"The Economy of the Individual"
With the current trend moving towards personalization, localization and decentralization of products in the market, the economy is becoming “The economy of the individual.” Market focus has been shifting from high volumes, to innovative solutions, experiences, and products with the customer’s input. By leveraging 3D printing, small businesses are leading the way in this market niche with their specialty products and services. As 3D printing continues to grow, larger toy manufacturers are realizing that this process is more than just a fleeting “phase.” Subsequently, some toy manufacturers are adding 3D printers into their workflows, but will these large scale businesses be able to successfully adopt 3D printing into their workflow? Could these giant toy manufacturers future role change from selling actual toys to selling only 3D files of toys, transferring the manufacturing and customizing part to the customers? Only time will tell.
Along with creating customized toys, 3D printing technology can also be used to repair toys and create spare parts. Many of these spare parts don’t exist, or they are not produced individually, another plus with 3D printing. “You can use a printer to create almost anything you can dream.”