Right now, for toy manufacturer Lego, “Everything is Awesome.” In addition to the company’s ridiculously popular brick toys, Lego is raking in money from video games, theme parks, and one of the best-reviewed movies of 2014. But a technological challenge far greater than the threat of President Business looms on the horizon: 3D printing.
Thanks to the miracle of this new technology, consumers can create objects on their 3D printers for a fraction of the cost of buying those items in a retail environment. All they need is the right template, and they can churn out whatever products they need. In the case Lego fans, they can create simple blocks, Lego figurines (known as MiniFigs) and even customized pieces that are not available from the corporate catalog. For hobbyists who love building (and aspire to Nathan Sawaya levels of creativity) the appeal of 3D-printed Lego pieces will be sorely tempting.