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3D-printed toy tinkering

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Miniature arms, fingers, legs, and, shoelaces amass into a custom-designed action figure no taller than three inches – the first of its kind at I2P.

The figurine design comes to the lab by way of Justin Discoe, a Product Concoctionist for the Energy Institute at CSU and a private toy industry consultant  – Discoe is, in effect, a master toy tinkerer.

The action figure Discoe is working with a client to produce has a professional sports focus, but is also targeted toward empowering kids and encouraging fitness. I2P helped Discoe print a look-a-like prototype of an NBA athlete, and the prototype was recently presented to the NBA who gave Discoe the green light for the project.

“3D printing has truly changed the way I work as an industrial designer. The [I2P] Lab takes a lot of weight off my shoulders. Now that I have run a project through them, I have complete satisfaction and confidence that whatever I need to get made, they can do it or figure out a way to do it,” Discoe said.

Printing the figurine prototype proved to be difficult due its small size and detailed nature, and Discoe will need to refine the mold for future iterations before it is painted in full color. Discoe also plans to create similar models for NFL and MLB athletes.

But a photograph of the NBA figurine will have to wait.

“I wish that I could show you what was developed, but as with most product development, you will have to see it at Walmart, Target or Toys R Us next year!” Discoe said.