LEGO Forge Concept | 2013

LEGO Forge Concept | 2013

What happens when manufacturers become publishers? 3D printing is about to make that a reality, like it or not. The Forge is my concept for proactively owning that change, from the specific perspective of LEGO, their business model and their brand promise.

My proposed ecosystem for the LEGO Forge 3D printer.

My proposed ecosystem for the LEGO Forge 3D printer.

It’s simple, really: the premium is on design, not manufacturing. Well, maybe not TODAY. But in a few years, that will be common sense. So why sell a physical brick, when the real money is in the blueprints and the raw materials?

In my Forge model, iBrick is the iTunes to LEGO’s Apple, and intellectual property holders may design whatever they wish and sell those blueprints through the iBrick store, with LEGO taking a piece of every transaction (sound familiar?). This quite favorably alters the revenue model for LEGO and at the same time dramatically enhances the veracity of their brand: bricks are a medium for play, and the Forge makes that even more true in the near future than it could ever possibly be today.