Nov 22 AT 1:41 PM Alex Wagner 7 Comments

Motorola teams with 3D Systems for Project Ara modular smartphone production

Motorola Project Ara parts

Did you get excited while learning about Project Ara when Motorola first announced it last month? Then you’ll be pleased to hear that Moto has made some progress on its ambitious project. The company says that it’s tapping 3D Systems to build a high-speed 3D printing production platform that will be used to create the smartphone parts used with Project Ara.

3D Systems explains that, as part of the deal, it plans to “substantially expand” its printing capabilities and combine different manufacturing methods in order to create an integrated high-speed production platform. Once it has done so, it will use that platform to make the casings and modules for Project Ara smartphones. 3D Systems also notes that if it is successful in creating its 3D printing production platform, it will serve as Motorola’s exclusive fulfillment partner on Project Ara.

Project Ara still has a way to go before it becomes something that everyday consumers know about and have access to, but it’s clear that Motorola is working to make Ara a reality. As for where the project goes from here, Motorola has said that it’ll begin inviting developers to create modules as early as December, followed by the release of a dedicated Module Development Kit in the coming months. If you’d like to be a part of Project Ara, you can still sign up to be an Ara Scout and contribute research to the effort by hitting up the dscout website.

Source: GlobeNewswire

Editorial Director of News and Content for PhoneDog Media. Arsenal, beer, video games. Can be followed on Twitter at @alw.

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  • Steve Watkins

    So what is the main advantage here? Is it just cost? Will we see smartphone prices coming down as a result? Hope so.

    • kazahani

      Are you asking about the advantages modular tech would bring to smartphones? It should be pretty obvious. Better ability to customize different aspects of your phone, and the ability to pay for cutting edge tech for only those parts of the phone that you care about. Lets say you really like the look of a 1080p display, but you don’t use the camera on your phone at all. Currently, only top tier phones have 1080p displays, and you’re forced to pay for top tier everything, even that 13MP camera you won’t ever use. With modular tech, you could go with a 5 MP shooter, or forgo the camera completely and save money. Also, who wouldn’t love to be able to choose their own battery size?

      • naypalm

        I’ve always imagined landfills filled to the brim with iphones and other 6 month old smartphones. This is a smart move towards not wasting entire phones and only upgrading chunks of the phone at a time.

  • A.Woodbury

    Just signed up to be a scout! Hope Moto is successful in reinventing the smartphone

  • Alan Reboli I just signed up. You should join me! (this isn’t spam its to the project!)

  • donger

    Can’t wait to see this happen.

  • naypalm

    This phone will be awesome! Brings back memories of my LEGO days as a child.