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The Washington Post: Lego Keeps an Eye on 3D Printing

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Last issue, we reported on a recent deal between 3D printing giant 3D Systems and famed toy company Hasbro. 

But as an interview between the Washington Post and Lego spokesperson Roar Rude Trangbaek reveals, not every toy company shares Hasbro’s enthusiasm for the industry. 

We won’t quote the whole article here, but it makes some interesting points: “you see the danger here for Lego.  3D printing may prove to be one of the biggest tests the company has ever faced.  Unlike the rise of PCs and tablets, which merely demanded that Lego invest in new digital products, 3D printing strikes at the heart of Lego’s core business.  Manufacturing small bits of plastic is, in fact, what 3D printers do best.”

For now Trangbaek isn’t worried, saying “it’s a lot harder than it looks to produce high-quality bricks…Lego doesn’t see rapid prototyping as a replacement for the ‘sophisticated molding process’ it currently uses to produce 55 billion Lego pieces a year…the result is a building block that snaps together and holds like glue yet can be easily dismantled by young hands.  ‘If you do it a little bit wrong, the bricks might not stick together, or maybe they’ll stick too well and the child won’t be able to pull them apart.’ said Trangbaek.”

However, as the article admits, Lego does use 3D printing technology to prototype their products, such as their brand new replica of the Simspons’ House.

Check out the whole Washington Post article here.

Image Courtesy of Lego

Quotes Courtesy of the Washington Post   

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