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November 25, 2013

Motorola Mobility Partnering with 3D Systems on Project Ara

Motorola Mobility has been working hard to get its “Project Ara” off the ground and has partnered with quite a few different companies in order to make sure it is as good as advertised. The company recently announced that it has entered into a multi-year contract with 3D Systems in order to create a high-speed 3D printing platform for Project Ara. The goal of the project is to make highly customized modular cell phones that allow the customer to make functional and aesthetic choices about the devices.

"With Project Ara, we asked the question, 'How do we bring the benefits of customization and an open hardware ecosystem to 6 billion people?' That is our driving application. It requires technical advances in areas such as material strength and printing with conductive inks for antennas. And those advances must support production-level speeds and volumes, which is a natural partnership with 3D Systems," said Regina Dugan, Senior Vice President and head of Motorola's Advanced Technology & Projects group in a recent study.

The project is one that does not have a set end date but the project is moving ahead at a good clip. Motorola Mobility believes that the aid of 3D printing could be a key aspect in being able to fully customize the look of these new phones. The agreement between the two companies means that 3D systems will expand its multi-material printing capabilities. The company is planning to produce conductive and functional materials that can be included in the designs and materials for the phones in Project Ara. Once the two companies have agreed on the kind of phones that will be produced, 3D Systems is going to start manufacturing 3D-printed Ara smartphones.

The company will servce as Motorola’s exclusive fulfillment partner. This is not the first time that the company that the two companies have partnered. 3D Systems and Motorola Mobility have previously worked together on the MAKEwithMOTO tour. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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