Since the start of the 3D printing hype from the last few years, 3d printing of toys has been the most common application of this technology. Many companies till now have been using 3D printing as a means to get their prototypes right. But, toys category can go beyond, and can be the first mass-market application of 3d printing.
We have seen several 3dprinting market places coming up in the last 2-3 years. But, a 3D printing online marketplace entirely dedicated to toys was not attempted by anyone, despite the large market and universal appeal for the concept. Now, Swiss based Toyfabb platform, founded by Jochen Hanselmann and Alex Schmid wants to fill this void, with a dedicated market place for 3D printable toy designs.
The platform supports English and German languages and offers full shop functionality for users and designers. You can buy and sell your 3D printable toy models on the website. Once a customer buys a model, the 3D Design files will be streamed securely to the customers’ 3d printer for one time use. The customers can print them in their own home printers or choose to employ the services 3d printing service companies like shapeways or imaterialise. Also, Designers can choose if they want customers to be able to download the STL file or stream the G-code securely to their home 3D printer.
The website’s immediate task is to expand its portfolio of 3D designs to attract more customers. to address this, they are running a contest along with the website’s launch, to call on designers to contribute by submitting their STL files. While the winner of each toy category will receive a $100 reward, all submitted designs can be sold through each designer’s personal shop page on the website. For each design sold, the designers will receive 70% of revenues.
Having used the tech for years for rapid prototyping in product development applications, many large toy companies will now be planning to take the next leap, and aim at a future shaped by 3D printing. However, one concern will still be haunting them on selling digital models – copyright violation concerns. Let’s wait and watch!