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Nokia To Release Lumia Case Design Files For 3D Printers 129

Posted by Soulskill
from the making-diy-easier dept.
another random user sends this news from the BBC: "Nokia is releasing design files that will let owners use 3D printers to make their own cases for its Lumia phones. Files containing mechanical drawings, case measurements and recommended materials have already been released by the phone maker. Those using the files will be able to create a custom-designed case for the flagship Lumia 820 handset. The project makes Nokia one of the first big electronics firms to seriously back 3D printing."
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Nokia To Release Lumia Case Design Files For 3D Printers

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  • Once again, William Gibson was here first.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:18AM (#42625599)

    Apple fanbois not amused.

  • Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by backslashdot (95548) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:20AM (#42625611)

    A seriously awesome move by Nokia. True innovators of the smartphone industry.

    • by alcmaeon (684971)
      Agreed, Nokia has just stolen the geek cred from Android and this is just one example of why Windows Phone 8 will eventually kill Android, if Google doesn't kill it first.
    • by c (8461)

      A seriously awesome move by Nokia. True innovators of the smartphone industry.

      It's actually kind of a cool move for a corporation to actually recognize that some people are into making their own accessories or replacement parts.

      Unfortunately for Nokia, the intersection between the kinds of people who do 3D printing of their own phone accessories and the kinds of people who buy Lumia's seems quite small.. well, compare this [thingiverse.com] to this [thingiverse.com] or this [thingiverse.com]. Maybe this announcement will help, but I have my doubts. I could Goo

      • What nexus devices have removable covers? The Nexus 7 doesn't, dunno about the others though.

        • by c (8461)

          What nexus devices have removable covers? The Nexus 7 doesn't, dunno about the others though.

          By "something similar", I was thinking device specifications and shape definitions so people could print their own perfectly-fitting cases, holsters, bumpers, docks, car mounts, wallets, etc. People already do this stuff, but having detailed specs would eliminate a lot of guess-work.

        • by Applekid (993327)

          Nexus One and Nexus S had removable back panels for the battery.

          If you're going to be awfully generous to the definition of "consumer removable cover", Nexus 7 might qualify because it's possible with a spudger or being super careful with a knife, compared to some other device's insistence on using adhesive, which may or may not soften with applied heat.

      • by phayes (202222)

        Meh, I don't see having a 3D model as being revolutionary.

        Given the poor physical adaptation of materials available for 3D printers & the fact that use of sintered metals would likely diminish the phones reception, anything you could 3D print would be less robust/functional than the original.

        OK, it may be neat, but useful?

      • "It's actually kind of a cool move for a corporation to actually recognize that some people are into making their own accessories or replacement parts."

        its a gimmick, for a company on the verge of going under.

        want something real like the ability to run 3rd party apps, or an unlocked bootloader.
        • by c (8461)

          its a gimmick,

          Yes, but a cool gimmick and one I'd like to see more companies offer.

          for a company on the verge of going under.

          No argument there.

          want something real like the ability to run 3rd party apps, or an unlocked bootloader.

          Yeah, it's not going to convince me to buy anything from Nokia either.

    • desperate move by a company with shrinking market share, in serious trouble with otherwise unselling phones.

      case design is great, but what about an unlocked bootloader or porting meego to this thing.

      Its not like you didn't spend millions developing meego.

      make a phone geeks want to actually use, then we'll worry about the case later.
  • Desperate (Score:2, Interesting)

    by paugq (443696)

    Nokia must be really desperate to try this in order to grow a community for the Lumias. Accessories such as cases are one of the most profitable businesses.

    • Re:Desperate (Score:5, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:33AM (#42625695) Homepage Journal

      Nokia must be really desperate to try this in order to grow a community for the Lumias. Accessories such as cases are one of the most profitable businesses.

      The phone manufacturers already sell relatively few of the cases for phones and the ones they do sell come at a substantial premium over everyone else's not because they are better (though they are better than most of the knockoffs, some of the knockoffs out there are great) but because they are offered in a shiny package with the manufacturer's name on it. So they get a little goodwill for free (they own the design and they've already paid for it) and they also ensure that more of the knockoff cases for their phone will be decent, which will help improve the perception of their phone in the hands of the masses.

    • by gbjbaanb (229885)

      na, they say that the market for 3D printing will be driven by items that are uneconomical to manufacture due to small print runs.. and the Lumia phone is certainly the ideal target for that :)

  • Nokia SUCKS! (sometimes I am known to say the exact opposite of what I mean)

    • Nokia SUCKS! (sometimes I am known to say the exact opposite of what I mean)

      I understand. You meant to say "Nokia BLOWS!"

  • by Elite Override (2602939) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:39AM (#42625735)
    I'd rather say the 920 is their flagship, having better features and all that.
    • by tehlinux (896034)

      But only available on one carrier (in the US).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I'll probably get downvoted for this, but the US is not the only country in the world. If its the flagship everywhere else, we should consider it THE flagship. I'm curious, does the carrier exclusivity expire in the US? Or will the 920 only ever be available from one carrier? This kind of practice has always seemed to me like it should be illegal...or severely limited.
  • by Guano_Jim (157555) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:49AM (#42625833)

    Thingiverse recently updated its service to include a "Customizer" app, where users could drop in a bunch of OpenSCAD code and get a customized version of any object already on Thingiverse. The 3D model, anyway. You'd need a 3d printer or a Shapeways account to actually get the physical object.

    Within minutes Thingiverse's new "thing" stream was flooded with uncountable variations of iPhone cases.

  • by Jason Earl (1894) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:53AM (#42625863) Homepage Journal

    Nokia has sold so few Lumias that the market size for people with 3D printers seems big.

    • Because, you know, 2 Million of the devices isn't a lot.
    • Then again, the market cap of people with 3D printers is a different story.

      Just imagine what you could do with a patterned back shell and a very accurate accelerometer!

  • Hurray (Score:1, Funny)

    by snapthemag (2818691)
    ...So the 5 people who still own Nokias will be able to print their own phone cases? Brilliant!
  • by ssam (2723487) on Friday January 18, 2013 @11:10AM (#42626003)

    Openmoko opened the CAD models of their case (ok, not the coolest case in the world :-) ). People have also modified the design for 3d printing http://blog.slyon.de/3d-printed-gta04-case/ [slyon.de] . There is also a wooden case https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_jRI7InTpE [youtube.com]

  • I would wager that most people using Win Phone 8 are ordinary consumers and maybe a few corporate types, neither of which seems like the kind likely to print their own phone case. They would likely buy one at the cell phone store or from Amazon, et al.

    The people with the know-how and access to the equipment don't seem like the kinds of people who own a Windows phone, and even if they did and wanted a custom case, they are also skilled enough or have access to the equipment to come up with their own designs

    • by bazorg (911295) on Friday January 18, 2013 @11:54AM (#42626407) Homepage

      There's a shop I walk past everyday where I could go and print something in 3D , a phone case would be perfectly harmless thing and cheap enough to just to try it out. At some point I imagine there will be more printers, both at home and in shops.

      • by swb (14022)

        That makes perfect sense for a reasonable chunk of Android and even some iPhone users, but the userbase for Windows Mobile 8 phones is really small, and I doubt the people with the technical sophistication to download a model and print it at even a walk-in 3D place are Windows Mobile 8 users.

        Sure, there are some die-hard Windows devs or people with a lot of money who might do this, but it's a vanishingly small group of people.

        • by 21mhz (443080)

          That makes perfect sense for a reasonable chunk of Android and even some iPhone users, but the userbase for Windows Mobile 8 phones is really small, and I doubt the people with the technical sophistication to download a model and print it at even a walk-in 3D place are Windows Mobile 8 users.

          True, we all breathe through our mouths and haven't been known to download stuff off the intarwebs.

      • by richlv (778496)

        ahhh, i imagine printcrime ;)
        (search for it if you haven't read it)

  • by Tanuki64 (989726)

    Even if I had a 3D printer. The cases of most phones are good enough for me. I have not modded my pc either.

    But Nokia, want to do something really revolutionary? Give users the power to install their own systems. Lumia with android? Lumia with maemo? Meego? I would buy it at once. Lumia with Windoze? Keep it. Don't want it even for free.

  • by fermion (181285) on Friday January 18, 2013 @12:21PM (#42626621) Homepage Journal
    Just wanted to mention that while this is interesting, make custom cases for anything is not that difficult. All that is requires is a good caliper, and the ability to use it, as well as a copy of Autodesk Inventor, Solidworks, and the like. These programs can acquired for low cost of free through student licensing. There is a learning curve, but if someone wanted to do this, it is not a big deal. Basic reverse engineering. We don't have to wait for the company to release the drawing.

    Shapeways, which is the 3D printing company i have heard mentioned, seems to accept native SolidWorks and Inventor files. For this phone, I estimated the volume based on listed dimensions and estimated that it would cost about $60 to print. I think if you had you own printer it would costs less than $20 in materials. Some places seem to charge based on material and time in printing. That is the thing with 3D printers. They are slow the way inkjet printers were when they first came out. I recall printing a small chess piece when I had access to one and it took a few hours.

    One nice thing about using a service is that they presumable will clean up the object prior to shipping. Sometimes the object does not come out of the printer in usable form, and there can be some loss in the clean up process.

  • Sadness (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Patch86 (1465427)

    Articles like this make me sad. They remind me that Nokia is still that great, innovative company that they've always been, knocking out great hardware and accomodating every niche.

    And yet they insist on loading their devices with the still-born Windows Phone.

    What an utter waste of a great company.

  • I've always liked Nokia. Just bought the wife a Nokia X2, which is apparently a good seller in areas of the world where they cannot afford hand held computers and need suffice, therefore, with phones. I need a keyboard on my phone, and paid full price for the BB 9900. I love the phone, because of the keyboard--I don't use any apps outside of the browser (opera) and email client--and find navigating the user interface better than I did when I tried out Android on the Nexus S I got this phone to replace. Wel
  • Does anybody know where the website is to download the CAD/CAM files? Also, do they offer the Lumina 800 so it can work on my MeeGo N9?

  • I've been dying to get a 3D printer for quite a while. Maybe this will be the final push I needed. I just wish they would release the designs for the 920.
  • by GPS Pilot (3683) on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:50PM (#42627665)

    Could somebody who actually knows something about 3D printing comment on the suitability of this material for a phone case? How rigid and/or brittle is the material that comes out of a 3D printer? Is it actually going to offer substantial protection to a phone? Is it durable; will it become scratched, warped, or discolored sooner than more conventional materials?

    • by txoof (553270)

      Meh. ABS is an alright material and it's pretty tough. It's not unlike the stuff cafeteria trays are made out of. A 3D extruded-noodle case will never be as tough as a case made through injection molding due to the inherent sheer weakness between the fused layers. That being said, in my very unscientific and shoddy testing with vice grips, shop scissors and hammers applied to borked pieces, 3D prints are pretty tough to break. A rectangle of say 50x50x5 mm printed with an infill of 50% is surprisingly

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