Photos courtesy of LeLuv
As a cam girl, I’m always hunting for new, eye-catching sex toys to use in my cam show. During my most recent online-shopping binge, one toy stood out amongst the usual offerings—a smooth, glow-in-the-dark dildo created by LeLuv with a 3-D printer.
The technology to print my own sex toys exists, but I don't have the guts to try it at home. (As the Daily Dot points out, printing your own dildos could lead to health risks.) Luckily for this cam girl, LeLuv promises that their new poliquered production process creates safe 3-D-printed toys. Staying true to their advanced technology, they also accept Bitcoin as a form of payment.
Curious about the intersection of this new production process and the sex toy business, I called Taylor Coleman, LeLuv's owner and founder, to discuss the adult industry and the company's new 3-D-printed sexual-wellness line.
VICE: Why did you decide to start 3-D printing sex toys?
Taylor Coleman: I had an assistant who pointed out that the 3-D industry was starting to boom and that we could actually make things. Then I received a couple of emails [from my team] about how 3-D printing was taking over the manufacturing businesses of China, and I looked into it further. (We have a licensed engineer who designs our products for us, so they’re not what you’d call hobbyist-designed.) Then we make them in our shop here. We can offer 32 different colors, and we can customize them.
Would you say that 3-D printing lends itself to sex toy production?
It does because we can offer customization—many different types of products. Today we have logged in our master database over 2,000 skews [or types of products] that we can go ahead and print with 3-D printing.
What did you think about as you designed this sex toy line?
We took a look at the existing products out there and asked ourselves, “How could we improve these, and how could we differentiate [our products]?” We’ve also found a very high demand for what we have termed “out of round.” What we do is customize the products so that instead of having a circular dildo, we now have one that’s oval-shaped and slightly out of round. The orifices in the human body are not perfect circles—they’re actually ovals—so these toys really fit better ergonomically with the human body.
How many people are involved in the production process?
It’s a four-person team. Our first concern was [if we could] really make products that were of a medical-grade standard, and if we could not [make products] that were strong, sturdy, and had a finish that would be safe for their intended use, for us it would have had to be a pass.
We try to keep the equipment running 24/7 producing products. We have to do a minimal amount of sanding, and then we have to go into the finishing and drying process. It’s a multistep process to go ahead and get the lacquered, glass-like finish that we have on these toys that makes them medical grade and safe for human sexuality.
3-D-printing technology is here, but not everybody has access to the right materials, correct?
The ability to finish [these toys] as we do is not a hobbyist kind of technique. It’s much more sophisticated and time consuming if you don’t know what you’re doing.
What are some of the pros of your line in comparison to homemade 3-D-printed dildos?
The product is very strong—it’s extremely sturdy and durable—but I would say the real lynchpin here is the safety features due to the proprietary, poliquered finish that we use that makes the surface uniform, nonporous, hypoallergenic, and waterproof. Those things are extremely important for safety and health with human sexuality.
Do you have any predictions about the future of 3-D printing and sex toys?
We are working towards adding more machines and more capacity, as we get more and more and more product listings up. On a weekly basis, we are growing the number of products we have available. As we increase the selections, the demand for the products grows quite substantially because we provide more things that people are really looking for. So as the volume keeps growing, we’ll be adding more machines.
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