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Why Is 3D Printing the Best Manufacturing Option in the Toy Industry?

Based on related studies, the economic impact of 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, in different industries is expected to reach $230 to $550 billion by 2025. $100 to $300 billion of this amount is estimated to be related to consumer products, including toys. Anyhow, it is fair to ask how 3D printing’s economic impact is translated into the toy and game industry? Well, the short answer is tremendous cost saving.

In a study conducted by Michigan Technological University, in one single factory, different types of objects including,g six common complex toys, were tried to be manufactured using 3D printing and commercially available alternatives. The result of the comparison between the manufacturing costs using 3D printers and other methods was shocking! On average, additive manufacturing saved up to 75% on the cost of the manufacturing of a part using other commercially available methods.

Now, let’s see, except for the cost savings, how else, 3D printing benefits the toy industry.

If you are a toy supplier in Orange County and are looking for a trustworthy 3D printing company to be your partner, click here.

3D Printing Makes Customization Economical

It is always impressive to create personalized products for the customers. However, when it comes to toy customization, besides cost, the lead time can also be a hindering factor. If we want to use traditional manufacturing methods such as injection molding or casting, these factors make it somewhat impractical to customize.

In case low production volumes are required, 3D printing is obviously the preferred option. Amazingly when it comes to toy mass customization, 3D printing is still the superior option as it allows for fast design iteration. Nonetheless, since there are stringent requirements in the toy industry related to the material of the final products, 3D printing has to be used along with conventional methods.

Hybrid Solutions

Nylon 12 Powder that is used in Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printing to create toys (and many other consumer products) is 99% safe and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved. Despite this, the customer may simply demand a particular material to produce the toys that are not used in any 3D printing technology. Naturally, in this case, 3D printing cannot be used alone to meet the demand.

In this case, 3D printing can produce the tooling options such as molds and mold inlays for casting. Once the required tools are built via 3D printing, they can be used to manufacturer the toys with demanded material. Having complex geometrics is also no more a problem because 3D printing creates the tools with perfect precision.

3D Printing Has Made Repairing Toys Feasible

It so happens that finding spare parts for broken toys leads to nowhere. The reason is simple; if the toys are old, the spare parts don’t exist anymore, and if they are not old, the spare parts most probably are not produced individually. With 3D printing in action, manufacturers can print the parts whenever needed, and toy repair businesses can operate much easier.

If you have a toy repair business in Orange County and look for a reliable spare part supplier, ShapeSourced is your premier option.

3D Printing Has Provided Customer Relationship Building Opportunities

Providing the customers with what they want is the ultimate marketing goal. Thanks to 3D printing, toy companies can now communicate with their customers and offer them exactly what they want. All the customers need to do is send their required design file to them, and the toy companies will deliver the products with the same geometrics and materials required by them.

Of course, such an interaction with the customer community will lead to a stronger relationship with customers.


The way that 3D printing has transformed the toy industry and many other industries such as medical, dental, audiology, and jewelry recalls the transition from illustration and painting to the age of photography. It is not unimaginable that in the same way that we have witnessed 35mm cameras gave their place to digital cameras, future 3D printers surprise us with their new features and qualities soon.


Resources :


Mims, C. (2010, October 28). How 3-D Printing Is Transforming the Toy Industry. MIT Technology Review. https://www.technologyreview.com/2010/10/28/199261/how-3-d-printing-is-transforming-the-toy-industry/


AMFG. (2018, October 31). 5 Ways 3D printing Can Benefit the Toy Industry. https://amfg.ai/2018/10/31/5-ways-3d-printing-can-benefit-the-toy-industry/


sculpteo. (n.d.). 3D printing toys in 2020: Why toys manufacturers should start thinking about it. https://www.sculpteo.com/en/3d-learning-hub/applications-of-3d-printing/3d-printing-toys/


Hendrixson, S. (2017, June 2). What the Toy Industry Can Teach Us About 3D Printing. ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING. https://www.additivemanufacturing.media/articles/what-the-toy-industry-can-teach-us-about-3d-printing-


Sheahan, C., & Galvañ, J. (2018, January 12). Possibilities of 3D printing for toy customisation. TCT Magazine. https://www.tctmagazine.com/blogs/guest-column/possibilities-3d-printing-for-toys-customisation/


Clarke, C. (2017, July 24). HOW 3D PRINTING COULD SAVE CONSUMERS MILLIONS IN TOYS AND GAMES. 3D Printing Industry. https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/3d-printing-save-consumers-millions-toys-games-118735/


TRUTH IN AGING. (n.d.). Nylon-12. https://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/nylon-12