There’s a UK start-up, MakieLab, that has a design your own, 3D printed, action doll product in development. This new product is an interesting example of the use of disruptive 3D printing technology in an established industry. We have custom printed dolls today, and custom, automated doll factories will be a fact of life down the road a bit.
Take a look at MakieLab’s video showing the iPad app.
Today, the dolls are assembled by hand, and the clothes are also made by hand. With an automated assembly process, automated packaging and shipping, we would have a factory that was mostly automated. Sales are already accomplished on-line. That leaves management, the supply chain, and janitorial and maintenance for the humans. Once we have our own 3D printers, shipping would also be eliminated. Replication will happen in our homes and offices, and with replication, assembly would also no longer occur in the factory.
I can see that I’m going to need my own robot to assemble what I’m replicating.
There’s a progression here. and we can see the potential for boarded up factories along the road we are following. Are we en route to that event horizon Martin Ford warned us about in The Lights In The Tunnel?
This is, obviously, a great idea. MakieLabs is out there on the bleeding edge of 3D printing in a huge market dominated by the likes of Mattel, owner of American Girl.
I am not going to order my personal replicator just yet, but I do know a young girl who loves dolls. We might give this a try.
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