Motorola has signed a multi-year deal with 3D Systems to help bring Project Ara, the free and open modular mobile hardware platform, to life. The agreement will see 3D Systems create a high-speed 3D printing production platform and fulfillment system for Motorola to utilize.
Specifically, 3D Systems said they plan to substantially expand their multi-material printing capabilities which include conductive and functional materials. Once finished with the development phase, the company will be able to manufacture 3D-printed Ara smartphone enclosures and modules as Motorola's exclusive fulfillment partner.
In a statement on the matter, 3D Systems president and CEO Avi Reichental noted Project Ara was conceived to build a platform that empowers consumers with customization for a product made by and for the individual.
If you aren't familiar, Project Ara was unveiled late last month as a collaborative effort with a company known as Phonebloks. The latter was unveiled back in September with the idea of creating a modular smartphone that would allow users to upgrade various parts of their smartphone that may be outdates while still keeping others around that work perfectly fine.
For example, if you don't need Bluetooth, you can remove that module and install a larger battery block instead. Those interested in taking higher quality photos could install a larger camera module or do away with all of the extras and have a massive battery instead. The idea itself is really groundbreaking but whether or not Motorola can ultimately produce something that consumers are interested in remains to be seen.