My Robot Nation™
Frequently Asked Questions
All about robots
On the web
The 3d printing process
What is 3D Printing?
3D printing is cutting-edge technology that takes a digital 3D model and realizes it in the physical world. With the 3D Systems ZPrinters we use, it feels a bit like a science fiction "replicator": we materialize your object in full-color so you can hold it in your hand.
What makes My Robot Nation new or unique?
My Robot Nation is the first and only browser-based creation platform that lets the everyday consumer easily combine their individual choices on base parts, color, attachments and stamps to create an utterly unique and customized object – and then press a button to have it made real and delivered to their door. We think that's pretty special, and just the beginning of the 3D creation revolution that we're putting into consumers' hands.
All About Robots
What do the robots look like?
Take a look at some of the robots in the photo gallery
What sizes do the robots come in?
About 2 – 6 inches are the standard offerings in our order panel, but drop us a note if you'd like to order a specific size. It's completely flexible and we're happy to quote one for you! The "inches tall" for each size is approximate, because the precise size of your robot depends on the parts you pick and how you place them. Wheel legs make for a shorter Medium-sized robot than girder legs, for example. We've made the robots with collectability in mind, so you can collect your Nation in a particular size category and know that they'll each be in proportion to one another.
Where do you ship?
We ship it to your door anywhere in the US, Canada, Europe and many other countries in the world. NEW:
We've expanded our shipping to include Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, South Korea, China, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Turkey and Croatia! Robots are global!
How much do they cost?
The prices are based on the size of the figure.
The 2" robot is $17.99,
the 3" robot is $24.99,
the 4" robot is $52.99,
and up for the larger robots.
Why does the price increase so much for the larger robots?
As the robots get bigger, their volume increases in a cubic way. That means that doubling the size isn't twice the volume, but rather eight times the original volume.
Are these action figures or collectibles?
Your robot is NOT A TOY. The materials are earth-friendly and similar to ceramic in feel, but not suited for children and not rough-and-tumble ready. Treat your robot with respect – like a ceramic collectible.
How sturdy are these robot collectibles?
Like a ceramic object, they must be treated with care. Don't drop them, smack them around, soak them, light them on fire or put them in a microwave. (Also don't feed them after midnight). If they do (horrors!) break, we've found that a touch of Krazy Glue™ does wonders. Remember, they're created out of plaster powder bound together with a binder, so an epoxy repair is like the robot equivalent of a skin graft or blood transfusion!
Are the robots safe for small children?
NO! They don't shoot lasers out of their eyes (yet), but they are not toys. The materials used to create them are non-toxic, but they are breakable and could present a choking hazard. Please keep your awesome creation out of the hands of brutes and little ones. (Also not good for dogs, cats or other household pets.)
Why are the robots non-articulated?
Articulated parts would require additional materials and labor to allow the ceramic-like robots to move smoothly. Instead, we let you pose the robot online (arms, legs and head can be posed) and the figure of the robot holds that pose when it's made real. Also, we were concerned that robots with articulated parts could rise up and take over the world even faster. Let's give ourselves some breathing room...
How customizable are the robots?
You create your robot by combining body parts, attachments and stamps. There are over 9 billion combinations of those individual parts and on top of that you have complete control of placement and color – this makes your robot just about infinitely customizable. What you make can be utterly and only yours. You can also share your design with the rest of the Robot Nation and see what others create!
If I give you my own custom stamps as images, can they be used for my robot?
No, we don't support importing of images right now. It's trivial technically, but for legal and copyright reasons, we're not going there.
Hey, I've got my own 3D model I'd like to print – can you do that for me?
Good for you! My Robot Nation is for the rest of us who aren't expert 3D modelers with Max, Maya or CAD skills – but you can go straight to the best 3D printers in the industry, Offload Studios
, and they'll give you a quote on great high-quality printing for your model. Offload has extreme full-color 3D printing-fu. Drop them a line and send your model on for a quote!
On the Web
How does the 3D technology on the Web (WebGL™) work?
WebGL lets you see and interact with 3D objects natively in your browser. Because WebGL is integrated with the latest HTML technology, we can provide you with a seamless creation experience. This means that the robot that you see on your screen is just like the one you will receive in the mail (only the one on the screen is virtual, of course!). Under the hood, we use WebGL and HTML5 combined with patent pending techniques to create My Robot Nation.
How easy is it to design robots online in 3D?
My Robot Nation was developed by veteran games industry creatives – we leveraged decades of experience in building video games and game avatar systems into making the easiest, most fun construction possible. All you do is select, drag and click to build your perfect robot. Try it!
He's nearly perfect - Can I save my robot and finish him later?
You can save one work-in-progress robot to your cart. Just choose "Save and Buy" from the creation screen, and your robot will be saved to your cart for you to edit later. You need to sign in so we can save your robot for you. We'll keep him safe for you for 2 weeks, during which time you can come finish him off and make him real! If you want to save a new robot instead, simply hit "Reset Robot" on the creation page and your cart will be emptied, ready for your new robot!
Is a plugin needed for 3D on the Web?
Not at all – this all happens seamlessly in your Google® Chrome™ and Mozilla® Firefox™ browser! WebGL allows us to create a beautifully responsive high frame rate 3D experience right in your browser with no downloads or plug-ins at all! It's the future of 3D experience on the Web, a real treat to develop for – expect to see more amazing innovations with WebGL from us and other developers!
What browsers are supported?
Chrome and the latest Firefox with WebGL enabled.
Seriously – no Internet Explorer support?
When Internet Explorer levels-up to support the new hotness that is browser-based 3D with WebGL, we'll be thrilled to support them.
The 3D Printing Process
How does a robot go from my imagination to held-in-my-hand reality?
You design your robot online, combining body parts, attachments, colors and stamps in over 9 billion combinations; then we feed your unique design into a 3D printer.
The printer projects the digital model of the 3D object into a compact base of gypsum powder (similar to plaster of Paris). Next, just as an inkjet moves over paper to print a document, it deposits a binder with 24-bit color layer-by-layer into the plaster-like base, literally building your robot millimeter by millimeter from the powder.
As it's built, the loose powder around it supports its structure so there is no wasteful scaffolding to remove, no toxic materials or run-off, and the unused loose powder is recycled right back into the machine.
An expert artist gently pulls your robot from the powder, as if on an archaeological dig, and carefully (they're very fragile in this state) blows off the loose powder and begins a sealing process that strengthens the collectible and gives it its special surface feel. Your robot is then set to cure and shipped directly to your door!
What are the robots made from?
The high performance composite resin that forms the robots is similar to plaster of Paris. The binder that solidifies them in the powder is integrated with color. The robots are then cured to harden them and protect them from the harmful UVs of the sun. Robots need sunscreen too!
How long does each robot take to make?
The robot is printed at a rate of about one inch per hour, and the full process of curing takes about 48 hours. Generally your robot goes from order to ready-to-ship in 5 days. From there, the postal service takes a few days to bring your robot to you, so from order to hold it in your hands takes about 8-10 business days in the US, about 10+ business days internationally, depending on country.
How "green" is this whole process?
Robots love the Earth, so they've chosen the greenest 3D printing process out there: the 3D Systems ZPrinting. 3D Systems ZPrinting uses only earth-friendly materials and is the fastest and most efficient additive manufacturing process available. There's virtually no waste, as the unused materials are recycled back into the machines. It's also the ONLY 3D printing process that allows for the vibrant full (24-bit) color that brings your robot to life.
What is the "backstory" of My Robot Nation?
We used to think we were in charge here, but it's become obvious to us that the robots manipulated this entire setup. They want to be created. They want to come into the world by the thousands. We think they may have plans...
Does My Robot Nation have any intellectual property in this?
Yes indeed we do – we have two provisional patents pending – it isn't easy to do what we do, and to do it as well as we are takes real programming and logistical chops! Our IP is part of the "secret" that makes My Robot Nation such a great success!
Are robots all you do?
The engine underlying our creation tool is completely flexible and designed to be a platform for 3D creation and customization of any object. With our browser-based engine (patents pending), we can build a platform for customization of any item you can hold in your hand. Robots are just the beginning.
I can't make a robot!
Because My Robot Nation uses WebGL, you might have problems running it on your computer. Check our help page
to try and fix it.
Do you see something wrong with the website? Let us know at email@example.com
Did something go wrong with your order? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org