Once you get into a project and really start pumping, the pressure you can put on yourself to get an intricate model just right can be far greater–and more motivating–than that of anyone else. It’s a common thread in the making community where amazing projects come to light not out of any assignment or command, but simple creative desire.
And we’re betting you’ve never had anything like the ‘Codename Colossus: His Majesty’s Colossus Boudicca’ in your toy box. While the goal was to create the ‘ultimate toy,’ Michael Sng, the founder of Singapore’s Machination Studios, has erected an artistic masterpiece and mechanical sculpture–with a good deal of engineering and science thrown into the mix.
Considering just a couple of years ago the former chief product designer of STIKFAS (maker of action figurines) knew nothing about 3D printing, programming, or rigging up electronics, the toymaker has obviously mastered some serious new skills, having pulled off quite the prototype with hundreds of interlocking 3D printed parts to be assembled.
“In a lot of ways, I’m going back to an earlier time,” he says. “Physical toys with mechanical motion ignited my imagination and gave me a sense of wonder.”
The ‘bones’ of the piece were built on a Stratasys Fortus 250mc. Sng also programmed the microcontrollers for Codename Colossus and both designed and produced the circuit board.
“I will put myself through what others are not willing to go through,” states Sng, referring to his project as “a little technology, and a lot of insanity.”
“Why should I create a new product when I can create a new product category? I will be making the best toy in the world. But it is more than just a toy.”
Fully 3D printed, hand-painted, and featuring touches like handcrafted ‘battle damage’ on various parts (made with a Dremel tool), Codename Colossus stands over twenty inches tall, is completely original in every way, and can be made to order.
Meant to be an “artisanal, made to order, kinetic toy line set in Europe in an alternate history during The Great War,” the robot exudes energy, and is getting its day in the sun very quickly as well, much to Sng’s surprise, as thousands of views have been logged in on his YouTube video, with over 2,000 in one day, recently. It’s a point of interest because of the following features:
- Design featuring 435 3D printed, ABS and SLS hand-painted, laser cut pieces
- Hexapodal walking motion
- Hatches that open, wiggle, display emerging artillery
- Handles and hinges made with piano wire
- Detailed interiors
- Hand-painted ‘crew’
- Servo motors and LEDs
Codename Colossus also shows the impact that 3D printing, coupled with robotics, is having on the toy market, allowing tinkerers and makers to produce complex prototypes–as well as making them to order and handling business from beginning to end, rather than having to employ a middleman or manufacturer who not only holds up the timetable and often puts too many hands in the pot, but also takes a significant chunk of change away from the creator.
That’s how things were in the past though; now, artists, designers, toymakers and more can act on their own impetus, create their own deadlines, and run their own veritable custom toy factories. As Sng says, it’s “freedom from tyranny.” And 3D printing of parts gives him a way to handle business on his own, as well as reaching out to customers and fulfilling orders on a customized, personal level.
While he expects this to be the first in a series of products, he also looks for collaborators on future projects, and invites interested individuals to contact him.
Does this inspire you to work on a 3D printed project or toy as well? Have you thought about designing and 3D printing anything on this scale–or are you interested in collaborating with Michael Sng? Discuss your thoughts in the 3D Printed Codename Colossus forum thread over at 3DPB.com.