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Makie is a fully customizable (and slightly unsettling) 3D-printed action figure

Albert Filice | May 22, 2013
Made in London, Makies are highly detailed, fully customizable, and posable action figures that are 3D printed using lasers.

Making custom designs with 3D printing is nothing new--in fact, it's right with the spirit of the technology. However we aren't all superb designers, and it can be challenging--or even impossible--to design something that you're happy with. So if you've been thinking about 3D printing a custom action figure, you might want to check out Makie, by MakieLab first.

MakieLab is a London-based toys and games company that's dedicated to creating "future-smashing" toys. What exactly that is, I'm not sure. The company's creations feature a rare level of customizability and detail in both the models and their clothing, not to mention realistic glossy eyes, a design choice some might deem creepy, but that I prefer to think of as awesome.

There are several advantages to ordering a custom figurine from Makie, rather than printing one of your own. For one, the company uses a highly sophisticated 3D printer that bonds powdered plastic via lasers, so the print resolution is quite high. Also, Makie let's you design figures using its online app, making it easy to customize the figure to look like you without too much effort. I tried out the app myself, and though they didn't have my exact hair style (think Jesus), I did manage to create something I wouldn't mind displaying in my living room.

Another interesting thing to note, is the fact that the figurines have hollow insides. This isn't necessarily to save on material cost, but to allow intrepid hackers to insert electronics into the models.

The only downside (for me, at least) is the price: it costs £99 (about $150) to order a figure. Makie compares the price to high-quality dolls you might find in a comic book shop or imported from Japan, claiming its figurines are slightly less expensive. But compared to mass-produced dolls, Makie's offerings are quite expensive. The level of care and detail that go into the figurines and the high level of customizability, though, is definitely worth it to some.


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