Blog Menu

Cosmic Modelz

August 20, 2006

Filed under: additive manufacturing,entertainment — Terry Wohlers @ 16:11

On August 3, 2006, The Wall Street Journal published an article titled New Copiers Create 3D Plastic Models on Demand. The story introduced 3D printers to many readers and cited recent developments and applications of 3D printing. Also, it revealed that SolidWorks is launching a new business called Cosmic Modelz in the coming weeks. Cosmic Modelz will permit kids—or anyone—to use the company’s Cosmic Blobs software to create custom action figures. This easy-to-use software sells for $40 and is targeted at kids. Using a new website operated by Z Corp., the Cosmic Blobs models will be sent to Z Corp. for production on one of its color 3D printers. The cost per model: $25 to $50. 

If you go to http://www.cosmicmodelz.com/, you will see a “Coming Soon” page (as of today) that introduces the visitor to the new service. The page shows examples of the kinds of figures that are possible.

If SolidWorks and Z Corp. follow through with the plan, it will be the first serious attempt to “commercialize” the use of 3D printers for the mass home market. Pricing is aggressive, so I would expect that many people will give it a try. When they see the model quality from the latest generation machines from Z Corp., they will undoubtedly show and tell their neighbors and friends. 

Nothing quite like this has been available, so its novelty could lead to something big. If even a tiny fraction of the kids with access to computers choose to have a model produced, it could generate millions of dollars of revenue.

I applaud SolidWorks and Z Corp. for their creativity and originality. I will be among the first in line to give it a try. And that line will likely grow long as the word gets out.