If you recall, it was a couple of months ago that we reported on Phonebloks a modular smartphone concept which sounded like a great idea, not only in terms of allowing customers to customize their phones, but a great way to save the environment as ruined components could easily be swapped out instead of throwing the whole phone away. Motorola announced that they would be working with Phonebloks to make the project a reality, announcing Project Ara in the process. Well the good news for those who loved the idea is that it looks like the phone is one step closer to becoming a reality.
3D Systems has recently announced that they will be partnering up with Motorola to create a high-speed 3D printing platform for Project Ara. This deal is expected to last for the new few years, and if successful, will also see 3D Systems create their own smartphone enclosures and modules and will Motorola’s “exclusive fulfillment partner”. According to Avi Reichental, President and CEO of 3D Systems, “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 […] 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.”
There’s still no telling when Project Ara will start making its way into the hands of consumers around the world, but it definitely looks like we are one step closer to that happening. So, who else is excited?