In an article published on the BBC News website, it was outlined that everyone's favourite street, Sesame Street would be making its way (surprisingly) into the world of 3D printing. MakerBot is making a downloadable figurine available from its digital store. Probably to the disappointment of some die-hard Sesame Street fans (hopefully of appropriate age), street favourites including the likes of Elmo and Big Bird haven't been announced as printable characters but Mr Snuffleupagus (or Snuffy) will definitely feature. It is hoped that more characters will be introduced further down the line.
Sesame Street is largely seen as a children's television institution, with something of a cult following. MakerBot is looking to capitalise on this and intends to roll out a number of characters through its digital store. Industry insiders predict that 3D printing could pose a negative effect upon the toy industry as a whole. Looking closely, the worry is that 3D printing industry could do to the toy industry what illegal downloads did to the music industry. However, only time will tell whether these concerns are are well-founded.
Figurine Things Out
Coming in at palm-sized proportions, (3.8in x 3.6in x 3.4in, to be precise) Mr Snuffleupagus will easily fit in your hand. Although it takes around 3 hours to print, it won't have cost you an arm and a leg, as it's priced at a very reasonable $1.29 (77p).
'Sesame Street has always been near and dear to my heart,' explains CEO Bre Pettis of who had previously worked at Jim Henderson’s Creature shop.
With the soaring interest in 3D printing and its potential, it's no wonder that companies are taking such a proactive approach to stay ahead.
The 3D Development
At present, the large majority of 3D printers are very expensive, not to mention time-consuming. The level of detail also varies from printer to printer, so (as with most things) you'll be shelling out more for a better end product. Developers are however making strides towards more economical alternatives to try and break the consumer printing market. 3D printers, though forecasted for commercial greatness, probably won't make their presence well and truly known for a couple of years at least.
This gap will give the 3D industry time to formulate a new batch of more affordable printers as well as market their wares. The toy industry will no doubt use this time to monitor 3D printing further and push for their campaigns.
3D printing, regardless of whether you love it or loathe, will undoubtedly usher in a whole new era of printing.
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