Toymakers once made models by hand, but 3D printing has changed all that. Interactive toys are becoming more prevalent than traditional ones and rapidly increase revenues of retailers.
Toy market experiences best sales growth dynamics since 2010. According to retail sales data, sales of toys in the United Kingdom increased by 6% in 2014 compared with 2013. Consumers became more interested in interactive toys, pro duction of which is related to cheap, convenient, and user-friendly 3D printing.
Our customer from UK has predicted this industry trend and came up with a solution of Toogle Toy app that enables its users to produce toys with 3D printers.
Toy Industry, RetailCustomer
Toogle Toy is an interactive platform that allows create a toy by assembling together determined parts sets. Toogle Toy users can design and colour a toy according to their tastes and preferences. Later these models can be printed on a 3D printer.
Toys can be created randomly or by hand-picking each part. Also, registered users can use their ready-made toy models as avatars, view saved toys, name them, etc.
App users can order their toys to be printed by the Toogle Toy team or download files with the sketch to print it themselves on a 3D printer.
Moreover, users can share their toys in social networks or on Toogle Universe, a community for Toogle Toy users to share and view their friends’ toys and hit likes.
devabit team faced challenges of various complexity on different project stages. Our engineers have combined three platforms – Unity 3D, iOS, and .Net server side. devabit team of designers has drawn toy models in 3ds Max, and a FBX model of every part was a result of this process.
The main challenge was to integrate the FBX-formatted parts into the system since Unity doesn’t provide a dynamic import of graphic objects. Hence, the solution was to perform additional preprocessing of 3D objects in prevalent formats. We have come up with an automated files pre-processing prior to importing them to Unity for displaying. Due to using SDK and having develop our unique algorithm, devabit engineers have successfully parsed this model and got all the needed details. Also, our team has come up with an algorithm on 3D model optimisation to make app performance smoother and faster.
Another challenge was to develop and implement a user-friendly, intuitive design because the target users are 3-10 year old children. Research determined that children can easily use main app functions. Designers have put much effort in developing an intuitive design that would be positively perceived by the children of target age group. After a few iterations, current parts sets were created and implemented.
devabit team, on the technical side, has opened new horizons to porting the app to the web. In future, if the application becomes wildly popular, more complex and detailed parts, like wrists, gadgets in hands/paws are to be implemented. Our engineering team aims to make toys as customisable as possible.
With the MVP ready, our customer has conducted a research with 1000 children of the target age group (3-10 years old), The research reported the application is intuitive (ability to choose and add various toy parts, change colours, and save), easy to use (ability of users to create a new toy, save, name it, and share with friends), and user-friendly (ability to use Toogle Universe and 3D printing options).
As a result, our customer has got a stable application that works fast and smoothly on all mobile platforms and they proved their business concept too. The app is rich with the child-friendly design and is easy to use even for youngest kids. Moreover, the app is being constantly customised and improved for a better user experience.