A few years ago LEGO was worried about look alike competitors and their impact on business. Today on the eve of their centenary, they have once again taken the world by storm with LEGO branded 3D printers and filament recyclers.
Now children (and not so young children) can enjoy printing their own blocks from LEGO designs and when they are bored with them, or they fade or get broken, they put them in the filament recycler and create new ones again. The zero waste concept has earned LEGO global recognition for helping to reduce mountains of plastic waste.
Setting up the LEGO 3D Printing Education Trust through the LEGO Foundation, LEGO has so far donated 3D printers to over 1,000 schools in 23 countries, to both high and low deciles, together with training courses on Computer Aided Design, 3D printing and modeling, and new venture business training.
They have set up a global cloud based design business where designers can earn royalties whenever people purchase their LEGO 3D designs.
Next year the most successful designers will travel with their parents, courtesy of LEGO, to their HQ in Billund, Denmark, for the inaugural LEGO 3D Printing design competition, where they will celebrate the most successful designs by age group. The top student designers will also be offered university scholarships to continue their education in related fields such as CAD, programming, 3D printing, chemistry, engineering and design.
Innovation head of LEGO, Magnus Blokker said that the company had recognised that despite the almost 100 year success of the company, which was founded in 1932, it was time for the company to reinvent itself and what better way to do it than engage their own fans and customers in the design and marketing of the product.
Board Manager Bau Isovernow said that the company is very excited to be reinvigorating the company and supporting the zero waste movement. The next step is going to be the development of their own whey based, biodegradable filament, so that any ‘blocks’ that are not recycled can simply be composted as they come from cow based milk waste. In fact they are good for the soil rather than a contributor to pollution.