Autodesk is slowly taking over the 3D printing industry through its software, 3D printer, investments, and partnerships, with the latest partnership taking place with leading toy manufacturer Mattel. In a press release published today, Autodesk announced that it has signed an exclusive agreement to “power the Mattel toy line with cutting-edge 3D design and 3D printing technology.”
The software-turned-hardware company will be creating a range of apps that will give consumers the ability to design and customize their own toys that will, in turn, be 3D printed into the real world. Vice president and general manager of Consumer and 3D Printing at Autodesk, Samir Hanna, relayed, “Autodesk is dedicated to providing powerful, yet easy-to-use 3D design and 3D printing apps to unlock the creativity in everyone. Partnering with an iconic brand like Mattel provides us with an opportunity to demonstrate how Spark, our open 3D printing platform, can help create amazing experiences that bridge the digital and physical worlds and push the boundaries of creative play.”
Doug Wadleigh, senior vice president and global brand general manager of Toy Box at Mattel, added, “Technology is changing daily and by harnessing Mattel’s expertise in play and Autodesk’s expertise with creative apps and 3D printing, we’re able to offer a new kind of 3D design experience, continuing the Mattel legacy of inspiring imagination and creativity.”
The partnership is meant to give customers hands-on design experience through a fun learning environment so that they can see their own designs brought into the real world. And, while providing those interactive apps to their customers, the partners will also be competing with Hasbro and 3D Systems, which have already teamed up to bring 3D printed toys to market via personalized Marvel figurines and fan art from such franchises as My Little Pony, Transformers, and more. Their first app is scheduled to launch in the second half of this year, as part of a site dedicated to Mattel’s 3D printing activities.