By Jimmie Geddes email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Jan 19, 2013 10:01 PM EST
Nokia is bringing a very interesting feature to its Windows Phone 8 Lumia 820 smartphone. The Finnish smartphone maker is offering Lumia 820 owners a set of 3D printable back covers for the smartphone.
Nokia has released the 3D printing files that will allow customers to create their own custom case for their Lumia 820. Nokia's free 3DK (3D-printing Development Kit) is available for download and includes the files for 3D printing as well as instructions and guidance from Nokia when creating a 3D case.
This isn't Nokia's first time going the interchangeable faceplate route. In 1998, Nokia released the Nokia 5110 and featured a removable faceplate so customers could customize their Nokia handset. It created an aftermarket for third party companies to create faceplates designed for use on the Nokia handset. Nokia is giving itself a nod in reminding the world that it began offering such a convenient way to change the look your phone even back in those days.
You won't be able to print these 3D cases at home since you'll need a special 3D printer. Nokia suggests numerous online 3D printing services that will print out your custom-designed case. If you prefer to walk into a physical store, Staples now offers 3D printing services at its locations.
It's a great way for Nokia to differentiate itself from its competitors. If there's one thing I think any smartphone owner would like the option of doing, is being able to create their own custom 3D-case whenever they feel like changing the look of their smartphone. Hopefully Nokia will bring this to more of its Lumia smartphones. All smartphone manufacturers should also follow Nokia's lead with similar services. It's all about services these days.