PEZ is a candy that we are all familiar with, perhaps not so much for the taste, but for the unique way of delivering these tablet-shaped candies to our mouths. These sugary tablets actually date all the way back to 1927 when a man named Eduard Haas III invented peppermint candy made of baking powders. He then proceeded to serve them in small containers. Later these containers evolved into the more modern day PEZ dispensers which many people collect. It wasn’t until the mid-1950s that PEZ CANDY Inc. first began placing heads on their candy dispensers, but since then the brand has really taken off, and remained one of the most well-known candies in the world.
Collectors have been known to pay as much as $32,000 for ultra rare PEZ dispensers, with some individual collectors owning over a thousand of these cute little containers themselves. For one couple in Indonesia, Gita and Onik Regitania, collecting PEZ dispensers has been a hobby for quite a long time. They have thousands of limited edition ‘PEZ heads’, but wanted something that they just couldn’t find anywhere else in the world: PEZ dispensers with their own heads on them. So, the couple got in contact with a company called SugaCube, located in South Jakarta, Indonesia, to see if it was possible to have their dreams made into a reality.
SugaCube, founded by Iwan Sugata and Harry Liong, opened its doors about 2 years ago in order to utilize a technology which they have become quite fond of: photogammetry. They have since moved into utilizing 3D printing and scanning technology as well.
“Gita was very interested of doing customized PEZ heads,” Iwan Sugata tells 3DPrint.com. “She [and her husband] are fanatics and collectors, and what they wanted specifically was their own heads as the characters for their own personalized PEZ dispensers, and they needed it fast, in less than 2 weeks since they will be attending a PEZ community [event] in Japan.”
Sugata and SugaCube were challenged with trying to create these heads in just a few days’ time. Fortunately for the Regitanias, they were up for the challenge.
At first SugaCube used an Artec EVA 3D scanner, but they found that the facial expressions were not all that natural looking, so they resorted to the technology which first got them into this business — photogammetry. Using a rigged camera system, which they set up in their Jakarta studio, they were able to capture the perfect facial expressions on Gita and Onik. Once they had the heads just the way they wanted, it was off to 3D printing them.
Using a 3D Systems ProJet 660, they printed out both 5 x 4.8 x 3 cm heads, and both clients were very satisfied with the results. The price for something like this? This service runs about 1,500,000 Indonesian Rupees, which equates to about $120 USD.
Gita and Onik will now be attending their PEZ convention with PEZ dispensers that no one has ever seen before, limited to a production quantity of just one. It should be interesting to hear what kind of reactions they get from their fellow collectors.
What do you think about this unique use of 3D printing in creating custom PEZ dispenser heads? Discuss in the 3D Printed PEZ Dispenser forum thread on 3DPB.com.