A 3D printed Steampunk Earth is one way to bring fab-art inspiration to the masses, but nothing, and I mean nothing, is better than designing, printing and selling your own toys. Just ask Wayne Losey, creator of ModiBots, the snap-tastic, print-to-order robot toys you can mix and match for a custom creation of your own.


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ModiBots for you

ModiBots snap together, as you would imagine, with a ball-and-socket style attachments. Split up into smaller, snapable pieces makes them both easier to manufacture and provides for the endless mix-and-match possibilities. They’re a product of GoGoDynamo, a product that started after Wane started looking into 3D printing. “I’ve been experimenting with 3d printing at both Shapeways and Ponoko.” Wayne says, “The prints are really durable and that helps the figure to hold his poses and accessories.”

As Joseph Flaherty reports from Wired, Losey has “had double digit growth month-over-month leading up to and through the holidays” with last years sales being doubled by February 2013. The ModiVerse site was created to keep ModiBot fans apprised of all the Modi activity and with the figures and bits already available and the possibilities for future creations, their popularity is not a surprise.

The ModiBot line is available from their Shapeways Botshop with, get this, 124 products already available. There’s everything from the Okinawa Warrior Set (my favorite) to ModiBot Viking Combo complete with Viking helm and double broad axe. A lot of the individual pieces–heads, weapons and extras–are available and they’re all very reasonablly prices with the sets mentioned $11 and $6, respectively.

It’s fun to see the start of ModiBots and imagine it turning into the must-have product of the shopping season, spilling off of shelves around the world. At that point, they would likely be mass-produced, cast-plastic bits with perhaps the options to mod and accessorize your bot via the ModiBot print-to-order shop. Now, it certainly helps that these robots are both cool looking and come with a wide array of options, but I’m absolutely convinced that this is just one example–the beginning–of where we’ll see the growth of custom-made printed (and remixed?) toy-lines turn into the super-consumer products of the future.

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ModiBots via Wired
Images: Wayne Losey

Author

Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.