In 2012, I Ordered A Custom-Built Robot Off The Internet

The future is here. In 2012, I went to a website on my computer, designed my own robot – every piece, part, and color – and had him shipped directly to my desk at work. It was easy, it was fun, and it only cost me $30. And I’m convinced it’s the future.

Of course, he’s not a *real* robot, more of a figurine, but it’s still one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had. I stumbed across My Robot Nation via Brian Jepson, who I had the pleasure of meeting at Maker Faire NY last year. The site is pretty simple – they’ve built a web-based design process where users can choose from thousands of options to customize their very own robot figurine.


Once you’ve picked all the parts and pieces, you proceed to the color chooser, where you can hand-select the color for pretty much every part of your robot.

Ricky's RobotOnce you name your robot and finalize your order, My Robot Nation uses a 3D printing technique to literally ‘print’ your creation out using gypsum powder and ships it right to you.

As you can see by the photo of my robot, they’re quite detailed, though unfortunately, the limbs do not move (perhaps a future upgrade to the site will allow moveable arms and legs?) but your little robot is certainly all kinds of awesome.

I built a 3-inch version, which was $30. They’ll build up to 6-inches for $170. Yeah, it’s a bit pricey, but come on, you get to build your very own robot! I’ll be honest – I’m already itching to build another one.

I’m convinced that 3D printing is going to literally change the way many industries work in the very near future. If it was this easy for me to ‘print out’ a figurine, imagine all the other things you could design easily and then print out using a 3d printer.

Published by rcadden

Just a dude with a phone.

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