Hello my lovely readers!
I think by now we can all agree that sex toys are pretty damned awesome, even more so when they’re body safe. However most of the time even when we know what materials go in to our sex toys we’re still not wholly privy as to all the steps that go in to making a sex toy.
Thankfully that’s about to change because the fine folks over at Fun Factory were kind enough to offer me a little glimpse into how they run. So here, for you viewing pleasure, is a little exploration into the Factory behind the Fun as we delve into how Fun Factory toys are made.
So lets start with the design aspect.
Step One: Conception
Every great toy starts as a great idea and this is certainly the case at the Fun Factory factory. Sex toy designs usually start as rough sketches or drawings on paper before a 3D computer model is drafted up from the sketch. This 3D model is then used as the basis for any improvements and for the eventual mould.
Most of the Fun Factory team take their sex toy inspiration from nature or architecture, from there human anatomy and pleasure is incorporated to make something that is beautiful, playful, and practical all rolled in to one.
Step Two: The First 3D Model
Steps like this remind me of just how much human creativity is involved in sex toys, as well as the level of consideration that is put into every single design. Once the digital 3D model has been made an actual 3D model will be drafted out to see how the design translates.
Typically Fun Factory makes this out of foam at first or, sometimes, through the use of a 3D printer. This stage allows the designers to get a real feel for their design and to play around with it more, fine tuning it.
Step Three: The Prototype
It’s at this point where things start getting more technical. Once a shape has been decided upon for the new toy then a prototype is made.
This prototype is made from the final intended materials and is tested by user groups for functionality and handling. This means that even before sex toys get to sex toy testers they’ve already gone through rigorous testing with the user group.
Fun Factory, Bremen
Fun Factory sells a wide variety of products (from dildos and vibrators, to butt plugs and the rightly praised stronic pulsators) and has up to 120 employees. A lot of the manufacturing process still depends on in house workers using specially designed machine in their main hall in addition to working by hand.
When it comes to making the toy there are also many different stages.
Step One: Prepping the Material
Most Fun Factory products are made from medical grade silicone. This material is fantastic for sex toys because it’s non-porous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic, in addition to responding well to body heat. However getting silicone ready for use takes a lot of work.
Liquid silicone starts out with quite a few air pockets. These air pockets need to be removed from the silicone before it’s used otherwise the finished product would suffer because of it.
To get rid of the air pockets Fun Factory use a specially designed pressurized tank which releases the air pockets from the silicone. The process makes the silicone look like sparkling water as all the air bubbles rise to the top of the silicone. Honestly it looks pretty cool.
Step Two: Applying the Silicone
This sounds simple in theory but there are actually many different techniques depending on what sort of toy is being made.
If the silicone is being used for a dildo or a similar product with no internal parts then it can be manually poured in a process known as gravity die casting. From what I can tell this process is similar to those plaster of paris kits that you used to make with your parents as a kid (or, at least, I did) except more high-tech.
Once dry each product has to be manually removed from the moulds in a process called ‘pulling’. While it sounds easy enough pulling actually requires a lot of strength in addition to a special technique to avoid damaging the product. Pulling is done manually for every single gravity die cast product. That is a lot of dedication!
For products that have silicone parts but aren’t wholly silicone (such as the Cobra Libre II) silicone is sprayed onto a mould under high pressure in a special machine which allows it to be evenly distributed. Counter pressure is then added where necessary as silicone expands when drying.
Fun Factory also has machines to deal with the production of their smartballs, which have a inner ball which rotates in a silicone sheath. They also have their very own one-of-a-kind production machine which allows them to pour and remove certain moulds 24/7 non-stop. I could tell you more about this device but then I’d have to kill you.
Step Three: Buffering the Toys
While all of the people and machines involved in making Fun Factory’s product are pretty amazing sometimes toys can still come out a little rough around the edges. That is why Fun Factory also employs people to finely finish each product before it is released.
These people look for any sections of the toy that needs sanding down and then do so with a sanding machine. While the machine itself is vital the workers on these stations are indispensable—as the sanding process requires a gentle touch, a lot of experience, and a lot of hard work. Due to how specialized this process is it cannot be automated so each Fun Factory toy is done by hand.
Getting Some Buzz
Of course when it comes to vibrators there’s a whole other area of construction that must be considered. Programming the control circuit for each vibrator is also done in-house as is the assembly of each particular part of the vibrator.
In the case of the Delight ultrasonic is also used to join all the pieces together. Other processes also include a special production wheel which utilizes synergy between workers.
The Finishing Touches
Before any new product is released for market sale it has to be quality tested. This involves checking the waterproof qualities, controls, and electronics of the toy to make sure they’re all up to scratch. If they aren’t then the toy does not enter the market it’s that simple.
However once a toy is approved for release then it will be packaged, stored, and shipped. It’s from this factory in Germany that each Fun Factory toy is made and distributed.
And that’s how Fun Factory makes their products in a (very brief) nutshell!
As a sex toy geek I certainly couldn’t resist getting a glimpse at how Fun Factory made their toys and what processes were involved. Some of the things I discovered were expected (the 3D modelling, for example), others not (the super secret, one-of-a-kind Fun Factory made production machine for example).
However what I think surprised and delighted me most about Fun Factory is how personal and passionate the whole process is. When we think of manufactured toys we often stick our noses up and see them as just one in a line-up of many. However each Fun Factory product was designed by hand, many of them are poured and pulled by hand, and each one is specially sanded down by hand.
Of course uniformity is the mark of a good product but seeing how Fun Factory makes their products does add a little unique flare to each and every one of them. This passion shows through in their products which (while not always a hit) never fail to seem colourful, creative, and oftentimes truly innovative.
I’m very happy that Fun Factory gave me the chance to share a bit of their factory process with you all and hope you enjoyed learning about it as much as I did.
Until the next review!