Eddie Tsai of Hong Kong's Fung Academy researched the adoption of 3D printing by consumers and came up with the concept of "hyperlocal promotions, the ability to respond to events around the world with meaningful relevant products quickly."
An interesting concept certainly, but it quickly became reality for Tsai, who was contacted mere days later with a request from the CEO of Toys 'R Us Asia to produce a hyperlocal promotional toy to commemorate the giant Rubber Ducky that recently visited Hong Kong harbor.
On a strict deadline, Tsai brought together three key partners to develop the toy and 3D printing solution: Toys 'R Us for retail knowledge, IDEO Shanghai for toy concept and 3D Systems for 3D printing expertise and equipment.
Through a whirlwind development process, the team created a commemorative toy: A rubber duck placed upon a Hong Kong-related base, such as a Junk or Rickshaw, complete with a personalized name plate 3D printed in-store for the customer.
The team overcame a number of design and process challenges, but were able to set up a display at Toy 'R Us including some ten 3D Systems Cube 3D printers, which produced the customized nameplates.