3D printing is innovating adult toy industry

3D printing technology is being used to manufacture just about everything, including better adult toys.

U.S. President Barack Obama recently stated that 3D printing would "revolutionize the way we make almost everything," and boy was he right. Printable models , guns , pens , houses , human organs , and even a moon base is possible. It should come as no surprise that a start-up is using the technology to craft better sex toys.

Last week, BusinessWeek's Steve Cooper reported on how the arrival of new production technology was reinvigorating the otherwise stagnate vibrator industry. Cooper highlighted how Canada's Standard Innovation is able to rapidly prototype sex toys using 3d printers, a silicon-molding studio, and a collection of 400 odd mannequins with "anatomically correct internal organs" to test its newest concepts.

Standard Innovation CEO Danny Osadca told BusinessWeek that its in-house R&D capabilities give it a distinct competitive advantage. Osadca attributes the company's success to the ability to evolve products based on customer feedback and frequent testing, even earning itself some patents in the process.

Standard Innovation's success can be measured in its sales. The company, founded in 2008, has already sold millions of units, and its prospects are rising. Last year's revenues were around US$35 million, and Osadca forecasts growth of up to $50 million in 2013. Having 3D printing technology to prototype and not relying upon outsourced development is key to its success, he said, adding it's also enhancing adult relationships.

"While we use technology to make our lives better every day, it seems that few companies have applied that thinking to making our sex lives better," Osadca told BusinessWeek.

He may have a point. The Web is abuzz with stories about how it's possible to 3D print for extreme demands such as regrowing human ears, so why not monetize the technology to disrupt an industry that's proven commercially successful?

(image credit: http://poundbyepound.blogspot.com)

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