3D printing increasingly has the potential to generate unique experiences on an individual level by empowering consumers to use or create products in new ways. Instead of being beholden to the designs or intentions of a generalized product, buyers will soon have the ability to tailor products to their specific needs.
In a humorous commentary on 3D printing’s potential, the Free Art and Technology Lab (FAT Lab) and Sy-Lab created what they call the Free Universal Construction Kit. The kit is a set of 300 3D printed “adapter” blocks that allow users to take disparate building toys such as Lincoln Logs, K’NEX, LEGO and Tinkertoys and to put them together to create things. It envisions a future where 3D printing not only allows consumers to create their own designs but to also take pre-existing products and re-imagine how they can be used.
The kit itself takes the similar conceit of each toy as a set of building blocks and uses that as a through line across several systems. By exploiting this similarity it reveals possible new uses that were hitherto unintended or unimaginable. And since new blocks can always be printed new systems can also be continually incorporated making sure creativity isn’t hampered by obsolete toys. Children then are able to explore their own creativity outside of the parameters of closed systems instead of being restricted to a set of proprietary choices.
The models for the blocks are available for download at Thingiverse which can then be manufactured on 3D printing devices.
Check out the video below to see the blocks in action: