Motorola’s Project Ara just got one step closer to becoming reality. The modular smartphone concept, allowing customers to swap out single components on their handsets as they please. Tired of that old camera? Just buy the new module and swap it out. Need more RAM? Just buy a new RAM module and snap it on to your handset. Pretty sweet, huh? Motorola has entered into an agreement with 3D Systems to manufacture 3D-printed Ara smartphone enclosures and components.
The agreement will see 3D Systems expanding its 3D printing capabilities, which will include conductive and functional materials, meaning that the Ara chassis and components could come in a metal build, not relegated to plastic.
We sure can’t wait for Project Ara, it will be a game changer for sure. With the ability to swap out smartphone components as needed, the Ara threatens to disrupt the current smartphone marketing model, which relies on customers purchasing new handsets every six months to a year.
Are you into the idea of the Ara or will it be a flop? Let us know in the comments.
3D Systems and Motorola Partner on Modular, Custom Smartphone
Companies Team Up to Develop Advanced Manufacturing and Fulfillment Platforms in Support of Large-Scale Production for 3D-Printed Modules and User-Customizable Smart Phones
ROCK HILL, S.C., Nov. 22, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) has entered into a multi-year development agreement with Motorola Mobility LLC, A Google Company, to create a continuous high-speed 3D printing production platform and fulfilment system in support of Motorola’s Project Ara. Project Ara aims to develop highly-custom, modular smartphones that afford users the opportunity to make functional and aesthetic choices about their device.
A photo accompanying this release is available athttp://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=22380
“With Project Ara, we asked the question, ‘How do we bring the benefits of customization and an open hardware ecosystem to 6 billion people?’ That is our driving application. It requires technical advances in areas such as material strength and printing with conductive inks for antennas. And those advances must support production-level speeds and volumes, which is a natural partnership with 3D Systems,” said Regina Dugan, Senior Vice President and head of Motorola’s Advanced Technology & Projects group.
“Project Ara was conceived to build a platform that empowers consumers all over the world with customization for a product made by and for the individual,” said Avi Reichental, President and CEO of 3D Systems. “3D printing promotes a level of sustainability, functionality, and mass personalization that turns these kinds of global ambitions into attainable local realities. Project Ara combines two exponential technologies, and we expect that the resulting high-throughput advanced manufacturing platform will have far reaching implications on the entire digital thread that stitches together the factory of the future.”
As part of this agreement, 3D Systems plans to substantially expand its multi-material printing capabilities including conductive and functional materials. The company also plans to combine additive and subtractive manufacturing methods, and deliver an integrated high-speed production platform. Pending successful completion of the development phase, 3D Systems is expected to manufacture 3D-printed Ara smartphone enclosures and modules as Motorola’s exclusive fulfillment partner.
Motorola and 3D Systems, the inventors of the cell phone and 3D printer, respectively, have previously partnered on the MAKEwithMOTO tour, a series of make-a-thons at the nation’s top engineering and design schools aimed at exploiting the power of open, hackable smartphone hardware and 3D printing to begin seeding an open hardware ecosystem.
Learn more about Project Ara at www.makewithmoto.com.
Learn more about 3D Systems’ commitment to manufacturing the future today at www.3dsystems.com.
About 3D Systems Corporation
3D Systems is a leading provider of 3D content-to-print solutions including 3D printers, print materials and cloud sourced on-demand custom parts for professionals and consumers alike with materials including plastics, metals, ceramics and edibles. The company also provides software tools including scan to CAD and inspection as well as consumer 3D printers, apps and services. Its expertly integrated solutions replace and complement traditional methods and reduce the time and cost of designing new products by printing real parts directly from digital input. These solutions are used to rapidly design, create, communicate, prototype or produce real parts, empowering customers to manufacture the future.