A report in The Register quotes the Director of IT for McDonald's UK operation as stating at an event in Munich that the giant food mega-corp may be considering using 3D printers to produce small toys to be included in their popular (amongst youngsters) Happy Meals.
We suspect the idea would be that customers would order a Happy Meal and specify which item (or more likely character) would be printed to be included with the meal.
We predict a few issues with this approach:
- The printing process would be too slow and you know what happens when kids are kept waiting.
- Current 3D printers are too unreliable to produce successful objects on a consistent, operational basis that McDonalds would require.
- The printed objects (today) wouldn't be foodsafe. McDonalds producing non-foodsafe items? Not likely.
There would be some advantages, however. McDonalds would probably be able to license the 3D models of many popular characters that would otherwise be impossible to 3D print at home due to licensing restrictions.
Regardless, the McDonalds spokesperson also said, "It's just an idea."
Via The Register (Hat tip to James)