Don’t feel like running out to the store to buy a new cover for your smartphone? If you’re a Nokia Lumia user, you can print a brand-new hard shell case in your own home — if you’re willing to drop more than $2,000 on a 3D printer, that is.
On Monday, Nokia and MakerBot announced the official launch of their 3D-printing development kit for MakerBot’s Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer.
The kit doesn’t provide the template and case specs for all of Nokia’s recently launched Windows Phone 8 handsets — not even its flagship AT&T exclusive Lumia 920. Only those using the Lumia 820 or 520 will be able to print custom cases using MakerBot’s 3D printer.
However, this announcement doesn’t come as a complete surprise. Back in January, Nokia revealed that this 3D development kit would be available for Lumia 820 owners, but did not mention that the same technology would hit Lumia 520 users until today.
Both Nokia and MakerBot will demonstrate this technology during this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
“Nokia provided the Lumia 820 specs, and MakerBot optimized them for printing the case on a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer,” MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis said in a press statement on Monday. “It’s a really cool shell that fits great.”
Lumia 820 and 520 owners can print cases in any color they wish, as long as it’s available in the PLA plastic material compatible with the 3D printer. Nokia is the first company that has partnered with MakerBot to release 3D templates for its hardware that can be printed on a 3D printer.
“Nokia’s design DNA is all about self-expression so getting involved in this community project is a natural extension of that philosophy,” John Kneeland, Nokia Community & Developer Marketing Manager, said in Monday’s statement. “3D printing is in an exciting development phase and we’re keen to help people explore this new technology.”
Users can grab Nokia’s 3D printing files from MakerBot’s Thingverse.com, and these files will also be optimized for customization through Makerbot’s Thingverse Customizer.