If you could walk into your nearest McDonald’s and get any Happy Meal toy–any toy, mind you, not just one that’s being advertised that week–would you go more often? McDonald’s certainly hopes so.
Mark Fabes, McDonald’s IT Director, recently pondered the idea of using in-store 3-D printing to print plastic Happy Meal toys. Fabes, who was speaking on a panel about emerging technologies at a Fujitsu customer event in Munich, said using 3-D printers would allow the fast food giant to print the toy of the child’s choice if he or she didn’t like the one that MCDonald’s is offering at the time.
While the idea is certainly intriguing, we can’t help wondering if the use of 3-D printers at a food outlet is appropriate. Studies have shown that 3-D printers using plastic feedstock are high emitters of ultra-fine particles (UFPs) and can have emission rates as high as a burning a cigarette–deadly for the lungs.