This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. OK
8 Shares 2 comments

Motorola's modular Lego-phone gets one step closer to being built

We've reported previously on Phonebloks and Motorola's Project Ara, but the story now gets a little more interesting: the modular build-your-own phone now has a manufacturing partner to maintain production and supply. Motorola has just signed a multi-year deal with 3D Systems, the company that invented 3D printing, to keep those Lego-phone module blocks coming just as fast as you can put them together.

motorola project ara 002
Makes me feel like a kid again. I'm totally building a pirate ship phone. / © Motorola

The deal will see 3D Systems commit to creating a continuous high-volume, high-speed printing production platform that will be capable of fulfilling the ongoing demand for a smartphone you build yourself and replace parts of at will. The idea behind Phonebloks, the company that is partnering with Motorola's Project Ara team on the development of the DIY smartphone, is that every component of a smartphone, called modules, will be user-selectable and interchangeable, meaning you can modify any part of your smartphone at any time you want.

motorola project ara 001
For a super-utilitarian idea, Phonebloks manage to look great too. / © Motorola

The ultimate goal is to give users exactly the device they want while at the same time cutting down on the massive levels of plastic waste to which the telecommunications industry is a considerable contributor. Why get an entirely new phone to get the ''next level'' of hardware specs when you can swap out parts at leisure and keep the same underlying endoskeleton (and components you're happy with) for years and years? Battery dead? Switch it out. Cracked your screen? Switch it out.

Phonebloks konzept 01
Every module can be switched out individually, leaving the underlying endoskeleton intact. / © Phonebloks

How positive a change do you think this idea could be for the plastic waste problem? Would you like to build your own smartphone?

Source: 3D Systems


Write new comment:
  • Bojan M. Nov 26, 2013 Link to comment

    To be completely blunt, I don't care about plastic waste problem, but I do care about this amazing idea. I want a phone like this.

    • Haha, ok, but if you save the environment a little in the process, all the better for all of us!

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. More info

Got it!