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Nokia releases Lumia 820 shell CAD files for DIY 3D printing

Nokia has released the CAD files necessary for people to print their own customized Lumia 820 shell using 3D printers.  The seemingly struggling Finnish handset maker is clinging onto what little smartphone market share it has, so perhaps by allowing customers (those with personal 3D printers) to design and create their own Lumia 820 shell may help Nokia get some attention.

According to the announcement, people will have access to the 3D templates, case specs, recommended materials and best practices.  “Everything someone versed in 3D printing needs to print their own custom Lumia 820 case,” says marketing manager John Kneeland.  “We refer to these files and documents collectively as a 3D-printing Development Kit, or 3DK for short.”  The files will be available in three versions of rendering: 2 in STL, and 1 in STP.

Not skimping on the details, Nokia has also launched a Wiki with material and software suggestions, which offer consumers DIY projects that range from built-in SIM card holders to bike mounts.

“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,” Kneeland added.

Nokia is in the process of rebuilding its brand, and the emerging 3D printing market is something that it can use to leverage more publicity.  The days of Nokia tooting its horn about it being the best handset maker is long gone, so maybe addressing the “customizability” aspect of its products is a good bet to help it regain some much needed user-base.

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