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Motorola to Use 3D Printing for Customizable Cellphones

3D Systems announced today (Nov. 22) that it's partnering with Motorola to provide the 3D printing platform to make the cellphone casing and modules for Project Ara. The goal of Ara is to create an open-source hardware suite where the user can build a cellphone with the chips and features they want, such as including an accelerometer or not, a bigger or smaller screen, etc. Third parties will also be creating Ara modules that can be integrated into the customized phones.

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3D Systems will be the exclusive partner with Motorola for Project Ara, including printing out conductive materials that work with cellphone chips and antennas. The company has said it will have to expand its operations to meet the features and speed that the project requires.

3D Systems is one of the companies at the center of the 3D Printing market. The company manufactures the Cube 3D printers, the Sense 3D scanner and owns the Cubify 3D-printing online community and storefront (a competitor to other marketplaces such as Shapeways). Motorola is a veteran cellphone manufacturer, acquired by Google in 2012, that produces Android phones.

Source: 3D Systems

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  • canadianvice
    I love the idea of a modular smartphone. I rarely use the Camera for instance - I'd prioritize expandable storage and battery life for gaming or something.

    Customization is the way of the future! Those phone demos look snazzy too, let's not lie :D
  • Pailin
    Nice idea :)

    Soon though, true open source hardware is coming to us in a not too distant future...