AMINIMAL Studio is a Brooklyn-based design company focused the use of emerging technologies as an approach to designing 21st century products. They recently wrote MAKE about their Kickstarter for the Inkimals project, a new 3D printing platform and web based app that enables the creation 3D toy designs from either 2D (hand-colored and scanned or computer modified) templates. The design is then 3D printed in one of several figure designs.
Svetlana Blum Briscella and John Briscella are the creative team behind AMINIMAL. They have use 3D printing as a method for manufacturing high quality products for companies such as MakerBot, the MoMA Store and Shapeways. Their compilations of designs include the Field Test Jewelry collection, the Makerbot Mixtape, the Makerbot Watch, overall design of the Makerbot store and the Shapeways sake set creator.
To show us how it works they sent us this “MAKE bunny” Inkimal render (print to follow) made using the blank drawing template, shown on the right. By editing the template file in a CAD program (which can be as simple as overlaying an image on top of the template, in your favorite drawing program). You could also print the template out, color it in by hand and then scan it back in and upload it. (Paper Print > Color > Scan > 3D Print.)
I asked John Briscella what inspired AMINIMAL Studio to create Inkimals:
Public interest in 3D printing continues to increase, yet many people have never seen a 3D print, much less have made their own. There is a few reasons for this, but mainly because of the steep learning curve in 3D design. Our goal with the app was to allow people to become more familiar with the idea of 3d printing and customizing their own products through interacting with apps. One of our first ideas into this direction was the sake set creator on Shapeways.
Inkimals takes a unique approach to design by stripping down design to the basics of a pen and paper. We wanted to take an analogue approach to a highly digital process. By drawing, you create your own story for the design.
As for the underlining basis of the toy industries and production methods, We hope to offset the toy export / import system (shown on world mapper) by local decentralized manufacturing. Making the object we want, on demand when we need them.
The 3D printers materials are eco friendly and that adds to our toy argument. Many of the toys today are petroleum based products. We are trying to use alternative materials.