3D print a shell for your Nokia Phone
Here at Nokia, we like to be on the leading edge, and we have for you what we believe is a phone manufacturer first – providing the mechanical drawings for a phone's back shell so you can make modifications or accessories to print out on your 3D printer.
While the outside of the phone case can take almost any shape, limited only by your imagination, the inside is a bit trickier. You have to make sure there’s room for the battery, antennae, and other protuberances, as well as openings for buttons, speaker, microphone, etc. Not fun to figure out on your own, so we’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation for you.
Since the back for the Nokia Lumia 820 is user-removable, that's our baseline. We’re providing models in STL and STEP format, both the complete backshell/button assembly and the individual models for the shell and each of the buttons.
You’ll find the files here:
- Lumia 820 shell with all parts, STL format
- Lumia 820 shell, separated, STL format
- Lumia 820 shell, STP format
Note that you will have have a Nokia ID and be registered with Nokia Developer to download these files. You will also need to agree to the terms and conditions, which are based on Creative Commons-Share Alike.
Explore this article for more information and inspiration, and be sure to contribute your ideas and experience as well. 3D printing is a relatively new technology, and there’s a lot of learning to be done.
In this section, we’d like you to share ideas about designs you’ve done or would like to see. Even if you don’t have any interest in the design aspect, perhaps you have an idea you’d like to see somebody pick up and run with. We’ll start:
- Built-in belt clip or loop
- Attachment point for camera accessories
- Raised texture for non-slip grip
- Winding post for headphone cable
- Accommodation for larger batteries
- Car mount
- Bicycle mount
- Backpack hanger
- Camera accessories
- Extra SIM or MicroSD holder
The proper toolchain is critical to getting the results you want out of Computer Aided Design (CAD), in this case, of the 3D variety. Share your experiences with the various tools you’ve worked with, whether commercial, FOSS, or something else.
Typically, you will start with a 3D design program, then use a program like Slic3r to section the resulting model up for printing. For best results, consider a parametric solid modeling program. Finally, a driver program is used to do the printing or to write the files to an SD card that the printer can read.
- Design (Sketchup, FreeCAD, OpenSCAD, Alibre Design…)
- Phone-specific suggestions/best practices
- Printing Stuff
- Slicing (Slic3r, Skeinforge)
- Driving (Pronterface, ReplicatorG, Repetier-Host). Note that many driving programs integrate one of the available slicing programs.
- 3rd-party services (Shapeways, Ponoko, i.materialise)
The bottom line with all this of course is to get your idea realized in glorious plastic. For this, you will either need access to a 3D printer or be willing to use a 3rd party service [link] to print your object for you.
Do you have experience with a printer, scanner, print material, or service? Add it here so we can all benefit from your insight.
(By the way, you never know where you may find a printer service – we spotted a Makerbot Replicator at Oddyssea in Half Moon Bay, CA, that offered to print an object you brought in on an SD card, charging you by the gram for the plastic used. How fun is that?)
We'd like to include printers that community members have experience with. If you'd like to add your experiences, please include the following information:
- The brand/design
- Whether the platform is Open source/DIY or proprietary
- A brief summary of your experiences.
Typically, the current range of affordable 3D printers gives you the option of printing with either ABS or PLA, supplied as filament on spools, with a working diameter of either 3mm or 1.75mm. In this section, share your experience with these materials, or others if you printer works with them.
If you’re using your home 3D printer, PLA and ABS are acceptable materials. If you decide to outsource printing, do not be tempted by non-plastic materials! Metals are definitely off-limits, and ceramics and stone type materials won’t have the flexibility needed to survive being a phone case.
- PLA - This is what we’ve used here at Nokia to print the backs. It’s more brittle than ABS, but it’s cornstarch based and biodegradable. It’s harder than ABS, and more difficult to extrude, but it works at a lower temperature and doesn’t require a heated bed.
- ABS - Another popular choice. ABS is tough (hey, they make Lego out of it!), but requires higher temperatures from your extruder and printer bed for fabrication, and does smell a bit when printing.
If you don’t have the necessary printing or scanning hardware, there are services out there who will take your 3D models, print them on your choice of material, and ship them to you. Often, the range of materials is greater than you would have available to you with the current crop of affordable printers.(By the way, you never know where you may find a printer service – we spotted a Makerbot Replicator at Oddyssea in Half Moon Bay, California, that offered to print an object you brought in on an SD card, charging you by the gram for the plastic used. How fun is that?)
- Printing - An advantage of 3D printing services is the range of materials they have available to print in. Where a home printer will likely be limited to ABS, PLA, and similar materials, with printing services, you can print in ceramics, resins, ceramics, and even metals. Example suppliers include Shapeways, Ponoko, i.materialize, and Sculpteo. Again, however, we must emphasize: plastics only for phone shells!