Since the best Corvette in the Chevrolet brand’s glorious history was named “Stingray”, this term has always represented a significant source of inspiration for car fans, especially in the Transformers series, where cars turn into other robotic “things”. Now on Shapeways, T060101, a 3D printable toy by Japan-based designer Tomooyamaji, takes this concept one step further by introducing a Stingray shaped “ship” that turns into a robot action figure.
Tomooyamaji is yet another example of a new generation of designers who have left their previous professional careers in high profile engineering or other industrial sectors, and use 3D printing as a means of pursuing a new creative path. While he has been creating and exhibiting his work in Japan, the Stingray transformer is the first object posted in the Shapeways online shop. And it is a beauty.
The print comes as a kit of of about 60-70 parts that need to be assembled with screws. No adhesive is necessary and all the screw holes have already been applied to all components, with the almost maniacal precision that only on-demand, custom manufacturing can offer (he will also personally send you the necessary screws upon ordering). The price, equivalent to €215, also reflects the uniqueness of this “toy”, but this should not be ascribed to the cost of 3D printing it, as much as the time necessary for designing and developing such a one-of-a-kind piece.
As mentioned, toy history has already seen its share of Stingray transformers. For instance, one from the past and inspired by the original animated series, can currently be found on eBay at prices ranging from $30 to $105. Another from the present is a character named “Sideswipe”, from the recent Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen movies, which Hasbro sells for about $60. Tomooyamaji’s is undeniably a toy from the future. Which one is for you?