When you were a kid, did you ever want to make a figurine of your design? Growing up, I don’t remember having a lot of options in customizing toys. This lack of customization can limit a child’s creativity. These days though, companies have found a way to bring a child’s imagination into the toys they make. One such company is Little You, which lets children design their anime figurines and brings them to life through 3D printing.
Developing a child’s creativity
Christina Guo, the founder of Little You, believes in cultivating a child’s creativity. During her time at university, she learned that “children at age 5 have the greatest capability for creation.” With that, she set out to create a solution to encourage and nurture a child’s imagination.
Little You makes use of 3D printing technology to create the designs. The materials used in printing the figures can be acrylic resin, glass fiber composite, and sandstone, all in full color. They also use “full-color candy and metal down the pipeline, resulting in a multitextured sensory experience.”
"Digital printing and 3D images are a great way to enhance a kid’s imagination, motor skills, and brain development. So, enjoy and download your own design models today!"#3d #3dmodel #digitalart #art #design #3dprinthttps://t.co/QZWlnQ4M5w pic.twitter.com/c3lMSMueGB
— Little You (@littleyou3d) April 25, 2022
Creating is just one aspect of Little You. Apart from letting a child customize their figurine, they can also share them with others online after making their design. Sharing online allows the child to interact with others and become more confident in themselves. Parents can also bond with their kids while creating the anime figure together.
Customizing your anime figure
The steps to creating your anime figurine are pretty simple. All you have to do is go to Little You’s website, click on Play, and it will take you to a new page where you can customize the anime figurine. You can add details like its hair, eyes, mouth, and expressions to the figure. You can also dress it by mixing and matching the tops and bottoms or picking out a whole costume.
While there seems to be a lot of control in the customization, it also relies on what’s available in their roster for each detail. For example, you may get many hair options, but there are only a few designs for the mouth. You also can’t reposition or resize the details that you’re adding. Additionally, you can only put in one add-on for each detail you choose.
The color of these details, including your character’s skin tone, can also be changed. However, you’ll need patience when picking out the right color since the color palette is visually small for me. You’ll also have to click on “Choose” first before it can be an option for you to pick. If you want to change the color of a particular detail, you’ll have to first click on the color in your list of color options and then click on the detail you want to change.
To test it out, I attempted to create an anime figure of the Japanese Vocaloid, Hatsune Miku, one of the oldest virtual singers and pop stars. Not my greatest creation, mind you, but as mentioned, there are a few limitations in Little You’s anime figurine creation. I figured that I wouldn’t be able to find the right costume, but I was surprised that the two-line lip design wasn’t in their roster of lips. The anime staple pleated schoolgirl skirt wasn’t available in their list of clothes, but it was interesting to see designs reminiscent of Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon in the mix.
The processing took a bit of time, but Little You gave me an option to buy my Miku creation or just share it in the gallery once it was done. For a 2cm, full-color acrylic resin character, it would cost $15. The price range can differ depending on your preference of material and size. Once you choose the material, Little You will 3D print your anime figurine and ship it to your address.
The app helps to get your creativity going, especially for kids. The anime figurine would also be a fun gift for your child, encouraging them to keep on with their creativity. Currently, Little You can only ship to Canada and the US.
YouTube: Tutorial – How to Customize an Avatar on Little You
Photo credits: The photos within the article are screenshots taken by the author for TechAcute. The feature image and the other product photos were provided to us from the featured company with permission to be used in our report.