Skylanders are Born with PolyJet 3D Printing
3D Printing and Toys
The Skylanders franchise from Toys for Bob is a popular "toys to life" game that combines digital interactive gameplay with tangible, physical toys. The game allows players to control virtual versions of their RFID-equipped figurines in a new crossover entertainment category.
With the level of detail and accuracy required to produce the models, 3D printing with Stratasys PolyJet printers was a perfect match. This particular situation also contrasts the benefit of using stronger materials over aesthetics, and using finishing options to get your desired look. Intially an investment was made into full-colour 3D printing, but after experiencing the brittleness of the materials, the team at Toys for Bob switched to an Objet Eden system. This new 3D printer allowed them to create more durable toys and limit the amount of post-processing needed.
The newest addition to their 3D printing lab is a MakerBot 3D printer. Although it is a step backward in terms of technology capabilities, this is a common purchasing habit for heavy 3D printer users. A lower costing system is able to prototype early design iterations as well as contribute to concept development at a much more economical price point. After designs are decided on, they can be printed on the more professional system.
"Before we started 3D printing, the process took a long time. Basically, we would draw a character. We'd have a toy team to kind of help us model it … and also prototype the actual physical toys. And that could take months and months of work before we'd actually see anything back,"