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Shares of 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) gained more than 6% on Friday, following news that the 3-D printing pioneer is teaming up with Google's (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Motorola business to manufacture modules for a fresh generation of customizable smartphones. The stock climbed to $76.50 in afternoon trading, up from a daily low of $72.57.
Motorola has done little for Google since being purchased by the tech giant in 2011 for a whopping $12.5 billion. This new partnership with 3D Systems could change that, especially if Motorola's new Ara modular phones are a hit. As 3D Systems President and CEO Avi Reichental explained: "3-D printing promotes a level of sustainability, functionality, and mass personalization that turns these kinds of global ambitions into attainable local realities." 3D Systems released details of its multi-year development agreement with Motorola in a press release on Friday. Under the agreement, 3D Systems will create a "high-speed 3D printing production platform and fulfillment system," which will be used to make modular smartphones a reality. It's all part of Motorola's Project Ara, a fluid smartphone concept that lets users snap different components in and out of their devices.
Strategic partnerships such as this one should help 3D Systems grow into its more than $7 billion market cap. Shares of 3D Systems are up more than 102% year to date.