In Jingle All The Way — perhaps one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time, at least in Springwise’s opinion — Arnold Schwarzenegger goes to absurd lengths to get the must-have toy craze Turbo-Man after they’ve sold out in stores. Zeitgeist products from the Furby to Pet Rock will always give parents a headache at Christmas time, but a bigger trend in the ascendancy is the Maker movement, which aims to get consumers creating their own personalized gadgets and playthings. In line with that philosophy, Modio is an app that makes it easy for kids to bring their own imagination to life in the form of a 3D printed superhero or monster figure, based on their own design.
Available as a free app for both iPhone and iPad, Modio lets users pick from a huge digital library of 3D parts – heads, bodies, legs and accessories — that can be combined with one another to create unique characters and creatures. Each piece can be customized down to color, pattern and texture, and a detail mode lets kids with a penchant for art to draw their own emblems. The finished design can be played with via the app to test the different poses they can make.
When they’re happy with their creation, those with access to a 3D printer can either quickly print their figure in one piece or print each part individually. Individual parts simply snap into place and they twist and bend just like they did in the app. Since each action figure is essentially modular, users can replace any broken parts, or change up their character by simply printing more. The app supports any 3D printer, although it comes optimized for the MakerBot and its Cloud Library out of the box.
Watch the video below to see the app in action:
Although using Modio to its full potential requires both an iPad and a 3D printer, it allows for a lot more freedom, as well as potential enjoyment and learning for kids than a store-bought toy would. Are there other typically mass-produced products that could be designed and manufactured by consumers using a similar platform?