Telecommunications giant Nokia just released today that they are releasing a few of the CAD files for their new Lumia 820, free of charge. With a good 3D printer, or even a CNC machine, it's possible for any GrabCADr to download, redesign or remix the case, fab and then reattach. It's a tremendous step in the right direction towards Open Engineering for Nokia, the second-largest manufacturers of phones in the World.
(Download all files here)
But why? According to John Kneeland, Nokia Community & Developer Marketing Manager, it's partly the rise in the 3D Printing, enabling those with the CAD skills to remix their products to suit their desires. Or sell new types of cases.
Internally it helps us with rapid prototyping as we, to borrow Stephen Elop’s words, “increase the clock speed of Nokia.” In the future, I envision wildly more modular and customizable phones. Perhaps in addition to our own beautifully-designed phones, we could sell some kind of phone template, and entrepreneurs the world over could build a local business on building phones precisely tailored to the needs of his or her local community. You want a waterproof, glow-in-the-dark phone with a bottle-opener and a solar charger? Someone can build it for you—or you can print it yourself!
I can think of a few things - belt clips and a battery holder. In case my phone is out of power (pun not intended), I can switch out the old and put in the new one.
We personally hope that more and more companies adopt Nokia's strategy of allowing consumers the ability to redesign what has long been proprietary information. For the longest time, even copying and redesigning aspects of consumer products like Nokia's line of phones was technically illegal.
Created by eye or with callipers, most GrabCADrs upload models of existing designs out curiosity, healthy respect or brand loyalty. More often than not, they reinvent designs in a way impossible to be done before - look at how successful many of GrabCAD design challenges have been! In anticipation of the impending release of the 820, GrabCADr Carles Rojas released his version, stating "How I think the next Nokia Lumia should be." Straight from the source, it's now a little bit easier to recreate your 'perfect' phone.