Just like the oceans, the world’s landfills are being inundated with plastic waste. And this time of year, it gets much worse, as old, broken toys get tossed in the trash, replaced by shiny new ones. As many as 40 million toys are thrown away each year in France alone.
Of course, it’s tough to blame parents for this waste. Kids are tough on toys, so when Barbie loses a head or a fire truck loses a wheel, into the bin it goes—until now.
Dagoma, the 3D printing company, is launching “Operation Toy Rescue,” a project by TBWA/Paris that creates spare parts for many of the most popular toys in the world. Dagoma techs scanned hundreds of toys and modeled easily-broken parts in 3D, creating digital files that users can download from Toy-Resue.com to print the parts they need to fix old toys instead of buying new ones.
There are legs for Rex, the dinosaur from "Toy Story," ears for Mr. Potatohead, arms for Barbie and feet for Bratz, stormtrooper helmets and parts for the Millennium Falcon and Game Boy.
Environmentally concerned customers can also order plant-based filaments to print with. For those without their own 3D printers, Dagoma has a limited supply of pre-printed parts that are available for free. And Dagoma’s online community of collaborators can try to recreate other parts that aren’t in the current catalog of spares.
This isn’t the first time Dagoma has tried to use 3D printing for the common good. Earlier this year, after an increase in the availability of 3D-printed firearms, the company created and released gun blueprints with hidden flaws, intermingling them with the real files hosted online so the guns made with them wouldn’t function.