While 3D printing failed to live up to its hype as a viable form of manufacturing—at least, in a way that makes sense—there were a few bespoke product companies that managed to pave their way through the noise and found success using more advanced additive manufacturing technologies to produce their one-off wares.
Among others was MakieLab, a startup that made bespoke 3D printed dolls tailored to the very specific request of customers. Unlike mass manufactured Barbie or American Girl dolls, MakieLab was able to create dolls tailored to very specific requests from a customer before fabricating with SLS 3D printers and processing to a finished product quality.
This morning, the company announced quietly on Facebook that they have been acquired by Disney and company founder Alice Taylor will now serve as the Director of the StudioLab at The Walt Disney Studios.
“We’d like to send enormous thanks to all of our customers, our supporters and our suppliers around the world for helping us to launch the world’s first 3D printed toy,” said the company in the post. “Makies were just a little ahead of their time. They’re going back to the future, which is where they came from in the first place, of course…”
While nothing has been said about what Disney has planned for their new custom toy platform, it’s safe to say that they’ll be leveraging it to do something similar on a much larger scale.