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Tomoo Yamaji

Whether your favorite Transformers character showdown was the frightful Bruticus v. Metroplex or powerful Optimus Prime v. Megatron, when it comes to Transformers on the battlefield, one thing is for sure: it’s a brutal fight. And there is an enormous following of fans–spanning all ages and generations–still quite dedicated to rooting for their favorite characters after all these years.

The series, developed by Hasbro in 1984, has been driven by toy makers since its inception after being inspired by Japanese toy manufacturer Takara. The show itself has gone through some ‘transformations’ throughout time also, from a cartoon to serious big-screen hits at the box office featuring the giant characters pounding toward us in the theater.

Now, designer and artist Tomoo Yamaji brings us a fully-functional, intricately detailed Transformer. The Stingray character is fully 3D printed and available in a comprehensive kit, including a pedestal, from Shapeways. Users are able to easily put together Stingray with screws, and no adhesive or other items required.

625x465_3268248_9670164_1427717805The kit for the 3D printed Stingray transformer includes 67 parts in six runners, and the parts come complete with screw holes for ease in putting together. The kit also has a detailed instruction manual for download with steps for putting the Transformer together.

Available in unfinished white plastic, and retailing at $190 from Shapeways, the pieces are strong but flexible, and afford you the option of finishing out the pieces with some creative painting. Yamaji provides some examples of a finished Stingray painted regally in blue, with gold accents. The assembled piece unfolds into the stingray vehicle, bearing intricately detailed wings, or transforms into the terrifying Transformer character, ready to head into battle.

This is an affordable way to make your own Transformers collectible (they can get pretty pricey), and the kit is a fantastic gift idea for ages of all levels. The design is also so aesthetically pleasing that it really doesn’t matter whether you are planning to head out onto the Transformers battlefield or not—fun for all is to be had both with the challenge of the multi-piece kit, and simply finishing up with your own piece of art that can be ‘transformed.’

T060101_STINGRAY_v2Yamaji is a Japanese designer who enjoys creating sculptural artworks. With the medium of 3D printing, he has the flexibility and independence associated with digital design and prototyping that allow so many young contemporary artists and makers to break into the toy and gaming figurine market these days without requiring massive amounts of capital first.

Yamaji has a number of other elegant designs in his portfolio that are similar transformative works painted vibrantly, along with other more classically shaped designs, some circular or even in the shapes of animals—equally elegant—that transform as well. All of his works are beautifully hand painted.

Is the 3D printed Stingray Transformer kit something you are interested in ordering from Shapeways, as well as downloading the instruction manual? Are you a die-hard Transformers fan, and if so, which character would you most like to see in 3D print? Tell us your thoughts and ideas in the 3D Printed Stingray Transformer Kit forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

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