McDonalds is considering installing 3D printers 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 bundled in McDonalds’ Happy Meals.
Countless families have had their enjoyment of a nutritious McD’s ruined because they turned up the week that the starring character in that season’s kiddie-sized blockbuster had been replaced by an earnest but boring supporting character as the toy of choice.
Being able to cook up Monsters Inc’s Sully to order could be an even bigger draw for many families than the ability to order a cheeseburger without semi-raw diced onion or a wafer of pickle.
However, before you pile down to your nearest branch, it’s worth pointing out that this is not even a pilot.
“It’s just a thought,” said Fabes, speaking to El Reg at a Fujitsu customer event inMunich.
He said apart from cost considerations, there was the issue of whether plastic smelting machines were appropriate for use in food outlets.
Right now there are few names in 3D printing that will be familiar to mainstream tech buyers. However, Meg Whitman told a conference recently that HP was considering an entry into the market.
Fabes said any move by McDonalds would have to be alongside a serious tech supplier: “It’s got to be a big partner in terms of robustness.” ®
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