In most offices, the desk of this journalist just wouldn’t be on. Plush toys from video games litter the surface, with the occasional Intel Bunnyman sitting next to Disney’s Stitch. But if this journalist had the device that Disney is working on, it’d be hard not to coat every centimetre of the desk in plushy goodness.
While 3D printers are just beginning to grace home offices, and Kickstarter and NASA are both working on 3D food printers, Disney is working on a “soft 3D printer.”
Different from the plastic 3D printers we’re seeing grace store shelves, a soft printer prints soft materials, such as cotton, wool, felt, and other fabrics that we’d regard as being soft. Disney’s proof of concept actually prints what it calls a “loose felt,” and is able to create actual objects, such as the tiny teddy bear in the video below.
What we’re looking at could be a new form of manufacturing for Disney, with possibilities of making custom plush toys at stores that are totally unique for children.
Given that a fabric is being printed, it’s also possible that Disney’s plushy printing could become a new form of clothing manufacturing, with designers able to craft clothing and have a printer make it, rather than rely on even a very impressive sewing machine.
Like all cool developments, give it time and you’ll probably see it in use soon.