profile) says:

Danger to the global economy

Hey, Mr. Average Out of the Joe, let me submit a first draft plea for you to improve upon. (CC licensed, of course.)

This must be stopped! Someone needs to pass a law or do something. If this isn’t nipped in the bud then before you know it people will be 3D printing their own useful stuff faster than other people are able to patent, copyright and trademark the objects being printed.

There is a lot of hard work ahead.

It will take a great deal of effort to get patents on every possible object where the patent is of the form:

“A patent on a method of printing a 3D realization of ${X}.”

where ${X} is any already existing 3D object, such as a cell phone case. Or keychain fob. Or pet whistle. Or anything else useful, artistic, creative or just plain desirable.

It will take a lot of additional effort to secure copyrights on every possible variation of 3D objects that people will want to print. Our legislators could help by expanding copyright to include non-specific variations of things already eligible for copyright. For instance, a variation of my song should be a copyright infringement. Taken to its logical and sensible conclusion, any variation should be infringing even if every note, chord and lyric is different. After all, it’s just a matter of degree of how much changing has been done to transform A into B.

Much help is needed. Nothing less than the global economy is at stake. Having non licensed things being freely 3D printed will represent an incalculable loss. Please help us to save the economy and make the world safe from unauthorized 3D printing. Thank you.

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