A fascinating post on the REPLICATOR blog [//replicatorinc.com/blog/] by Joseph Flaherty [3D Printing and beyond] highlights how Disney is 3D Printing (3DP) some of its most beloved characters using the Zcorp colour technology. The availability of printing single models in multi-colour is key to this application, and it is taking longer for the other vendors to catch up with this concept than I originally anticipated when I first saw ZCorp's colour offerings.
Flaherty also suggests the possibility that Disney could be key a player in "broadening the awareness of 3D printing tech via the coming revamp of their stores and theme parks." After all — who doesn't recognize the Disney brand? Love it or otherwise, most of us have been captivated by at least one of the Disney blockbusters, personally or via our children/grandchildren and Disney has a massive market share in its field, not to mention hundreds of potential outlets.
Debate about how to bring 3DP into the mainstream consciousness — both in terms of engineering/manufacturing and the consumer at large — has recently focused on finding a 'killer app', one that captures people's imagination and becomes a 'must have' item. Of course, many consumers are generally not necessarily concerned, or even interested, in 'how' something is made, but as Flaherty implies, if 3D printers were on site at the Disney theme parks and/or in the flagship stores then children and parents would be able to watch as their own, personalised models were created.
As with so many 3DP concepts over the years, this is speculation, but I intend to watch this one closely, I would love to see this happen!