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The Growing Trend of 3d Printed Toys Thanks to the 3d Printer for Rapid Prototype
For a long time, making toys in amateur status is a difficult task. You can use wood or piece together with recycled parts, but high-quality toy making is a custom only carried out by large and medium-size toy firms: high-end companies such as Mattel and LEGO, and lower-end, smaller companies that still have a certain level of capital.
In the past decade, with the advent of the 3D printer for rapid prototype, things have changed and amateur toy manufacturers are the lucky beneficiaries.
For example, with the consumer 3D printer, amateur toy manufacturers can now able to craft their creations utilizing CAD applications before 3D printing them within their very own house. All they need are a printer, some materials, along with a knack for digital design. However, the problem with 3D printed toys is their quality and surface appearance. Although the 3d printer for rapid prototype is well suited to convert ideas into physical objects in a short period of time, the 3D printed toy usually has a poor surface finish compared to those created through rapid injection molding. In other words, desktop FDM 3D printers are great, but it's still controversial whether they can be used to make saleable toys or figurines. The surface is rough with visible layered lines, and the finished parts may not be strong enough to withstand the rough handling of the child.
What Does This Trend Mean for Manufacturers Specialized in Rapid Injection Molding
Luckily, there's another way. While desktop 3D printer for rapid prototype has increased, accessible small-volume manufacturing services have also increased, and industrial processes such as rapid injection molding are now more affordable than ever – for everyone, not just the largest manufacturer.
One company named Makies lets children design their very own doll on the internet and bring it life. It is possible to customize everything to the mouth and ears of this doll. A business called This'sMyFace.com even enables you to upload an image of yourself and then make an action figure with your face. And then there are general 3D printing marketplaces such as Shapeways who have toy types. There are approximately 4,200 toys to be found on the website, each with the choice to personalize, whether color or even substance of this toy.
This development has had significant consequences on the independent manufacture of toys. Since quick tooling has significantly reduced the price of tools such as rapid injection molding, it's now possible to purchase relatively tiny batches of injection molded components using a low initial outlay. That is big news since it means an amateur toymaker can go straight to a producer, talk about the job, and get their completed toys inside weeks. 3D printing remains cheaper for one version, naturally, but to get a couple hundred or a few thousand things, rapid injection molding is quicker and less expensive.
How Would Independent Creators Make Their Own Toys or Figurines through Rapid Injection Molding
Then how would independent creators go about making their own injection shaped figurines or toys? Essentially, the initial steps are exactly the same as they're with amateur 3D printed toymaking, because CAD software may be employed to design a 3D model on a pc.
There is dissimilarity indeed. Using a 3D printer for rapid prototype comes with its own design considerations (warning about overhangs, orientation, difficulty in bending edges, etc.) that indicate how the designer combines specific toys or figurines. On the other hand, rapid injection molding requires a different way of thinking. Read our blog post on >>> Which One to Choose Injection Molding or 3D Printing to learn some basic tips.
The new discoverability of small-volume injection molded toys has important consequences. Although 3D printed toys and figurines usually have no resale value due to their relatively inferior surface finish, the manufacture of injection molded toys is another matter. Using rapid tooling and injection molding services, it's easier than ever for these independent creators to actually make money from toys. Reduced manufacturing costs effectively promote the democratization of the business, allowing independent creators to design, manufacture and sell their products.
Of course, aside from the significance of rapid injection molding, the growth of independent toymaking is aided by other elements, among which has been the growth of crowdfunding platforms. Read websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo and you will discover countless ambitious toy artists increasing funds for their own creations. Good deals of them sell electronic files just, but the achievement of this direct-to-consumer business model proves that clients are ready to invest in creativity instead of buying exclusively from recognized toymakers. In addition, the possibility to raise funds from customers in advance makes the investment in rapid injection molding more economical.
Like any other company, ordering a batch of injection-molded toys has its risks: doing so requires knowledge of the market and, of course, the ability to design products that are marketable. However, thanks to affordable small-volume manufacturing services, barriers to entry into the toy industry are lower than ever.