Finally after almost 1 year of planning, 6 months of preparation and 3 weeks of aggravation, Toy Forge is a reality, and I am proud to kick off the Toy Forge universe with Endo | The Skeleton.
The road to Endo hasn't been a simple one. I look around my at the boxes of print iterations and the stack of empty Filament reels in the corner and I feel happy about the having climbed this hill. But in order to truly explain this better I need to go back to the beginning.
In 2013 I bought my first 3D printer; the Ultimaker original. I had huge plans of making all my dream toys into a reality but i soon realized that FDM printing wasn't going to be straightforward. So I embarked on a study project to see just how much I could do with enough deliberation and elbow grease.
The result was the Ronin figure.
300 Pieces, designed, printed and sanded took a fair share of time, but I proved to myself it could be done, regardless of how inelegant it was. I shared the Ronin prototype with Ultimaker to thank them for the amazing work they had put into their machine and in turn they brought the Ronin into the spotlight. Immediately the Ronin showed up in a number of articles and I was even interviewed on the Allthings3D.net podcast with Michael Balzer and Chris Kopack. I continued to received e-mails with people wanting to buy the STLs to print for themselves, but seeing as how the Ronin started as a study project I was unhappy with the idea of selling such a non-consumer-friendly design to customers. If it was a product to market then it needed to be better.
So in order to make something more accessible I began the process again. This time trying to pack the design into something small. I designed a four inch version of the figure. But shrinking the design took away much of the detail and the figure lacked the same level of interest that was sparked in the larger format.
Then in September of 2014, Ultimaker flew me to the NY Maker Faire to unveil the special 3 Foot tall Ronin I designed for them. It was an amazing experience to meet the Ultimaker team and interact with people at the show. It refueled my desire to create a 3D printed action figure product that actually worked in the way I wanted. Thus began the creation process of Endo.
Though the initial design process was to create a companion design for the Ronin, I quickly decided to chuck this in the bin and start from scratch. The goal was clear in my head, something new, fun to play with, detailed, and easy to build and print. This meant no supports or adhesives. Easy interlocking parts with the option to swap them out for updates and upgrades. A modular design that looked good in one colour and with few pieces.