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Manufacturing a Spore Creature

May 23, 2009

Filed under: additive manufacturing,entertainment — Terry Wohlers @ 11:20

I’ve enjoyed talking about Spore and Spore Creature Creator over the past couple years. The game rolled out in September 2008. I’ve never played the game, but I have spent time with Spore Creature Creator—the software that allows you to produce creatures for the game.

Spore Creature Creator was developed to ensure that the creatures would be closed, 3D volumes—a requirement of additive manufacturing. This, coupled with its simple drag ‘n drop functionality, makes it fast and easy to produce a creature. With no experience whatsoever, I was able to create my first creature in a few minutes. What’s more, it was fun because the creature moves and makes sounds as you create it.

Three weeks ago, I spent a little extra time creating a Spore creature because I was planning to have it manufactured. After saving the creature, I went to sporesculptor.com and uploaded it. The process required only a few clicks. The cost to have one manufactured is $49, plus about $25 for FedEx shipping and $2 for handling. Six calendar days later, I had the creature in hand. You can see it here. I was happy with how it turned out.

The Help screen at sporesculptor.com states that it can 2-4 weeks to receive your Spore Sculpture. I needed it in time for a presentation, so I contacted the company, which likely expedited the order. I don’t know whether it actually takes 2-4 weeks under normal circumstances.

Electronic Arts, the makers of Spore and Spore Creature Creator, and Z Corp. (EA’s manufacturing partner) could not have made it easier. Stepping through the process shows you custom design and manufacturing at its finest.

If you’re interested in additional thoughts on Spore Creature Creator, enter “Spore” in the Search box at the right. It will display four additional commentaries that discuss the software.