Put a 3D printer into the hands of an experienced toy designer and amazing things can happen. That is especially the case with Mark Trageser, whose latest venture, InsaniTOY, is pushing the boundaries of what is possible with 3D printed toys.
While many entrepreneurs can be secretive about their business practices, Trageser is very open when sharing his tricks of the trade. One-half motivational speaker/one-half toy design wizard, he spends a considerable amount of time encouraging others to enter the world of toy manufacturing by promoting the production capabilities of 3D printing.
At 3D Printer World, Trageser urged attendees to start toy businesses of their very own. While it may appear he is grooming the competition, he has enough confidence in his own inventive imagination to openly support the success of his fellow designers.
In his tutelage of up-and-coming toy designers, Trageser is very straightforward about the challenges and intricacies of toy design. His own work at InsaniTOY demonstrates smart engineering principles combined with aesthetic design methods using 3D printing. His firm understanding of the material properties of ABS and flexible TPE Nylon allow him to 3D print toys with functional capabilities. A prime example is his Double Shock 3D printed car available at Shapeways. What separates the Double Shock toy from other 3D printed cars is the suspension built into the vehicle. It comes fresh off the 3D printer fully operational, with no assembly required. It has spinning wheels and a two-piece pivoting chassis that when combined with the built-in two-spring shock suspension, can take full advantage of flexible SLA materials for a bouncy effect that would make any car enthusiast proud.
Like the Double Shock car, all of the toys found on InsaniTOY have fully functional capabilities. The goal behind InsaniTOY's Raygun attachment was to create a 3D printed design that could easily incorporate a pre-existing household object, such as a flashlight. Mark eventually hopes to cross sell his Ray Gun attachment and possibly team up with a flashlight manufacturer. This cross selling strategy can be advantageous for big box stores like Walmart and online marketplaces, where 3D printed attachable toys could be purchased in combination with pre-existing products to create novel play experiences for kids and adults alike.
Another fully-functional toy, the RoboCheetah is an ongoing project to show how one file, when modified a little, can be reproduced and customized in any size with a broad range of materials. Thanks to the powerful production capabilities of 3D printing and cutting-edge 3D modeling software, RoboCheetah can begin as a two dimensional drawing that is then extruded into a 3D printable object. The Cheetah can then be reproduced in many ways. The RoboCheetah is available in a wide assortment of materials and sizes.
Based on his success so far, Trageser's future outlook for InsaniTOY is very positive. As the technology matures, he sees plenty of areas to re-imagine and invent new categories for the 3D printed toy market.