Does that no mean the plastic for the printer is going to cost upwards of £100 for a gram?
McDonalds is considering whether 3D printers could be used in its stores to produce the pocket-sized toys which are a key part of their Happy Meals. The burger corp’s UK IT director, Mark Fabes, said he was looking at potential applications of 3d printing – and one was whether it could be used to produce the toys which are …
"Really, HP, amnesia in a major IT supplier is not an attractive attribute."
More likely they've only just remembered there's a huge, huge warehouse full of zillions of unsold Designjets, which have been sitting heavily on the balance sheet, rather like a surfeit of Big Macs.
Those who read Tim Worstal's article the other day will recall that millions can be made by linking up those who want lots of something, but think there's no supply, and those wanting to shift lots of something, but believing there's no demand. Somewhere in HP, some bright spark mulled and mulled over who in the world might have a demand for a lot of machines to print moderate numbers of small 3D plastic ornaments, printed to unexacting standards, and to a small range of patterns that change on a quarterly basis....
I guess what he was saying is that they could pilot the printing of toys - even if these are out of run / special edition that would cost extra.
Personally, I see the future as 3D printed food.
Vats of lab-grown minced beef, chicken style meat and even pork could be used to 'print' burgers, mcnuggets and mcribs on demand.
Given that McDonald's employees and for the most part fast food restaurants in general don't employ the brightest. When the current workers have an issue with putting paper in the receipt printer or figuring out why a receipt isn't printing let alone taking an order correctly, who exactly will replenish a 3D printer?
3D printers take ages to work and give off fumes. And it could take 10 minutes to print a crude "toy" assuming it wasn't botched during rendering. The tech would have to become a lot cheaper, faster, more reliable and less smelly for it to appear in a venue like McDonalds.
Yes their food is smelly as in their restaurant smells of cooked food. People are okay with this for obvious reasons.
They would not be okay if the restaurant smelt of burned plastic or other fumes. McDonalds would have to enclose these 3D printers in ventilation boxes, just compounding the pointlessness of the entire exercise.
They'll surely have some kind of expiry/lockdown on the file in the same way that digital cinemas do. After all regardless of how they are produced there's a licensing cost for all these things, which I expect is per unit or "up to a given number".
If they want to offer a menu (sorry) with multiple options, they could just ship boxes of each in an adaptation of what they currently do.