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Brief Published: 24 Jan 2013

Nokia Plans 3D-Printed Cases


Nokia customers who wish to modify their phones can already buy removable shells in various colours and materials for the Lumia 820. But in future, they will be able to create their own bespoke cases by becoming part of a “3D printing community project”. 

In an interview on the Finnish brand’s official blog, John Kneeland, Nokia community and developer marketing manager, announced plans to release a 3D printing development kit. It would contain 3D templates, case specifications and recommended materials – everything you’d need to print a custom Lumia case. By taking this step, Nokia could become the first global phone company to branch into 3D printing. 

Kneeland envisions 3D printing leading to “more modular and customisable phones” in the future, with the ability to adapt the needs for each customer. He suggests modifications could range from waterproof or glow-in-the-dark materials to solar-powered chargers or integrated bottle openers. Kneeland sees this move as the “spiritual successor” of the original Nokia phones with removable covers, such as the 5110, which launched 15 years ago. 

For more coverage on innovations in consumer electronics, see the Stylus Consumer Electronics Show report. For more industrial design inspiration, see the 2014 Industrial Design Industry Trend, Transient.