Tag Archives: MakieLab

Top 3D Printing News Last Week: SXSW, MakieLab, Cube, Kickstarter

3D Printed Toys MakieLab SXSW

A roundup of the top 3D printing news from March 11 to March 17:

Monday, March 11

3D Printing Future is Bright, Say Industry Leaders on SXSW Panel

SXSW Future of 3D Printing

The 3D printing future is bright. That was the consensus of industry leaders on a panel at SXSW this year in Austin, Texas. The show kicked off with MakerBot’s Bre Pettis unveiling the new MakerBot Digitizer 3D scanner and closed with 3D printed toys producer MakieLab winning the SXSW Accelerator top prize.

CNET’s Rich Brown hosted a panel on “The Future of 3D Printing“, featuring 3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental, MakieLab CEO Alice Taylor, and Bespoke Innovations founder Scott Summit.

The panel discussed three topics:

  1. Business opportunities
  2. IP and copyright issues
  3. General thoughts about the industry


Key takeaways

Reichental discussed how 3D printing is already powering major industries. He noted that hearing aids are manufactured using 3D printing, many dental implants are 3D printed, and parts used in military jets and drones are created using 3D printing as well. 3D Systems has a partnership from the military to increase the number of 3D printed parts to 900 for the next generation jet.

While 3D Systems is a large public company, Taylor and Summit represented their experience in their respective startups. 3D printing enabled them to get manufacturing intensive businesses to market without incurring dramatic capital expenses. The things that kill startups – time to market, upfront costs, and inventory costs – go away with 3D printing.

Intellectual property concerns were somewhat dismissed by the panel, suggesting that piracy is simply a demonstration of market demand and loyalty. Summit argued that a larger risk for piracy is the counterfeit mass production of goods in China.

Likewise, the hype around 3D printed guns was suggested to be overplayed by the media and not a real risk. Taylor suggested it will continue to be easier to buy a gun than print one.

Looking to the future, the panelists commented on 4D printing (3D printing with functionality) and 5D printing (voxel manufacturing) as revolutionary directions the technology could go, while also acknowledging that there are real limitations with respect to materials and cost today.

The panel also suggested that prices of consumer 3D printers would fall as competition increased.





Original panel description from SXSW

No longer is it necessary to create a mold and make 10,000 of an item in order to get it produced. Today, 3D printing allows almost anyone to create just about design they can imagine. The technology is being used to make everything from toys to motorcycles to airplane parts, and even houses, as well as incredible medical advances . Where is the tech going? Some think it can make new parts for the International Space Station. Others see it as a way for designers to make money selling 3D models.

What’s clear is that production will never be the same. The question is whether the technology behind creating 3D printed products can really be democratic, or if truly high-end production will remain in the hands of a skilled — and monied — few.
Experts in the field will share their thoughts on the state of the art, and where this exciting tech is likely to go in the years to come. CNET Reviews editor Rich Brown, who has been writing about 3D printing for years, will moderate.


Photo by William Hertling.

3D Printed Toys Company MakieLab Wins SXSW Accelerator

3D Printed Toys MakieLab SXSW

3D printed toys company MakieLab won the SXSW Accelerator top prize for the entertainment and gaming technology category this year.

Based out of London, MakieLab creates Makies™, the world’s first customisable and poseable 3D-printed doll.

Following a live pitch by MakieLab’s CEO, Alice Taylor, the Shoreditch-based start-up joined the winners’ circle from what judges agreed was an extremely strong field in this year’s competition, which highlights companies with fresh ideas, strong creative vision and exceptional business potential. Over 500 total submissions were received for the 2013 SXSW Accelerator, culminating in awards for seven of the web’s most exciting new innovations across Web, Mobile, Social, Entertainment/Gaming, News, Health and Music categories.

“We are delighted, humbled and grateful to the wonderful people of SXSW for this award,” said Taylor. “We’ve had the most amazing five days here, and this finale is the icing on the cake. It seems to be the year of 3D printing: Bre Pettis keynoting, Bruce Sterling wearing a 3D-printed Bruce Sterling around his neck… it’s fantastic, and we’re very much enjoying being part of this movement!”

Over 20,000 unique digital Makies have been created at www.makie.me. In February, Makies became the world’s first 3D-printed toy to earn the CE mark, certifying them as safe for kids aged 3 and up. Makies Doll Factory, MakieLab’s free build-a-doll app for iPad, was released earlier this month and is available now in the App Store.

MakieLab launched in May 2012 and raised $1.4 million in funding in June 2012.

MakieLab Raises Seed Funding

To learn more about MakieLab and Makies, visit www.makie.me or www.makielab.com.


Photo by MakieLab used under Creative Commons license.

MakieLab Raises $1.4 Million for Personalized 3D Printed Dolls

MakieLab Raises Seed Funding

In May, we covered MakieLab, a Britain-based startup looking to disrupt the toy industry by letting consumers design and print their own dolls.

Now they have announced an Alpha launch and $1.4 million in seed funding.

From their press release:

Smart toys company MakieLab announces the open alpha launch of MAKIES, the first ever user-designed, 3D-printed action doll. On http://makie.me customers are designing and sharing digital avatars that are brought to life via 3D-printshops across London.

“We’ve seen amazing levels of creativity from our customers since letting the first few in during open alpha just a few weeks ago”, says Alice Taylor, founder and CEO of MakieLab. “We’re now hard at work to enable further customization of MAKIES, more creativity, and to expand to include digital and physical gaming.”

Together with the launch, MakieLab announce their seed round investment of $1.4 million. The round is led by early-stage investors Lifeline Ventures and Sunstone Capital and is joined by Anime and gaming industry veterans Matthew Wiggins, Daniel James and Cedric Littardi of superangel-fund Ynnis Ventures.

“The toys industry is ripe for disruption and 3D printing opens up for a powerful blend of digital and physical. We’re thrilled to support Alice, Jo, Sulka, Luke and team in London and Helsinki in their venture to define a new toys company,” says Petteri Koponen, Partner at Lifeline Ventures.

“MAKIES are great proof of how 3D printing will impact our everyday life in so many subtle ways. My daughter is already saving her pocket money for a MAKIE and for her and her peers this physical customization will be the norm,” adds Nikolaj Nyholm, Partner at Sunstone Capital.

MakieLab joins the ranks of culturally influential companies in the portfolio of Lifeline Ventures and Sunstone Capital – including TinkercadSupercell, Prezi, Gidsy, Layar and Applifier.

Congratulations to MakieLab and Alice Taylor!

MakieLab Launches Personalized Doll Collection Via 3D Printing

Alice Taylor MakieLab

Britain-based startup MakieLab is looking to disrupt the toy industry by letting customers design and 3D print their own doll. CEO Alice Taylor has been at this mission for over a decade, as she explained in an interview with Wired:

Taylor has been experimenting with the idea of dolls that can talk to the web for some time. In early 2000, she set up stortroopers.com, which allowed users to build Creative Commons-licensed avatars on the web. A decade later, while in the basement of the NYC Toy Fair looking at digital toy avatars that were physically and commercially separated from the “real” dolls on the floor above, she had a brainwave. “I was aware of 3D printing anyway, and wondered whether you could build an avatar-maker that could automatically output a toy and I also wondered whether that toy could then affect the digital world it had come from, [to create] an infinite loop of play.”

What are Makies?

Makie Dagenefter Makie Muir Woods

From the MakieLab website:

MAKIES are 10″ gosh-darn poseable action dolls with faces and features designed by YOU.

You get to choose what the face looks like: the eyes, nose, jaw, smile, the hair, the clothes and the hands and feet too. Once you’ve finished creating, we manufacture your exact figure for you, dress it with the clothes you’ve chosen, add the hair and eyes you’ve chosen, and put it in a beautifully recycleable cardboard tube to be sent directly to you.

According to Wired, the dolls are not ready for children yet, but MakieLab expects to complete the necessary safety testing to expand the market.

We’re also excited to see MakieLab embracing open innovation through Creative Commons.

Digital MAKIES are about to be CC-licensed: we’ll post the license details as soon as we can (backlog of things to do …!)


Alice Taylor photo by NEXT Berlin used under Creative Commons license.