Kid friendly

Mattel’s 3D Printer ThingMaker: Reviving Your Childhood

Mattel 3D Printer

Mattel’s been blazing trails in the toy business for decades. Now, their old Creepy Crawlers mold machine is being reborn as 3D Printer “ThingMaker.”

When Mattel debuted the Thingmaker (and subsequent Creepy Crawlers) in the 1960s, they had a great idea. The primitive “at-home maker device” used molds to let kids create small toys out of liquid plastic.

Now, Mattel had a surprise for guests of the Toy Fair Trade Show in New York: their “ThingMaker” has been reborn as a family-friends 3D printer.

That’s Easy: Design in the App, Send it to the Printer

Thingmaker 3D Printabled designs
A selection of Thingmaker’s 3D printable designs (image: Mattel)

The $299.99 printer is designed specifically for family usage and comes equipped with an iOS and Android app developed in collaboration with Autodesk. Users can drag and drop templates to assemble their own creation on screen. With one tap, it will print automatically. The app is, in fact, already live, and can be hooked up to a standard 3D printer.

Colors for the whole print can also be assigned in the app. The app will even give insight into how a final print will really behave:

“All the physical behaviors are as it would be when it was actually printed out, so you can get an idea for how it is going to mechanically move and what the limits of all the joints and sockets that you create are,” says Dan Pressman, creative director at Autodesk.”

As a safety measure, the printer’s enclosure won’t open while printing.

Mattel’s ThingMaker will be made available this fall. Pre-order will soon be available on Amazon. Though this printer does make “toys” and is meant to be family-friendly, it is not ready for small children. It is designated at appropriate for ages 13 and up – making it a printer for a maker’s early years.

Thingmaker 3D Printing App
Thingmaker 3D Printing App

This will be one of the early models for family printers, and Mattel is ready to learn from the experience. The printer will compete with other 3D printers built especially for a younger audience, like the Da Vinci Jr. 1.0 3D printer (review here).

If you are looking for a guide on printing with kids, please continue here.

(Via: USA Today)