Z Corp has taken another step to integrate its equipment into the personal manufacturing cycle. Recently they struck a deal with Bentley software to link with the construction industry. Now they touch the gaming space by providing a way to easily 3D print your Spore creations.
Um, what's Spore again? The Spore Creature Creator is a wildly popular game that lets you create your very own amazing lifeforms. The possibilities are limitless, so it is used by many highly creative people. But what happens when you are tired of just looking at your creature on the 2D screen?
EA and Z Corporation created SporeSculptor, a new specialized 3D print service that permits Spore creature makers to upload their design and receive their creature in 3D form. Here's some interesting bits we noticed about the service:
- To overcome the complexities of 3D printing constraints, SporeSculptor provides very simple guidelines that will cover off at least 80% of the characteristics most likely to cause printing failure. Example: "Legs are Good". "No large structures supported by thin structures", etc.
- Only one sculpture per order is permitted. I guess they are expecting a rush, as has been experienced by similar services.
- A gallery of sculpture examples is forming. When we looked, there wasn't that many images. We're pretty sure there will be plenty to come.
- Pricing appears to be USD$49 per print, which sounds about right for this sort of thing.
We can't help but contrast this development against other figure-printing services. Most of the others have overcome the complexity problem by pre-making the designs and having the customer merely choose from a fixed set. SporeSculptor has an advantage because their customers by definition know how to design the figurines. Which approach will win? We suspect both.