Could 3-D Printed Happy Meal Toys Be the Future?

McDonald's discussed using 3-D printers to create Happy Meal toys at a recent conference

McDonald's is mulling the idea of 3-D printing toys to order.

First iPad menus and robot servers hit the restaurant scene, and now 3-D printers. The Register reports that McDonald's brought up the idea of using 3-D printers to print out Happy Meal toys in the U.K. at a recent industry conference.

The U.K. IT director Mark Fabes noted that 3-D printing would allow immediate production of toys, which means kids can choose a toy of their choice and not worry about supply running short.

Of course, right now it's just an idea in the U.K. McDonald's; for actual mass production of the technology, Mickey D's would have to team up with a mainstream tech company. "It's just a thought," Fabes said, noting that the company would also have to ensure that the printers, which use plastic, were appropriate for a restaurant.


Then again, this isn't the first time printers have been used with food before; moto has notably had edible sushi paper (and menus) printed for its tasting menus in Chicago, while scientists have been testing meat substitutes that can be printed out. For chocoholics, a printer that prints out chocolate pieces has been developed, worth a little less than $5,000.