Nokia Becomes the First Major Manufacturer to Release 3D Printable Files for Their Product

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Nokia has become the first major manufacturer to release 3D files so anyone can download and 3D print parts for their own phone.

download nokia case for 3D print

Nokia have made the rear shell for the Nokia Lumia 820 available to download from their developer site as an STL that can be uploaded and 3D printed by Shapeways or a STEP file that can be opened and parametrically modified by a variety of CAD software such as Solidworks and Inventor.

The Nokia Lumia 820 has a simple clip-on interchangeable back which makes it possible for people to change the color of their phone.  By releasing the CAD file, people can now download and modify the basic design to add any feature they like, be it a functional like a folding stand, bike mount, cable wrap, or something cosmetic like branding, images or patterns.

What makes this really important is that a major manufacturer is making it possible for their customers to add value to their products without any cost to the manufacturer.

We have seen the seeds of this when Teenage Engineering made accessories for their synthesizer available for download and 3D print, but this is the first time one of the big guys has come to the world of 3D printing.

One thing to note is that the 3D file is quite fine, and will not suit all forms of 3D printing. We have uploaded the part to Shapeways and made it available for download. We are also doing some test prints at Shapeways this weekend to ensure printability in Nylon (WSF), but we do not recommend 3D printing components such as this in Acrylic as it may be too brittle and Nokia recommend no steel, ceramic or sandstone parts.

The file may also be challenging for Desktop FDM machines as the wall thickness and direction of the stresses may make this a fragile part.

This is a fantastic first move by Nokia, we asked who would be the first manufacturer to make the move to 3D printing in a previous blog post. Nokia get the prize for being the innovator, now let’s see who follows in their path and if they can raise the bar. 

Please read Nokia’s terms and conditions, and sharing protocol

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  1. Randall "texrat" Arnold

    This has been an exciting project for those involved, and I’m so glad to finally see it published! And this is just the beginning!

    1. Henrik Rydberg

      Randall: Are you behind this effort? Cool stuff!

    2. Randall "texrat" Arnold

      Henrik, I tweeted a suggestion to Nokia last year, and have acted as a consultant, but John Kneeland did the real work.

    3. Henrik Rydberg

      You’re a living proof how a loyal believer can guide even the biggest ships to fresh waters. This is plain inspiring to hear. *clap clap clap* to John and you.

    4. John Kneeland

      Thanks Henrik and Randall! I never would have set about pushing big Nokia to get this done were it not for Randall’s one fateful (and inspirational!) tweet in the first place. πŸ™‚

    5. Duann

      Really. I would love some info???

  2. Randall "texrat" Arnold

    Oh, one quibble: that’s Lumia, not Lumina. πŸ˜‰

    1. Anonymous

      cool, can I customize this?

  3. Piers

    Thanks duann πŸ˜€
    all that time wasted registering on the nokia developer website just to find you leaving a comment saying the model is available on shapeways. πŸ˜‰

    Agreed this is a great step forward.

    1. Duann

      My pleasure,

      It looks as though the buttons are currently too thin to print at 0.3mm but the rest has been printed, should have some photos tomorrow.

    2. Piers

      Yeh i noticed that too…
      … also it might be important to mention that the models are distributed under a ‘non-commercial licence’.

  4. Marcus

    Duann, how did the test turn out? Curious to see your results, especially after i.materialise’s post yesterday.

  5. Jukka Eklund

    Hi, I tried to order a printed cover from you but it didn’t go through? (Could not print).

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