Apr. 6, 2015 | By Alec

It hardly needs repeating here that 3D printing technology is perfect for designing and creating awesome toys and robots, so it’s hardly surprising that the internet is full of downloadable designs. The vast majority of them, however, are basic plastic objects that lack the awesome moving components that made all the GI joes, action mans and transformers so fun to play with. Chances are that many children will quickly get bored of a 3D printed toy.

The 3D printed T060101 STINGRAY is a spaceship that easily transforms into a giant robot.

But there are some exceptions! Just take a look the awesome T060101 STINGRAY. With a gorgeous design and literally completely made of moving parts, you might be surprised to learn that this amazing toy was 100% 3D printed. This intricate transformers-like robot toy has been designed by Japanese artist Tomoo Yamaji, who spent years working as a civil engineer in a previous life. While his current day job is in chiropractic, contemporary art is Tomoo Yamaji’s true passion. As a result, he has participated in and hosted several art exhibitions throughout Japan over the last few years, featuring modern toys and other works of art that define today’s generation.

As he explains to 3ders.org, a 3D printing toy project seamlessly fit into his contemporary style. The STINGRAY itself obviously draws inspiration from transforming toys such as the TRANSFORMERS franchise, which have defined the lives of children everywhere throughout the eighties and nineties. ‘When I was a child, I really enjoyed playing with the transforming toys such as TRANSFORMERS products and I have dreamed to create my original toy by myself,’ Tomoo Yamaji explains. But its slender and stylish design has also been inspired by nature (‘plant, fish and birdlife’), traditional Japanese culture and the unmistakable presence of science fiction.

But unlike his usual creations, the T060101 STINGRAY has been designed with Shapeways, rather than an exhibition hall, in mind. ‘This is not an artwork but a toy targeting at adult customers who want the transforming toys with more adult atmosphere,’ Tomoo Yamaji tells us. As a result, the intricate design recently launched as a 3D printed kit that can be assembled at home. While not inexpensive with a price tag of $230, it is a gorgeous and high quality kit that is truly a collector’s item for the adult toy enthusiast.

As the designer explained, he completely designed the T060101 STINGRAY in the ever-popular Rhinoceros CAD software, and comprises an incredible 67 parts. Assembled with a bunch of screws (screw holes have already been included on the designs), these parts come together to form a very impressive transforming robot. The materials, Tomoo Yamaji assures us, are 3D printed in the highest possible quality in nylon (polyamide, to be precise) by Shapeways’ SLS 3D printers.

While this inspiring robot is currently the only type of its kind, Tomoo Yamaji is already working on a follow-up model in the same series as the T060101 STINGRAY. This will hopefully appear on Shapeways over the following months. At the same time, however, Tommo Yamaji has also been inspired to make a more artistic piece in a similar style with an eye on exhibiting it on an international contemporary art fair. Considering the tremendous quality of this design, we can only expect that a museum-worthy version will be a poster piece for all 3D printed toys.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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Brian wrote at 4/13/2015 11:05:00 PM:

This stuff is cool, but I would really love to try printing it out on my printer, not giving shapeways nearly $250 to do it for me.

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