Cool Kid Showing Off Piece

Piecemaker Technologies in East Liberty has launched one of the first true mass applications of 3D printing technology in retail and announced that Toys”R”Us will offer 3D printing in two retail outlets, just in time for the holiday shopping season.

Customers will be able to print small gifts and personalized items, from key chains to brick toy compatible blocks. Prices for printed pieces range from $6.99 for smaller items like personalized guitar picks to $12.99 for bigger pieces.

The first retail outlets with the Piecemaker 3D printing are in Cranberry, Pa. and Totowa, NJ.

How did the Pittsburgh AlphaLab Gear startup break through and create a product for the childrens’ retail market? The partnership plans solidified after Piecemaker piloted its technology in three independent stores in the region, including S.W. Randall toy stores.

Co-founder Arden Rosenblatt credits two things. “Part of it is that we have a tremendous team—great talent in software, engineering and design. It also has been really important for us to focus our efforts in one area.”

The company is making inroads in the toy market as a first step in its plans to expand to other verticals such as wearables. Piecemaker plans to launch its technology nationally in 2015.


Leah Lizarondo is a food advocate, writer and speaker. She is also the co-founder of 412 Food Rescue, an organization that seeks to eliminate food waste to make an impact on hunger and the environment. She is the Chief Veghacker, recipe creator and curator at The Brazen Kitchen, where she writes about food and food policy. She writes about the intersection of food, health, innovation and policy.