Tag Archives: toys
Make magazine has published an extensive opinion piece about 3D printing as part of its 3D Thursday series. The article is called 3D Printing Revolution: the Complex Reality.
The main thesis of the post is that while 3D printers are becoming increasingly popular, the reality might not match the hype. For one, designing for manufacturability is hard – from CAD software to industrial design techniques. Another issue is the durability and precision of materials used in 3D printing, such as ABS plastic, may not be engineering-grade.
Concluding, the author states:
One day, a silver bullet solution may materialize; if it does, it will be probably nothing like any of the existing technologies we are experimenting with. Until then, it pays to focus on the process, not on this week’s most-hyped tool.
These points are valid and one has to acknowledge that 3D printing won’t replace all manufacturing processes overnight. But look at the applications that are already commercial, from medical and dentistry to fashion to toys and games. Expect more to follow quickly with the rapid pace of innovation in 3D printing!
A roundup of the top news On 3D Printing brought you from October 6 to October 13.
Friday, October 12
Saturday, October 13
Collaborators from Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University are using 3D printing to create the future of interactive toys they call “Printed Optics.” Excerpts from a research paper are included below.
We present an approach to 3D printing custom optical elements for interactive devices labelled Printed Optics. Printed Optics enable sensing, display, and illumination elements to be directly embedded in the casing or mechanical structure of an interactive device. Using these elements, unique display surfaces, novel illumination techniques, custom optical sensors, and embedded optoelectronic components can be digitally fabricated for rapid, high ﬁdelity, highly customized interactive devices. Printed Optics is part of our long term vision for interactive devices that are 3D printed in their entirety. In this paper we explore the possibilities for this vision afforded by fabrication of custom optical elements using today’s 3D printing technology.
Printed Optics is a new approach to creating custom optical elements for interactive devices using 3D printing. Printed Optics enable sensing, display, and illumination elements to be directly embedded in the body of an interactive device. Using these elements, unique display surfaces, novel illumination techniques, custom optical sensors, and robust embedded components can be digitally fabricated for rapid, high fidelity, customized interactive devices.
3D printing allows digital geometry to be rapidly fabricated into physical form with micron accuracy. Usable optical elements can be designed and simulated in software, then 3D printed from transparent material with surprising ease and affordability.
But Disney’s vision is much grander. Watch the video below.
More at Disney Research.
With iPods and iPads today, most kids probably don’t even know what a “record” is. Back in 1971, vinyl was the medium for listening to music, and Fisher-Price naturally sold a kids record player which would produce sound by reading plastic discs. The only songs available on this player were kids’ songs, of course, until a 3D printing enthusiast figured out how to print his own records.
Instructables user Fred27 detailed his method:
A little while ago I stumbled across an old toy record player made by Fisher Price in the 1970s, and decided that what it really needed was some new tunes. I got thinking about it, reverse engineered the way it was encoded, got out my trusty CNC mill and created an Instructable all about it right here.
I was blown away by the response to it, but I only know of one person who had a goat milling their own. Whilst the mill did a great job (and I explained how to convert your own too), a CNC mill is not the sort of thing that everyone has access too.
So as promised, I decided that a 3D printed version would follow to give more people a chance to get creative. More people have a 3D printer or have access to one. And even if you don’t, once you have the STL file there are plenty of places that will bring your creation to life and mail you a physical copy.
I thought about just adding to my previous Instructable, but to be honest it’s only the music editing side of things that’s the same. Everything else from the file creation to the production is very different. I thought a new Instructable would be neater.
Fred27 actually created his own software to map music to vinyl.
Once you have the CAD file, you can either print on your 3D printer or order from a 3D printing marketplace.
Below is a video of the Fisher Price record player using one of the 3D printed records to play Stairway to Heaven and other tunes.
If you want to buy some of Fred’s records, head over to Shapeways to pick up Stairway to Heaven or Star Wars on a 3D printed record.