Reminds me of an article I ready a few months back in a Forbes about a father (who happened to be a professor) who used 3D printing to create interfaces between popular toys - such as Legos and Tinker Toy. There's an interesting set of legal thoughts on that one. Here's the link, if it works:
Although I can see printing toys out at home to be the future, I just could not justify the initial cost. First there is the $1,000 dollar printer, that most likely does low resolution printing. Then there is the cost of material. followed by programming time (can we put a price on our time). All in all, an expensive hobby. Keep in mind, toys without licensing are just custom. Authenticity is key. I base this on my toy collecting youth... ok ok, I still collect. Can printing a toy at home still be considered authentic vs one from the original company?
Even so, it looks like a great step in home gaming. Any pull away from the video screen is worth it. (Remember when people were trying to get their kids to stop playing Dungeons & Dragons? Now parents wish their kids would do anything besides texting all day.)
Actually, the $60.00-$100.00 games are games like Memoir '44, Arkham Horror, and others. Miniatures games like Warhammer can cost hundreds of dollars, depending on what type and how large of an army you want to build. Miniatures games like Warmammer, Warhammer 40K and Flames of War are very expensive to get into, since they are so open-ended. Yes, painting is a big part of games like that!
There are a lot of board games out there that are also relatively reasonable to get. These are games like Memoir '44 and Last Night On Earth. The base game is around $40.00, and the various expansions can run about $25.00 each. The nice thing about these is that you don't have to get the expansions if you don't want to. They have new counters, maps and scenarios to expand the game.
I agree with your observation, Dave. I'm not sure this is about how to successfully monetize a business venture. More along the lines of another pretty nifty way to not only show off the capabilities of 3D printing, but also illustrate the potential of the technology for changing the way all kinds of developers and innovators bring products to market. At least, that's why it caught my eye.
Cool to see something like this. I wonder if they'll go the direction of coffee makers and paper printers. The hardware is really cheap to buy originally, but the margin on the coffee and ink make the company the big dollars.
Perhaps one hidden benefit of creating these game pieces would be to expose young minds to the excitment of engineering tools like 3D CAD and 3D printing. Maybe this type of early involvement could spark an interest in a future design engineering career.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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