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Mattel wants you to design and 3D print your own toys

Toy manufacturer Mattel has announced a partnership with software company Autodesk, which will give folks the chance to design and 3D print their own toys.

The Autodesk-powered mobile apps will arrive later this year, allowing users to customise the toys. The designs can then be 3D printed or submitted to the manufacturer who’ll do likewise and ship it.

It’s unclear which toys will be available to design and customise within the app studios, but Mattel is behind global brand names like Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher Price and Thomas & Friends.

The parties say their alliance will give kids and families “the key to the your factory” and will inspire “unlimited imaginations.”

According to a joint press release:The exclusive collaboration aims to bring hands-on design experiences to support an interactive learning environment through fun apps so that kids can also learn while they play.”

Read more: Star Wars BB-8 droid is coming as a real toy

The partnership will allow Autodesk to push its own open 3D printing platform Spark.

The company’s VP Samir Hanna said: “Partnering with an iconic brand like Mattel provides us with an opportunity to demonstrate how Spark, our open 3D printing platform, can help create amazing experiences that bridge the digital and physical worlds and push the boundaries of creative play.”

Details are still pretty sparse right now, but we should be hearing more about this as we head towards the summer.

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