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pugtato illustrationSome things just go better together. Where would gin be without tonic? Cookies without milk? Fred without Ginger? Bonnie without Clyde? Pugs without, er, potatoes? As historic pairings go, the latter may not be on your radar–meet the Pugtato, a delightful cross between the world’s most favored tuber and the undeniably adorable, snuffling, flat-faced canines that are one of the most popular dog breeds in the US these days.

Pugtato is the endearing creation of UK illustrator Sophie Corrigan, whose assortment of hybrid and anthropomorphic creatures, including her clever pun-imals, populate her website. One day, Eric Ho, social media specialist, digital marketing guru, and shop owner at Shapeways, was scouring Twitter for a design on which to base a new 3D printed cute figurine when he happened upon Corrigan’s Pugtato. He was immediately drawn to the adorable hybrid creature and wondered if Corrigan would be interested in collaborating.

Ho got in touch with Sophie and explained who he was, what Shapeways was, and why he was contacting her. He was surprised at just how easy it was to contact her and how open she was to discussing some kind of arrangement. He recalled the conversations that were the beginning of yet another great partnership:

“We discussed terms and conditions and agreed upon a licensing payment structure for the partnership. Once the licensing agreement was finalized and signed between both parties, I had the green light to make Pugtato into a 3D printed figurine.”

pugtato soloHo encountered what has certainly become a major issue in the world of open sharing and sourcing. He consulted Michael Weinberg, general counsel with Shapeways, who has written several helpful blog posts concerning issues like IP (intellectual property), fair use, and copyright. Ho got some crucial tips: get any agreement such as a license in writing.

“What that written agreement needs to include can vary (and it can be helpful to talk to a lawyer about specific cases you have in mind, especially in an area as new as licenses for 3D printing),” Ho explained.

pugtato with potatHo and Corrigan worked out a mutually beneficial agreement and soon after Pugtato went from 2D to 3D thanks to designer Kostika Spaho, who modeled the figurine on Corrigan’s illustration. Ultimately, the Pugtato 3D printed figurine was printed in full color sandstone–surely the ideal material for a potato, although perhaps less so for a pug. Shapeways offers full color sandstone printing at surprisingly affordable rates.

According to Eric Ho, the collaboration has already been quite a success. Pugtato, he said, “has already proven to be a favorable seller” not only on Shapeways, but also on other sites like Etsy and DesignByHumans. The diminutive pug-spud really is terribly endearing, as are most all of Sophie Corrigan’s peculiar and often funny hybrid creatures.

What are your thoughts on this rather odd 3D print?  Let us know in the 3D Printed Pugtato forum thread on 3DPB.com.As for Pugtato, it even has its own music video. Check it out:





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