Just when you thought that the biggest 3D printing news from Toy Fair 2016 was a 3D printer from Mattel and Autodesk, PieceMaker comes in with a whole swath of big news that includes its own set of big names. As PieceMaker works to bring 3D printing into the retail space, including metal 3D printing with ExOne, they’ve also partnered with huge companies Ford and Nickelodeon, which is carrying a lot of important licensed brands. And they’re showing it off at Toy Fair tomorrow.
Previously, Ford had made a deal with TurboSquid to sell 3D printable models of its vehicles. Now, with PieceMaker, the company is bringing personalized Ford F-150s and Mustangs into select retail locations. At Toy Fair, attendees will get a first-hand look at how customers will be able to go up to a PieceMaker kiosk and, beginning with the F-150, choose the colors, chassis, and one of three truck body styles (Traditional, Baja or Sport) to be 3D printed on-demand. Mark Bentley, Ford Licensing Manager, said of the deal, “Ford is pleased to license its 3D vehicle images to PieceMaker for this unique and innovative retail launch. Enabling consumers to 3D print Ford vehicles at toy stores is just another example of the importance Ford places on the future of 3D printing.” After pilot testing the truck model over the next month, the Mustang will be unveiled at various PieceMaker locations.
In addition to Ford products, PieceMaker will also showcase a number of Nickelodeon products at Toy Fair, as well, including: SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora and Friends, Blaze and the Monster Machines and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Shoppers at PieceMakers, stationed at a number of Toys R Us stores, will be able to, similarly, personalize these items and 3D print them on location, in 30 minutes or less and at prices of under $15. PieceMaker CEO Arden Rosenblatt is enthusiastic about the new line, saying, “We are tremendously excited to join together the world of 3D printing and personalization with such popular Nickelodeon characters, especially as kids can see their customized pieces come to life while they watch right in store. Nickelodeon is a leader in bringing cutting edge technology and experiences into kids’ everyday lives, and we are thrilled with this partnership.”
On top of these new licensing agreements, PieceMaker is also debuting its first kiosk devoted to 3D printing metal products. Customers will use the PieceMaker kiosk to design personalized jewelry to be 3D printed off-site and shipped directly to customers. Steel products will start at just $19.99, while other metals like Colored Steels, Silver, Gold, Brass, Bronze will be available as well, beginning at Toys R Us locations where PieceMaker kiosks are located. Rosenblatt adds, “We are tremendously excited to develop this new capability by partnering with the most advanced metal printing companies in the US, integrating PieceMaker’s unique expertise in mass customization for the retail space, to make personalized metal products more accessible and affordable than ever before. We believe this is the first step to a much more personalized, more exciting global jewelry and collectibles market.”
While there is not yet a 3D printer in every home, PieceMaker has made a few significant moves to get it into some important retail locations. 3D printing is not longer a mystery to the general public and the Pittsburgh startup is now ensuring that, if kids are going to be using the technology, that they might just end up using it at a local Toys R Us store.