Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Meet Bit Figs: 3D Printed, Pixel-Style Mini Figurines Built with the LEBLOX App

ST Medical Devices

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I have experience working with and caring for children, and recently observed children’s attraction to a particular suitcase that sits on a high shelf in a childcare/play room. The room is filled with toys of all kinds, big Legos, Lincoln Logs, train tracks, and Barbie dolls galore. But the thing that really gets the kids’ header-2014bimaginations going is that little suitcase filled with dollhouse trinkets for really small figurines. They set up whole rooms with mini plastic electronic and kitchen equipment replicas, and many would play for hours this way.

I understand the fascinating world of small things. As a child, I loved the Sesame Street “Twiddle Bug Family” — they lived in the miniature world of Ernie’s flower box. As an adult, I developed an unhealthy obsession with these tiny ninja figures that my nephew collected from a gumball style machine. Now, there’s a new mini figurine on the horizon, thanks to the LEBLOX app: Bit Figs!

The LEBLOX team, based out of Paris, made an app for smartphones that fuses art and technology with some old school video game nostalgic imagery. More specifically, it uses the “signature look of the 8-bit characters from videobit2 games” that “could easily be used to symbolize [an] entire generation” — as 3DPrint.com wrote here not too long ago. LEBLOX is an app that lets users make their own “8-bit artwork, avatars and figures.”  You can imagine that this can be quite fun for people who appreciate the technology reference to simpler times inherent in the pixel-based imagery. LEBLOX is partnered with FabZat, and since 2013, the two companies have shipped thousands of 3D printed figures made with the LEBLOX app.

You can imagine all of the cool ways that this app can be used: a best friend’s picture turned into a small figure for her birthday, a selfie, special occasions, no reason at all…

bit3The Onell Design team behind Bit Figs decided to go ahead with this widely successful app and create some pretty fun and entertaining characters they are starting to roll out based on their other more complex video game/figurine series “Glyos System & Passcode Series, and the MADD roster.” Marc Beaudette and his twin brother run Onell Designs, and Bit Figs is one of their projects. (They also run a record label).

The figures are quite small: they are an average of about 1.5 inches, but some are even 1.25 inches small. The catch is that they can be increased in size before printing using the LEBLOX app, which Beaudette informs us about on a Glyos Connection thread.

If you are an avid fan of pixel-based, 8-bit character imagery, or just need a new twist on your obsession with miniature figures, then you should check Bit Figs out!  What are your thoughts on these creations  Let us know in the 3D Printed Bit Figs forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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