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My Robot Nation lets you build your own mini-robot


November 30, 2011

My Robot Nation - build your own miniature robot

My Robot Nation - build your own miniature robot

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Following a month long beta, My Robot Nation has officially launched its new website, which offers everyone a chance to create their own personalized miniature robots. With the browser-based building tools, visitors to the website can customize a robot from scratch, which they can then order to be generated with a 3D printer and shipped to them. It may sound like a simple concept, but that simplicity is what sets My Robot Nation apart from other 3D printing services on the market.

While most companies require an understanding of professional 3D imaging tools like CAD or Maya, this one gives customers a simple point-and-click platform to build their creations right in their browser. Using WebGL, visitors can choose from an assortment of parts, colors, and graphics to build an interactive 3D rendering of their robots piece by piece and view it from all angles. It feels similar to the Creature Creator in the video game, Spore, or a virtual Mr. Potato Head doll. If an order is placed, the design is fed into one of Z Corporation's 3D processing machines to print a full-color replica. The finished product will feel like plaster of Paris and be just as fragile, but will look exactly like the rendering on the website. With the impressive amount of features to choose from, there's almost a limitless number of robots to be made.

The user friendly design tool was developed by veterans of the video game industry, who know first hand the importance of making an easily accessible interface. My Robot Nation's founders, Mark Danks and Sara W. Stocker, envision the WebGL interface being applied to other designs and tools in the future. As their site and many science fiction movies have said: "Robots are just the beginning."

Currently, the website is offering 2-inch models for US$17.99 all the way up to a 6-inch model for US$169.99.

Source: My Robot Nation via Ars Technica

About the Author
Jonathan Fincher Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things. All articles by Jonathan Fincher

Shoutout to Mark and Sarah for a terrific product and execution!

Todd Dunning

In other forums people report that the models are fairly brittle and powdery, and also non-articulated. The addition of some clear varnish could help these problems somewhat.

Even so, these models point the way for good things to come from 3D printing in the future.


I was just in Shanghai, I told some manager of some companies there (I\'m just an electrician but was invited along to their dinners because I\'m english speaking) that China\'s manufacturing industry would be dead in within 30 years because of home manufacturing. At the moment we have the app store, soon we\'ll have the crap store. They looked at me like I was an alien.....but I\'m used to that.

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