There’s no denying that the best way for kids to learn about 3D printing is through hands-on experience. One company are giving youngsters just that.
Although 3D printers are becoming a bit more common in schools, children aren’t able to create and learn as much through hands-on experience without regular access to their own printer.
The problem is that printers are usually too expensive for schools or kids, and not all of them are child-safe either with the exception of just a few. To grasp the basic principle of constructing in 3D, kids play Minecraft, but they won’t get any physical result out of it.
Australian toy company Moose Toys wants to fill the gap in the market. They are now releasing a “3D printer” for kids with an price tag of just $25 (but as with real 3D printers, you then need some material, which has to be bought separately). The printer is scheduled for late 2016.
The idea behind the pixel printer is to make an object by adding layers on top of each other. You place material on a grid, put the result on a build plate, build the next layer… that’s exactly how an FDM 3D printer works.
Here’s a good explanatory video:
Qixels 3D Maker
If you’re into toys, you know the Qixels product line is out for quite some time – but the Qixels 3D Maker is new. The aim of the printer is to encourage kids to create physical pixel cubes. “We introduced Qixels to inspire all kids to be creative, improve dexterity and enjoy craft activities in a new way,” said Paul Solomon, Co-CEO of Moose Toys. “We’re thrilled to let kids take their creations to the next level with the Qixels 3D Maker, and give parents an opportunity to introduce the idea of 3D printing at an affordable price.”
The printer is suitable for kids from five and up and requires no electronics or even CAD skills. The way it works is that children kids can use templates or build their own designs. Then, all they need to do to create a solid 3D object is to brush each layer with water.
“Brain-boosting playthings support children as they grow and gain new abilities,” said Adrienne Appell, trend expert at the Toy Industry Association. “From enhancing kids’ communication skills to improving their logic, the latest educational toys, like the Qixels 3D Maker, encourage kids to explore, experiment, design and discover, all while having fun!”
The “3D printer” having already won the 2016 Toy of the Year Award from the Australian Toy Association, as well as the Craft and Activity Toy of the Year.
If you want to know more on how to 3D print with kids, you might want to read this article.
License: The text of "$25 “3D Printer” Made for Kids" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.