A couple years ago, Wayne left a career in the toy industry when he got “tired of the game”, and co-founded Dynamo Development Labs to find new approaches to creating toys. Around that time, affordable 3d printing grabbed his attention. It got him wondering what it could mean for manufacturing, particularly with a modular toy that’s a platform for play.
Wayne and his co-founder Tucker Johnson developed Modibot, a modular action figure that can be printed, and is currently available from places like Shapeways (Modibot Shapeways store).
I first met Wayne at an event at AS220 back when he was in the early stages of designing this. I volunteered to print some parts for him on my Thingomatic. I had to print the pieces pretty big because my printer resolution wasn’t very high, and because I was printing in brittle PLA. I’m still running test prints for Wayne as he explores the possibilities for printing Modibot and accessories on desktop 3D printers.
At the 2013 Hardware Innovation Workshop, Wayne gave a talk (shown in the video at the top of this post) on how 3D printing has changed his approach to the toy industry and how it makes it more natural for him to think in terms of creating platforms for playing.
Right now, Dynamo Development Labs is spinning up a hybrid manufacturing model: injection molding for the core chassis parts, and on-demand 3D printing for accessories. They are running a Kickstarter that’s over 50% of its way to its goal. Check it out at: ModiBot Mo: DIY Action Figures with 3d Printed accessories.