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Enabling Creativity

Best 3D Printing Gifts for Young Ones

Picture of Tobias Hullette
by Tobias Hullette
Dec 23, 2019
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Know a young one who loves tinkering? Use special occassions to surprise them with 3D printing gifts! Read on for some ideas to get you started!

3D Printing Gifts for Young Ones

What to Look For

Little gifts for little people
Little gifts for little people (Source: Stacy Rapacon via Kiplinger)

Young makers are a joy to bless with gifts. Encourage them to keep making, and you may become the beneficiary of some of their projects! Finding the perfect gift may be challenging, though. Which gift should you choose to excite your young maker?

Here are a few things that helped us curate these gift ideas:

  • Most young makers don’t have a workshop full of tools. Unless he or she does, why not buy the budding maker some must-have 3D printing tools?
  • What’s better than 3D printing an awesome project? 3D printing an awesome project with an awesome material, of course. Consider presenting a young maker with some unique 3D printing material to fuel his or her projects.
  • Despite their reputation for messy rooms, kids can see the value in having things organized. Young makers will love nifty organizers to help them keep all their 3D printing pieces safe.
  • Books also make excellent presents for young makers. They can be reliable sources of information that will prove to be invaluable.
  • Finally, a 3D printer or pen may be the perfect gift. After all, there’s a huge selection of devices out there.

Let’s get started!

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3D Printing Gifts for Young Ones

Tools

MatterHackers tool kit
This kit is useful for any young maker (Source: MatterHackers)

Many tools associated with 3D printing and post-processing can be dangerous, and you may not want to be the gift-giver responsible for cuts or burns inflicted on the young recipient. For that reason, we’ve selected some very useful 3D printing tools that are safe to use.

Hex Key Set

  • What is it? Search Amazon for “Hex Key Set,” and you’ll be met with loads of items. Just make sure that the hex keys you buy are metric so that they fit standard 3D printing hardware.
  • How much is it? Expect to pay up to $20 for a hex key set.
  • Where to get it?
Hex Keys
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Glue Sticks

  • What is it? Glue sticks? Why in the world would you buy a glue stick for a young maker? Well, you’d be surprised how useful they are in the world of 3D printing, especially for beginners. Glue sticks are excellent adhesives to make prints stick to the platform without them falling off and causing a giant mess.
  • How much is it? Glue sticks are available in just about every store at around $2 per stick.
  • Where to get it?
Elmer’s Disappearing Purple Glue Stick
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BuildTak Print Removal Tool

  • What is it? Sometimes, when adhesion between a print and the 3D printer’s build platform is too strong, print removal can become an annoying task. Make a young maker’s job easier with this nifty print removal tool that’s a breeze to use.
  • How much is it? This tool is available for around $20.
  • Where to get it?
BuildTak Spatula
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MatterHackers Essential Tool Kit

  • What is it? If you can’t choose which tool to buy, why not by a kit? MatterHackers has compiled a kit of essential 3D printing tools that any young maker is sure to enjoy.
  • How much is it? Around $50.
  • Where to get it?
MatterHackers 3D Printing Tool Kit: Essentials
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3D Printing Gifts for Young Ones

Filaments

A young maker's face is sure to glow when they receive this
A young maker's face is sure to glow when they receive this (Source: MatterHackers)

What makes cool 3D printing projects even cooler? Cool 3D printing material, of course! All sorts of filaments are available, but we’ve selected a few super awesome spools that are sure to wow any young maker.

If you want a more exhaustive list of great, easy-to-print filaments, check out our PLA filament guide. Also, note that different filaments have different diameters. That said, 1.75 mm is a standard size.

MatterHackers Glow-in-the-Dark PLA

  • What is it? Glow-in-the-dark material is the cherry on top of any cool 3D print. This may become your young maker’s favorite spool of plastic! Do note, however, that it is abrasive and may wear out his or her printer’s nozzle.
  • How much is it? This spool is available for around $25 per kilogram.
  • Where to get it?
Glow-In-The-Dark PLA Filament

This PLA filament contains highly concentrated phosphorescent pigments to allow this material to charge during the daytime and glow magnificently in the dark.

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Proto-Pasta Metallic Green PLA

  • What is it? Proto-Pasta is known to produce some very unique filament blends. This particular material is a lovely metallic green, which will make interesting 3D prints even more eye-catching. If you prefer a different color, check out the other options available at MatterHackers or Proto-Pasta.
  • How much is it? This material costs approximately $30 per 0.5 kg.
  • Where to get it?
Proto-Pasta Cloverleaf Green Metallic PLA
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Fillamentum Extrafill Vertigo Starlight PLA

  • What is it? This filament is just plain beautiful. It’s dark, it’s sparkly, it’s elegant. The recipient of this spool is sure to fall in love with it. You can even select different colors with the same vertigo finish.
  • How much is it? You’ll pay around $40 for 0.75 kg of this filament.
  • Where to get it?
Fillamentum Vertigo Starlight

Fillamentum’s "Vertigo Starlight" from the Extrafill series has a beautiful dark blue tint - and some sparkling bits in it. Think of a starry night sky and you’ll get the idea.

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If yo’are looking for cheaper options, Amazon is a great resource. In fact, here’s a wonderful list of good filaments at Amazon.

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3D Printing Gifts for Young Ones

Organizers

A very handy toolbox, indeed
A very handy toolbox, indeed (Source: Amazon)

Youngsters aren’t typically known for their organization skills. Help them out with some super neat organizers.

Keep in mind that most kids don’t have a lot of room for full-blown workshop shelving. If possible, stick to compact items.

Tool Box

  • What is it? A toolbox is an invaluable item for any maker, young or old. Search Amazon or browse through your local home improvement store, and you can find loads of toolboxes. If you’re looking for the perfect one for a young maker, lightweight and easy-to-carry are key criteria.
  • How much is it? This particular collapsible tool tote costs around $13 at Amazon.
  • Where to get it?
Collapsible Toolbox
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Hardware Storage Drawers

  • What is it? You’ve most likely seen your grandpa use one of these to store his fishing gear. A neat set of drawers is a perfect option for housing bolts, nuts, and other 3D printing hardware. It has lots of storage and can fit on almost any desk or bench.
  • How much is it? Plan on paying around $30 for such a set of drawers.
  • Where to get it?
Hardware Storage Drawers
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Display Shelf

  • What is it? One of the best things about making is the feeling of accomplishment after a project is complete. A print display shelf is a wonderful gift that’ll allow a young maker to show off what he or she has made. This particular shelf is made with clear acrylic so as to not distract from the displayed prints.
  • How much is it? Amazon sells this 5-star item for just under $30.
  • Where to get it?
Acrylic Display Shelves
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3D Printing Gifts for Young Ones

Books

Make: 3D Printing
This book was made for makers (Source: Amazon)

Maybe the perfect item for a young maker is a 3D printing book written by experts in the field. Unlike various internet forums, books are chock-full of great information that can be accessed quickly and confidently. Below are three great examples.

Make: 3D Printing

  • What is it? “Make: 3D Printing” is an all-in-one guide to 3D printing that includes countless tips, tricks, tutorials, and much more. If you get this book for a young maker, he or she is sure to become a 3D printing star.
  • How much is it? This book costs $14 new. If you buy it used, expect a discount of up to $4.
  • Where to get it?
Make: 3D Printing

With articles about techniques, freely available CAD packages, and comparisons of printers that are on the market, Make: 3D Printing makes it easy to understand the complex and constantly-shifting topic of 3D printing.

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3D Modeling and Printing with Tinkercad

  • What is it? Tinkercad is a popular 3D design software for beginners. Though playing around with the controls may eventually lead to Tinkercad fluency, a book teaching how to use it is a more thorough option that will help any young maker design their own projects in no time.
  • How much is it? The Kindle version of this book costs $14.
  • Where to get it?
3D Modeling and Printing with Tinkercad
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3D Printing Failures: How to Diagnose and Repair ALL Desktop 3D Printing Issues

  • What is it? Not everyone has a 3D printing tutor, so the next best thing is an awesome book. This particular volume is full of 3D printing tips and tricks as well as ways to diagnose and fix issues. If you give this to a young maker, expect it to be well worn the next time you see it.
  • How much is it? The paperback version of this publication is around $20.
  • Where to get it?
3D Printing Failures: 2020 Edition
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3D Printing Gifts for Young Ones

3D Printers & Pens

These young makers are enthralled with their 3D pens
These young makers are enthralled with their 3D pens (Source: 3DInsider)

Hundreds of 3D printers and pens are available to buy, making it stressful to choose one. Thankfully, we’ve compiled lists of the best 3D printers and best 3D pens. For the sake of this article, we’ve picked two of each, focusing on what would make great gifts for kids.

Flashforge Finder (Printer)

  • What is it? The Flashforge Finder is a great beginner 3D printer. It comes fully assembled and is a breeze to operate. Through Amazon, this printer will arrive quickly, even if you order it a bit late.
  • How much is it? This printer costs around $350.
  • Where to get it?
Flashforge Finder

An affordable machine, the Flashforge Finder provides good print quality, is quiet, and can be connected to with a USB cable or WiFi. Learn more

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Prusa Mini (Printer)

  • What is it? Prusa Research is known for producing awesome 3D printers. The Prusa Mini was released this fall to the joy of many makers. It’s simple to assemble and use and is sure to be a great tool for any maker (young or old) to create wonderful projects.
  • How much is it? Just like the Finder, this printer will put you back around $350.
  • Where to get it?
Original Prusa Mini

With a build volume of 180 x 180 x 180 mm, the Mini is compact, but it packs a punch with a host of features its larger counterpart lacks. It boasts an affordable price combined with the high-quality guarantee Prusa is known for. Learn more

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3Doodler Start

  • What is it? A 3D pen is an excellent gift idea because it’s cheap in comparison to a 3D printer and still allows young makers to unleash their creativity. This particular pen is wildly popular and will be sure to excite any young maker.
  • How much is it? The kit costs around $50.
  • Where to get it?
3Doodler Start 3D Pen

The gold standard in kids' 3D pens, the 3Doodler Start comes with it's own Eco-Plastic filament as well as USB cable.

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MYNT3D Pen

  • What is it? This pen is a bestseller on Amazon and is sure to excite whoever you give it to. It has lots of exciting features and comes with some starting material, too, so that the young maker can begin creating right away.
  • How much is it? This gift will be around $60.
  • Where to get it?
MYNT3D Printing Pen

Thanks to this 3D pen's extensive temperature range, it's able to print in a wide variety of materials.

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(Lead image source: 3Doodler via YouTube)

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License: The text of "Best 3D Printing Gifts for Young Ones" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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