News by Andrew Kameka on Friday November 22, 2013.
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When Motorola announced Project Ara as its way to build a smartphone capable of swapping out parts on the fly to make it easier to upgrade specific aspects of a phone, the company made it clear that it was still in an exploratory phase and would collaborate with others to achieve its goal. The latest partner for the project is 3D Systems, a 3D printer who might help make Project Ara and modular phones in general a reality.
3D Systems has announced that it has signed a multi-year agreement with Motorola that will call for 3D System to build facilities capable of building the parts necessary for modular phones. Building frames and enclosures with plastic or metal should not be too much of a challenge because 3D System literally invented the additive manufacturing process commonly referred to as 3D print. The biggest challenge will be the plan to expanding into more areas like conductive and functional materials, meaning actual components that will slide into those frames. If Project Ara were to make modular phones a reality, a new form of production and manufacturing would be necessary to make it a success, and Motorola has signed an exclusive agreement with 3D System to develop the tools that might make that happen.source: 3D Systems
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.