Custom Cell Phones To Jump-start 3D Printing

Probably not all by itself, but this could be an important driver and seems worth watching.

Hoping to jump-start the long foretold 3-D printing revolution, OpenMoko, a maker of open source mobile devices, is offering its phone case CAD files to anyone who wants them.

“We want people to create their own flesh for their phone,” said Steve Mosher, VP of marketing at OpenMoko.

The OpenMoko CAD files have been made available under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 license.

In the past, said Mosher, creating a unique plastic part might cost a $100,000. “But today, with desktop manufacturing, you can build parts on your desktop for $3,500,” he said.

A commercial 3-D printer costs a bit more than that: The low-end Z Corp. ZPrinter 310 Plus retails for $19,900. But the open source Fab@Home Project Model 1 costs about $2,300.

The increasing ease with which 3-D parts can be fabricated is often likened to the desktop publishing revolution in the 1980s. But before 3-D printing takes off the way laser printing did, the software and hardware will have to become more affordable still and more intuitive.



1 Comment »

  1. […] – bookmarked by 1 members originally found by fallsoff on July 16, 2008 Custom Cell Phones To Jump-start 3D Printing – […]

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