Toy Articles’ customisation

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Leisure and free time have become essential in a society such as the current one, in which day-to-day activities are developed at a dizzying pace. In this scope, the accessories and articles that nowadays go along with any related activity have experienced a notable increase in the market. They do not always cover our requirements and expectations of the end-user and, consequently, the second hand market is experiencing a considerable rise with the new Internet technologies.

That is why, the consumer’s chance to participate in the design of bespoken products is becoming more and more necessary. This is what iBUS platform will offer. It consists of an integrated business model that will allow the parents and their children to design their own toys, which will also be safe. The platform will integrate all the value chain for the supply of this personalised articles, including the materials suppliers and manufacturers.

Playing is essential both for adults and children. In the case of adults, it supposes time to rest and distraction from daily routine. In the case of children, it is a basic activity as it leverages their motor, social and personal development. Moreover, it has a therapeutic role as a way to express inner emotions that are unable to express anyhow else

The toy industry is one of the most innovative ones, with near 60% of their products range being renovated annually[1]. The major challenge it faces is to develop products that meet all the market requirements. The effort in designing factors the industry has to apply is very important. In fact, according to some manufacturers, only 20% of the new designs ends with a product development. That is why it is necessary to place the final user in the production centre, in such a way that the final toy fully meets their needs and specifications.

An active participation of the consumers in the design and the potential of products customisation will allow to cover the gap existing in the market. Thus, the existing technological breach must be tackled through the development of tools and manufacturing technologies that, in an easy and intuitive way, allow the customer to design its own toy article. Additionally, the subsequent value chain, must be able to manipulate the corresponding CAD and its manufacturing through hybrid manufacturing technologies. This is the objective of the iBUS project. It aims to support the relocation of the traditional toys’ manufacturing in Europe through Internet-based technologies focused in very innovative safe and qualitative products bespoken-designed by the consumer. The safety aspects of personalised toys are not considered nowadays in existing Internet platforms; for this reason, this will be one of the revolutionary points of iBUS.

A very simple Design process for demand-driven toys customisation

[1] Toy Industries of Europe (TIETOYS). http://www.tietoy.org/