Skip to comments.3D Systems and Motorola Explore 3D Printed Lego-Like Modular Smartphones
Posted on 12/09/2013 9:43:28 AM PST by Lurkina.n.Learnin
Motorolas Project Ara aims to build custom, open-source smartphones from replaceable, updatable, snappable components. Consumers could selectively replace and customize every device component, from camera to processor.
Making modularity happen will be no small feat, but Project Ara recently signed up a powerful new co-conspirator3D printing giant, 3D Systems.
3D Systems makes and sells 3D printing equipment for desktop, professional, and industrial use. The firm entered into a multi-year agreement with Motorola to design and implement a speedy, industrial scale 3D printing process for Project Ara.
(Excerpt) Read more at singularityhub.com ...
I did some prototype 3D molded printed circuit “boards” back in the late 1980s. The technology involved selectively plating conductors on molded parts, then additively increasing the thickness, and it worked pretty well, allowing things like PC traces “going up the walls” of an enclosure for example, taking advantage of available real estate. Of course printed electronics is a whole ‘nuther thing, but doing the logical combination of 3D printed substrates and then depositing conductors, insulators, passives, and organic semiconductors certainly has potential.
Someone pointed out that it takes more metal to make the chassis and connectors between chassis and modules for Hakkens Phonebloks than would be saved by using the modular design he envisions.
Until that is sorted out I don’t think it will be economically feasible.
Wanna argue over here?
Modular design sounds interesting to me. I don’t know about the entire thing being modular but a basic phone with one or two replaceable modules could be handy. If you aren’t into photography maybe replace the modual with an advanced GPS or whatever your into.
Yep, and there are companies with semiconductor inks. One I know of is printing active RFID circuits.
It won’t be all that long before a 3-D printer can print not just the mechanical parts of another 3-D printer, but the electronics as well.
The problem being, of course, that once we’ve taught them sex we won’t be able to get a lick of useful work out of them...
Political power grows out of the nozzle of a 3-D Printer.
Being able to print a circuit board the same size as a standard ATX motherboard with multiple layers and plate through the holes would be awesome.
It would revolutionize the industry with tons of home-grown systems. I’ve got some designs in my head but I’d like to be able to realize beyond the breadboard but it requires multiple layers and not just top and bottom which are easy except for the plate through holes but other layers in between as well.
Bring it on.
The expense in a phone is not in materials. It is in design and ‘touch labor’ fabrication. Both of those might be saved by being more modular.