We all have childhood memories we’ve kept well into adulthood. Transformers Generation One robots, Star Wars toys, Barbies, or maybe that She-Ra doll that your parents gave you when you were eight. It’s possible that these toys have gone their way to oblivion or “toy heaven” but that that’s no excuse for letting these beloved memories be forgotten.
3D printing has been around for a long time, but only recently, 3D printing toys as well as toy customization is now available to the general public. Toy manufacturers increasingly leverage 3D printing in their production processes. By 3D printing toys prototypes, manufacturers can control the quality of the design and compare different versions while verifying that the toy parts fit well together.
The early days of 3D-printed toys left people amazed by the technology, but some are less than overjoyed by the design options. In the past, people had highly limited options pertaining to design and materials. Plastic materials were the only options widely available for people to use. This was highly limiting when it came to designs, inspirations, and marketable consumer products. A market did exist for such toys that were basic and inexpensive; however the key demographics were hardly running to their computers to order such products by the masses. One of the significant developments of such limitations was the drive of engineers and rapid prototyping services to create better designs, to develop better machines that used alternative materials, and to provide better services. It was the shortcomings of the past that have led to the exciting times of today and tomorrow.
Since many of these toys are made of plastic, 3D printing has quickly proved to be an excellent solution to repair broken ones, replace missing toy parts, or print your own toys at home. You can just download the 3D model you need, and 3D-print it with a 3D printer.
Or if you don’t have a 3D printer, there are some stores that offer 3D printing services that will help bring your old Mazinger Z back to life. While browsing online, you can come across general 3D printing marketplaces like Shapeways that have toy categories. There are about 4,200 toys available on the site, each with the option to customize, whether by color or even material of the toy. There even are some international online stores that sell miniature 3D reproduction of the Millennium Falcon.
Thankfully, you don’t have to go to these international sites for this service. Here in the Philippines, there are some local 3D printing services you can call and get quality products similar to those found abroad. Locally, 3D2Go has been advertising that they can reproduce your beloved toys from the 80’s and 90’s.
With just a visit on their new and highly interactive website, you can get in touch with one of their designers and get a good 3D reproduction of your favorite G.I. Joe action figure whose quality is close to the original