Motorola signs deal with 3D Systems to build its modular smartphone

Motorola and 3D Systems partner up to make Phone Blocks a reality.

Published Fri, Nov 22 2013 10:00 PM CST   |   Updated Sat, Aug 8 2020 10:29 AM CDT

When the world was first introduced to the modular smartphone concept, many industry analyst laughed and said that it would never happen, and that it was impossible. I was one of those people. Today Motorola has stepped up and partnered with 3D Systems to begin development and production of the Ara modular smartphone.

Motorola signs deal with 3D Systems to build its modular smartphone |

The deal is spread out over several years and 3D Systems will be tasked with developing a unique 3D Printing system that Motorola has dubbed "the factory of the future." The question is, how realistic will it be to 3D print anything other than the case or chassis of the phone? With today's 3D Printing technology, we are nowhere near printing a nano-scale circuit board, integrated circuits or even refined transistors capable of building other electronic components. This deal is a step in the right direction however and will lead to some interesting technology advances.


A web developer by day, Charles comes to TweakTown after a short break from the Tech Journalism world. Formerly the Editor in Chief at TheBestCaseScenario, he now writes Maker and DIY content. Charles is a self proclaimed Maker of Things and is a major supporter of the Maker movement. In his free time, Charles likes to build just about anything, with past projects ranging from custom PC cooling control systems to 3D printers. Other expensive addictions include Photography, Astronomy and Home Automation.

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