Toys are a product that is is constantly changing. But the cost of the molding and traditional setups often make manufacturing toys prohibitively expensive for the lone garage inventor. Therefore most toy inventors attempt to license their ideas, but few ever succeed.
High Volume Production 3D printing offers an alternative to traditional toy manufacturing. It makes manufacturing and selling a toy as easy as making a website to sell it on. You just upload the files and then the printing factory can produce 10 or 10,000 as your sales grow. And, if you utilize the fulfillment capabilities of your 3D printing service then you never even have to pack and ship product. Slant 3D offers all of these resources. You basically just have to create a webstore, upload the 3D printing file, and watch the sales occur as all the manufacturing and fulfillment is handled by Slant 3D.
Advantages of manufacturing toys with 3D Printing
3D Printing offers several advantages to traditional manufacturing when it comes to toy design. With correct design, 3D printing could make a toy safer and cheaper to manufacture
Combine parts to be printed as a single piece.
There are very few limits on geometry when 3D printing a plastic part. This makes it possible to create very complex shapes as one single part. Which ultimately means that a toy is cheaper to assemble in production, and safer for the end user since fewer pieces, such as screws, are available to choke on.
A great example of using 3D printing to create parts that are simpler to manufacture and safer for children, are the LittleBots. Littlebots are a series of STEM robotics kits. But one of the things that makes them special is that they have very few fasteners. The LittleBots team was able to design each 3D printed piece to snap and join with others without requiring complex assembly. This has made the kits faster and easier to assemble in the classroom, but safer should younger children work with them.
Scale production with demand
Few new products ever sell a million in their first year, or even in their lifetime. But molding requires that you order thousands of units at a time. This is a very expensive option for a designer that is just launching a new product and is not sure of the demand.
Fortunately 3D printing has no minimum, and is able to scale with demand. An inventor can have a printing service produce just 10 units of an item then, when those are sold, he can grow to 100, then 1000, then 10,000. All without ever having to put down more cash than the individual cost of each item. No tooling, no inventory. Just on-demand manufacturing at any scale. But when your product is on track to sell millions then you can transfer to injection molding without worrying about the risk of the tooling.
The last advantage of 3D Printing production is there is no cost in changing the design as you grow. If you utilize injection molding then it is tens of thousands of dollars every time you tweak the product. With 3D printing that is not an issue. You can change the design as much as you want with very small fees to update it in production.
Create what was not possible before
The ability of 3D printing to free the toy designer is not often seen. Certainly it can combine assemblies, but those could still have been made with some other process, using more assembly. But 3D printing can create toys that were simply not possible before. Some pieces are just too complex to be made with other processes, period.
Great examples of this are the Gualala Gadget toys. These small complex marble towers could not be produced by any other method than 3D printing. Even if the could be broken into small enough pieces to be molded, the resulting product would be expensive and unattractive. 3D printing allows these beautiful toys to be created with basically zero startup cost.
Since production 3D printing can make any part, at any time, at any scale there is no reason to build up an inventory of a product. But this can can be taken even further. Instead of purchasing 100 units and holding them in your own warehouse, why not simply have them stored and fulfilled at the source.
Slant 3D offers assembly and fulfillment services to clients that do not want to deal with the supply chain. We will print your product, assemble and package it, and implement you into our fulfillment system, This means all you have to do is create the design and create a sellers portal on Ebay, Etsy, Amazon, or your own website. It leaves you free to design more amazing toys.
This is a great resource of a product just starting out and for designers that might not be familiar with the logistics of fulfillment.
High volume production 3D printing makes it possible to just design the 3D model of a file and immediately start production. Compared to traditional manufacturing the cost of setup is practically zero. And a designer can scale supply as needed, without having to order 1000's upfront.
This makes 3D printing essentially a manufacturing backend. Just as a server farm only delivers an app when it it downloaded, production 3D printing can deliver a toy only when it is purchased.
Toy inventors and companies now have the capability to test and expand on new ideas in a very low cost scalable way.
Interested in having your toy manufactured with 3D printing so that you can spend your time creating more toys and building a business rather than dealing with manufacturing? Get it quoted today!