In what I feel like can best be described as a unique cross-breeding between the digitized characters from Minecraft and the classic figures of Lego, the new app-driven design platform LEBLOX has created a space for almost anyone to create a 3D model of a customized avatar or object block by block.
The LEBLOX app was developed by French founders Mathieu Lecoupeur and Soy Phompraseuth, who have seen their creation expand greatly since partnering up with FabZat, the well-known 3D printing service providers, in 2013. Within the app is a digital design space that allows downloaders to easily create a 3D pixel design, creating geometrically-driven designs that can be 3D printed and shipped after completion. While the Avatar creator shown below is an easy way to begin designing personal figures, this fun tool is really quite flexible for more advanced users.
The design platform seems extremely convenient, using the touchscreen of your smartphone, LEBLOX users can zoom in and out, rotate, and color their 3D pixel models seamlessly. Blocks can bee added and subtracted at the click of a button onto a grid that can be set to either beginner or expert, depending on the age and experience of the LEBLOX designer. The expert setting within the app allows the user to access more innovative and complex tools for grander designs, making the gird area much more interactive and offering much more selection with the dimensions and color of the blocks. After you design your own character or object in pixelated form, you can have the 3D model sent to LEBLOX where they will 3D print and ship it to you.
In order to fulfill the demand of having these customized designs 3D printed and sent to app users, LEBLOX has partnered up with FabZat, which has already fulfilled thousands of orders of these pixelated prints. The reported cost of these 3D prints is estimated at two models for about $16, making it a pretty affordable way for those without a 3D printer to hold something they digitally designed themselves in the palm of their hands. Another quirky part of the application is the Photoblox, where you can actually take you pixelated design and place him into any photograph. You can place this customized design in any situation imaginable, and you can then send it to friends and share on social media.
The app is available for free on both the Apple and Android app stores, and the LEBLOX team has already teamed up with big-time show biz names like Sony Entertainment by making figures for their perfectly correlated release of the action-comedy movie Pixels. But, whether you want to have a pixelated 3D print from this film or to create your own impression of a celebrity, character, animal, or really anything you could imagine (in pixelated form that is), LEBLOX might be perfect for you.