For those interested in collectible 3D objects, My Robot Nation has launched a service which allows anyone on the Web to design and order a custom built ceramic-like robot that can be delivered to your door in around 5 days. A print-on-demand service is not unique, but one thing that My Robot Nation has done that is different is that you can design your product in a web browser (currently Chrome and Firefox are supported) rather than use a specialized 3D design program.
The printing of Robots is only the beginning for My Robot Nation, apparently. The company intends to branch out into the personalization business for all kinds of objects. In a recent CNET article, company founder Sarah Stocker said, “”If we do this right, instead of sending Mother’s Day cards, you’ll go to the site, choose from a few keepsakes, add some trinkets, and make [your 3D printed item] personal.”
It’s not clear yet whether this is an idea that will take off. but just the availability of a service that an absolute design beginner can use is quite impressive. I must note, however, that in attempting to try this service on my own computer, I discovered that even though I have both Chrome and Firefox browsers, I was not able to open the design program. Apparently my computer does not have the WebGL technology that is required for the service to work. And if you are an Internet Explorer user, you won’t be able to use that browser to make a robot, either. Some people might be put off by technical roadblocks, but the service is so intriquing that I need to try this on a different computer.