By Michael Molitch-Hou | 3D Printing Industry
This year is going to see a growing number of big brand names finally embrace 3D printing as a means of bringing products to their already established fan base. We’ve already reported on a number of stories that indicate this coming surge. For instance, Things3D now sells a number of loveable characters like Wallace and Gromit featuring their ‘Smart’ OwnerChip technology, with more on the way. Toyze now has over one million 3D printable models from popular games like Cut the Rope. Disney/Marvel has been slowly introducing the idea of 3D printed superhero and Star Wars selfies. AndLaunzer will be releasing a number of printables from Warner Bros. this year.
One company that anticipated this trend early on was Sandboxr, which has been working on producing branded printables since 2013. The company grabbed its first big name in October of that year, when it began 3D printing models for the much anticipated, but controversial, Ender’s Gamefilm adaptation. Sandboxr has since expanded its line of figures and opened up its own Amazon shop, bringing its 3D printables to an even larger audience of customers.
Sandboxr’s portfolio can now be purchased via Amazon, including characters from the video games Cross Hares, Homie Zombies, and Infinity Blade, as well as the aforementioned Ender’s Game ships. The entrance of these branded figures onto the Amazon marketplace signals, I believe, the entrance of 3D printed content from games and movies into the mainstream consumer market. Moreover, along with 3D printed selfies, this content represents the coming Reality Computing era, in which digital content and physical content are seamlessly intertwined. Modifying and then reproducing digital content in the physical world will, at first, see its biggest consumer offering through super hero and Star Wars selfies. Then, consumers will replicate, alter, and fabricate more practical digital and physical items using 3D scanning and 3D printing technology. After that, maybe custom dinosaurs or who knows?
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