Visitors to the LEGO House’s adult fan event were gifted a LEGO 3D printed duck, which was an ongoing AFOL (Adult Fan Of LEGO) project at the LEGO House development studio. Ronen Hadar, LEGO’s Senior Director Additive Design and Manufacturing proudly shared the project on his LinkedIn feed adding that “the team has been working hard to develop, approve and manufacture this super cool element, in collaboration with our talented designers. This is an important milestone for the team. We are looking forward to share more news with you in the coming future.”
As explained in a story by Brickfanatics.com, the classic wooden duck is a piece of LEGO history, recreated in modern bricks for 2020s 40501 The Wooden Duck, which is available exclusively at the LEGO House in Billund, Denmark. While that 621-piece set includes a display stand, the real magic happens when you lift it off and pop it on a flat surface: pulling the string turns the wheels and snaps the beak, just like the wooden duck from 1935.
As a natural evolution of “toy-technology”, instead of the rigid wire used in the original toy, though, 40501 The Wooden Duck uses a combination of LEGO Technic elements to achieve its internal mechanism. As the next logical evolution, the tiny LEGO 3D printed duck handed out to LEGO House visitors recreates all the same functions of its bigger siblings on a much (much) smaller, fully integrated, scale, as a single piece 3D printed by polymer powder bed fusion.
Showing the capabilities of PBF technology, the diminutive red duck is smaller than a LEGO minifigure, but still manages to pack in all the same functionality of turning wheels and snapping beak when pushed along. According to one Instagram user who got their hands on one, the duck is the ‘first ever official 3D printed LEGO element’, but its availability beyond yesterday’s LEGO House AFOL Day is uncertain. In all likelihood, it’ll probably be exclusive to attendees.