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Mobile Accessories

MakerBot and Nokia partner for DIY phone cases

Lumia 820 and 520 owners can now print their own customer cases using a 3D Development Kit on MakerBot's Thingiverse.

Lumia 820 and 520 owners can now print their own customer cases using a 3D Development Kit on MakerBot's Thingiverse.

MakerBot's customiser will allow users to create their own design flourishes. (Credit: MakerBot)

Back when the Nokia 3310 was king of the mobile phones, custom cases became a cottage industry, with front and back cases available to declare your love of particular sporting teams, movies, TV shows or just colour palettes.

Nokia has now partnered with 3D printing guru MakerBot, launching the Nokia 3D Printing Development Kit (3DK) for the Lumia 820 and the newly announced Lumia 520.

The 3DK is freely available via MakerBot's Thingiverse resource. A MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printer will be able to print a case in roughly one hour.

Nokia is the first major phone manufacturer to release 3D templates for a community customisation project. At the time of writing, a couple of "remixes" had already been created by Thingiverse users.

"Nokia's design DNA is all about self-expression, so getting involved in this community project is a natural extension of that philosophy," said John Kneeland, a Nokia community and developer marketing manager. "3D printing is in an exciting development phase, and we're keen to help people explore this new technology."