Normally when someone mentions 3D printed toys, I usually envision tiny cars with movable wheels, rubber band guns, or action figures. Over the past two years or so we have gradually begun to see designers become more and more creative in this field of design. Whether the toys are 3D printed on desktop 3D printers or on more industrial level machines such as those operated by Shapeways, we have seen quite the evolution within this space.
For one 3D designer, named Mani Zamani from Gothenburg, Sweden, toy design is not something he takes lightly.
“I have been making collector grade art-toys for eight years,” Zamani tells 3DPrint.com. “I have been using many traditional techniques of toy making and I believe 3D printing has had a huge impact in my creations. It’s just been a few years that I’ve been giving toy collectors the possibility to own my creations thanks to 3D printing manufacturing.”
Zamani, who spends about three full months, from the initial idea and sketching phase until he has finished modeling a toy, always uses Rhino3D to create his 3D printable models. He then uses Shapeways to have his toys printed using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) machines.
His latest collection, entitled “Extra Terestri Aristocrats“, is currently available for sale, starting at $4.00 per item, and going up to $160 per piece. He believe that SLS 3D printing has been extremely instrumental in allowing him to create these incredibly unique toys which quite frankly are unlike anything we have seen before.
“The technique of SLS printing allows me to visualize a subtle mix of clothing and alien skin, interwoven within each other depicting a certain aristocracy dominating the galaxy,” he tells us. “Whenever I see a fresh complex shape coming out of powder (SLS), I can’t help but feel that these powders are coming from another plant in the galaxy and inside there are these alien forms with unimaginable shapes. So I thought, ‘lets create a story about a group of aliens with familiar but complex outfit coming from the powder right to our living room’.”
As you can see in the photos and videos provided, these toys are not like any toy you have probably ever seen or played with before. While they are considered “collector grade” toys, Zamani does tell us that some do have movable parts which allow them to actually be “played with” as well. The Sharkpasha figurine has a slight flexibility to its hands which are able to be posed in order to hold objects. Mostly though, these toys are aimed at collector communities, showing off “the evolution of our culture and technology (3D printing)”.
What do you think of these unique 3D printed toys? Are these something you would want sitting on a shelf in your home? Discuss in the ‘Extra Terestri Aristocrats’ forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video and the image gallery below.