The device has a removable shell, with Nokia selling various replacement shells in different colours, or with features like ruggedised protection and wireless charging.
“But in addition to that, 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,” explains Nokia’s John Kneeland in a blog post.
Nokia has made this 3D-printing development kid (or 3DK as the company describes it) available to download.
“In doing this, Nokia has become the first major phone company to begin embracing the 3D printing community and its incredible potential,” says Kneeland. “I view this as the spiritual successor to the great granddaddy of customizable phones, the Nokia 5110 and its rainbow collection of removable faceplates.”
He’s clearly a fan of 3D printing, while accepting that it’s early days for the new technology.
“When I first saw 3D printing in action, I felt how I imagine people felt when they saw the very first steam engines. The earliest examples of steam engines were incredibly expensive, finicky, and quite limited in what they could actually do,” writes Kneeland.
“But in those unwieldy contraptions, some saw the potential to change everything. Every great invention starts out as but a faint shadow of what it will become… My own view is that the hype is justified, and that 3D printing is indeed A Very Big Deal. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to call it the sequel to the Industrial Revolution.”