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Printer Toys Technology

3D Printer For Your Kids 195

kkleiner writes "Two developers from Shapeways and i.materialise have designed a 3D printer for your ten-year-old. The prototype, named Origo, would allow children to easily design objects in 3Dtin and then print them safely in their home with minimal adult supervision. Could it be the last toy you ever have to buy for your kids?"
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3D Printer For Your Kids

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  • by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @07:07PM (#37696582)
    If I already have a 10-year old kid, why would I want to print more of them? And what's wrong with the old fashioned way, even if I wanted more?
    • by Cryacin ( 657549 )
      Maybe some people don't like getting screwed?
    • And what's wrong with the old fashioned way

      Mine's broken down.

    • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @08:40PM (#37697202)

      These new kids are made entirely of plastic! No screaming, no crying, no fighting, no diapers, no vomiting, no bizarre illnesses, no asking "why" fifty times in quick succession, and best of all - no turning into teenagers when you're not looking!

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      If I already have a 10-year old kid, why would I want to print more of them? And what's wrong with the old fashioned way, even if I wanted more?

      No, no, no,

      The 3D printer is in exchange for your crotchspawn, a fair swap if you ask me.

  • For my kids? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jedo ( 470842 ) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @07:09PM (#37696594)

    I want one for myself!

    • by EdZ ( 755139 )
      Build a RepRap/Repstrap, it'll be cheaper and more fun, and not be encased in an ugly translucent purple bubble. Or maybe it could be; print your very own ugly plastic bubble in whatever colour you want!
      • by pla ( 258480 )
        I enjoy DIY projects, don't get me wrong; and as a cheap bastard, I would far rather build it myself than pay twice as much for the same thing as an OEM.

        That said, I know my limits. I would prefer to have a 3d printer that "just works", than spending dozens of hours trying to put together a finicky pile of junk that can sorta produce one crude design per run before it jams or self destructs and needs a major overhaul. :)
    • Agreed, me too.

      This toy could be like legos. My son started playing with legos when he was about 2 yo (before that it was the bigger version, Duplo), and over past few years his designs really start to look like more than just a bigger brick or so. As an adult likely he still enjoys it, I know I do. It's a toy for all ages.

      This printer sounds very much the same. At 10yo they may start making simple designs, adults possibly using more sophisticated software can make virtually anything with it. If the mater

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Replacement spare parts, now that's cool. Now all we need to do is force manufacturers to supply full digital details and specs for all the parts in the devices so that we can repair them ourselves. Don't you just hate when that tiny plastic dohicky breaks and paying for it to be replaced cost near the same price of replacing the whole product.

        The copy rightists will go nut's, so would you steal a car, hmm, but now be honest would you download it and 3d print it out.

      • by daid303 ( 843777 )

        The plastic used in other 3D printers is about 20-28 euro's per kg. These are material cost, and I don't think these prices are driven by 3D printer demands, as the reels look industrial.

        If you want to see what people are using 3D printers for, take a look on http://www.thingiverse.com/ [thingiverse.com] you'll find everything from toys to replacement parts for washing machines.

    • by daid303 ( 843777 )

      Then build one. There are many options out there, to name a few RepRap, Up!, MakerBot, Ultimaker.

      I got an Ultimaker myself, which is a great machine. Expensive, but great. And 3D printing isn't as easy as marketing wants it to look. Seeing how flimsy this toy is build I don't think it will be fast, nor accurate. Which might be good, as I see no place for the plasic reel, so you cannot print large things. Also they say it's "safe", I see no doors that are kept shut while the extruder is hot. And a 200C extru

  • That is absolutely brilliant.

    I have a mental picture, though, of the really smart geek in grade school... you know the one, stays in at recess to draw pictures of soldier robots...

  • Forget the kids! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by socz ( 1057222 ) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @07:10PM (#37696608) Journal

    I can finally make those pieces I've always needed to finish my lego builds!

    • by arielCo ( 995647 )

      I know you're (mostly) kidding, but the bricks would basically suck. I learned recently that Lego parts are molded out of ABS at ~150 PSI, and the tolerance is ~ 2 micrometers. That's why they fit so well and "Lego compatible" bricks don't.

      But yes, as a kid I dreamed up custom Lego parts myself :)

      • by metlin ( 258108 )

        But yes, as a kid I dreamed up custom Lego parts myself :)

        That's unfortunate, because that implies you stopped dreaming up custom Lego parts when you grew up.

        Anyway, as an adult, I continue to dream up custom Lego parts, and even design some of them. And I wouldn't change it for anything.

        • by arielCo ( 995647 )
          naw, I just started dreaming up non-Lego stuff in abs/steel/aluminium. One day imma get a cnc mill :D
  • by quangdog ( 1002624 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `godgnauq'> on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @07:12PM (#37696634)
    From the manufacturer's website:

    Right now, I am just an idea. I will be as easy to use as an Xbox or Wii. I’ll be as big as three Xbox 360s and as expensive as three Xbox 360s. I will sit on your desk and quietly build your ideas, drawings and dreams.

    So, now we are measuring dreams in XBoxen?

    • by Cryacin ( 657549 )
      If you're a parent, just be glad it's not cars.
    • by hoggoth ( 414195 )

      Yes, please... in terms we can all understand: How many libraries of congress will it cost?

    • by daid303 ( 843777 )

      It's an idea without real life knowledge. 3D printers are not quiet (not loud, but not quiet), and they need high quality components and quite a bit of tweaking.

      I'm an owner of an Ultimaker 3D printer. So I kinda have an idea what I'm talking about.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @07:17PM (#37696674)
    Sounds like a fair trade.
  • Could be the last toy you ever have to buy for your kids?

    Close, but no cigar. Not until it can make something with wheels that turn :-)

  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @07:25PM (#37696720)

    Even if it is expensive, this would be a very awesome thing to have.

    I sculpt on occasion, and being able to fast sculpt a primitive form digitally, then finish up with hand tools would greatly expedite the process.

    Throw in a 3d stereoscopic scanner, and keep the pricetag under 2k, and I'm sold.

    • by nomel ( 244635 )

      What materials would you want it to work with?

      • Powder and resin might be brittle, but it is also soft enough to hand sculpt with hand tools, and toothy enough to hold miniature 2part epoxy putty, if you need to handwork some extra material on.

        The big one is the 3c stereoscopic scanner. One of those, and I could use digital archival (I have cats. They knock things over), and could make iterative changes, and rapid reproductions of mold plugs for spincasting purposes, should a mishap happen during mold creation. (I hate losing work that way.)

        I don't need

        • Check out makerbot.com's 3D scanner and printers, based on the RepRap projects mostly. For $2K you could build the printer and scanner - and the frostruder can extrude frosting-consistency stuff. Some guys are using clay, some are doing lost-wax type casting. thingiverse.com has many thousands of designs for download (free). As one of the guys on the makerbot discussion group says, "The future is already here, it's just not very evenly distributed."
        • The key is to build using one of these printers that outputs resin or plastic, then take to a caster (or even a high-end jewelry studio) and have them (re)cast the output in your metal of choice. Make a mold around the output, burn it out in the kiln, and presto!
          • You can do this part yourself.

            A spincaster is just a centrifuge.

            High temperature RTV gasket sealer (the stuff at autozone in the red metal tube) can stand up to melted bismuth. Lead and gold have lower melting points, iirc, but silver his higher? Anyhow, it is cheap and can make a high temp mold liner. For something undercut like a mini, you need to reinforce it, which you can pour around the high temp silicone with ordinary silicone mold builder like you would use for resin.

            Fill with melted bismuth shot, s

          • Right, the water soluble plastics that the Makerbot heated extruder uses would be great for lost-wax type casting, I'd think. I just mentioned the frostruder as an example of working in clay type stuff directly.
    • by daid303 ( 843777 )

      Under 2k? DONE! (It will need assembly for that price)
      https://shop.ultimaker.com/ [ultimaker.com]
      http://store.makerbot.com/ [makerbot.com]

      FYI: I got an ultimaker, my first print was done after 8 hours of receiving the kit. However, fast is relative, http://daid2.mine.nu/~daid/IMG_20110929_235158.small.jpeg [daid2.mine.nu] this print took 3 hours (I was printing on slow speed, normally printing at double that speed, and experimenting with 4x speed)

  • Can you use it to replace that one lost Lego block (most likely went up the vacuum cleaner) that you need in order to complete your masterpiece?
    • by gknoy ( 899301 )

      It might be better to just buy more of those specific pieces from Lego directly.

      • Don't even buy them, LEGO CS is good enough that they will send you the necessary brick for free if you give them a call. At least they used to. My future wife was the one who took the calls and grappled with ancient instructions to identify the brick in question. Great days, I've never worked for a better company...
  • This is pretty neat, but I'm not sure this is even down in FAO Schwartz kid territory. I've got a MakerBot, and while it's fun, it's complicated. Designing things isn't going to be easy. You have to take things into account like the angles of overhangs. Printing is fun to watch, but it can take a LONG time. The smaller the object, the faster it is, but it's still never going to be a 5 minute process. It's going to take 30-90.

    Good luck, they'll have a LOT of challenges.

    • by hoggoth ( 414195 )

      "Daddy, my toy won't print. I need help finding which of my vertexes' normal vector is non-manifold."

  • how long until little Bart and his odd friend Beavis makes models of

    a) explosives
    b) dildos
    c) guns

    and brings them to the first school day after Christmas?

    and then the think-of-the-chillren lobby gets all versions---not just for children----but every device in the category banned? They might include 5-axis milling machines.

  • by anubi ( 640541 )
    I can't tell you how many times I have had to throw away something because some little plastic part broke.

    If this thing can print out decently strong parts, I'll want one too.

    Hopefully, I can make more of that little nylon clutch that broke in every one of my Gardner-Denver wirewrap guns. I threw all the broken guns in a drawer hoping one day I would be able to bring them back to life. They were damm handy little tools, and I haven't seen anyone else make them that had the right feel to 'em.
  • When kids start making little plastic replicas of their favorite cartoon heroes, the copyright and trademark thugs will be all over this thing. I can already see Disney's lawyers salivating.

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )
      Only if they distribute them, or (in some cases) the plans they used to make them. You cannot be accused of trademark, copyright, or patent infringement on something that you created yourself, for your own enjoyment, even if what you made was protected by IP law.
    • Oh no! My kid printed out a photo of Superman the other day, should I expect a lawsuit from DC? /swoosh
  • Looks interesting, but isn't lego a faster means to express their imagination
    with less mess ?
    • You've never had kids with legos before have you (Well in truth, neither have I, but I've BEEN one)? The little pieces go EVERYWHERE. This appears to be pretty self-contained, so I doubt there's that much of a mess.
  • This is new, cool and has creative possibility. An MIT Open Courseware entry for architecture had this:

    "Students will learn various methods of representation for their ideas, and will work in model form and both freehand and hard-line drawings. Students will be encouraged to remain away from digital means of representation until late in the semester."

    Playing with Tinker Toys and Legos seems like a good first step before paying for a 3D printer.

  • The implications of individuals, especially kids, having access to 3D printing is a pretty well-explored scifi trope. Cory Doctrow's Makers [craphound.com], and Bruce Sterling's Kiosk [boingboing.net] are both based on the concept, reasonably good, and make a solid starting point for implications.
  • I want to be a father some day, and I think this is a reasonable way to get kids involved in Mechanics and Computer Science.
  • Could this be a cost effective way to supplement my miniature fantasy figure collection? I suspect not, but it can't hurt to ask.
    • by artor3 ( 1344997 )

      I think it could be, though the printed figures probably wouldn't be as detailed as the ones you can buy. I've often thought it would be great if artistically gifted people could share/sell 3D designs for figures that could then be printed out by the rest of us. Of course, Games Workshop would go out of business within a year.

      • I looked into offering some game pieces on shapeways (not minis, just meeples and tokens for eurogames - I'm more of an inorganic modeler) and concluded that it would be very hard to offer something compelling. The materials that hold good detail come in a pretty limited range of colors, and I'm not sure how well the surface would take a coat of paint if one were printing of miniatures.

        Also, if you think GW stuff is expensive, wait till you see priced-per-cc Shapeways.

      • That is what the 2-part mini epoxy putty is for. It holds tooling marks very cleanly, and sticks to pretty much any rough surface. It is intended to be used to repair out of production pewter minis that get broken from mishandling. I have used it in the past with supersculpey to make a 4inch werewolf mini for a friend of mine as a hobby project. (He still has it. Has had offers from people wanting to buy it. He did a bang up job painting it.) He just keeps it in a curio, so the weak sculpey isn't an issue

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )

        Actually, cast metal can hold far finer detail than anything that modern 3d printers are yet capable of... exquisitely capturing the texture of fine details even at 25mm scale, like individual chain links in armor, loose strands of hair, or the rings on a figure's hand.

        GW has nothing to fear for the time being as long as people are willing to pay them for good workmanship. Existing 3d technology just can't compete yet on that front.

        In about 5 to 10 years, however.... maybe.

    • I have often wondered if I could get into the miniature business as a hobby side project....

      The obstacles I have are time and materials. Casting a good miniature CAN be done, and even with reasonably cheap mold materials.. (RTV silicone gasket maker for high temp engines can stand up to molten bismuth, fyi, but needs reinforcement to keep from tearing ot stretching.)

      The materials costs are too prohibitive, and I don't know any dnd nerds personally, so I would have a hard time outside of something like ebay

    • by daid303 ( 843777 )

      Yes and no. It largely depends on the level of detail you want. I've been designing and printing a few props for DnD, which works great. Example: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:11777 [thingiverse.com]
      (I still need to upload a few others on Thingiverse)

      But full miniatures would be hard. Maybe a dragon could be done: http://daid2.mine.nu/~daid/IMG_20110929_235158.small.jpeg [daid2.mine.nu] (about 7cm in length)
      Or if you are in to Warhammer 40k http://daid2.mine.nu/~daid/IMG_20111007_010722.small.jpeg [daid2.mine.nu] (5cm long)

      I'm still tweaking my machine,

  • Whatever happened to playdough?

  • Would be the ability to melt down previously-created toys back into feedstock material, so that they can be re-used to create new toys.

    Otherwise, either the parents get tired of buying more toy-making plastic (at which point the toymaker machine is no longer usable), or the house fills up with endless piles of old toy-printouts as the kids experiment and refine their designs.

    • That's why it should be powder + resin.

      Powder = "any inert and absorbant powder"
      (Like talc, which you can get in uber quantities at the dollar store in the form of discount foot powder.)

      And resin.

      The resin is going to be the expensive part of the deal there.

  • I was thinking of buying from Makerbot and had realized my kid would probably like it more than me. Then I started to wonder what they'll do with that $10M investment - probably make a better thing-o-matic. So it seems I should wait a year or two and now there is yet another player to watch.

    On another note, has anyone tried doing this using a delta-bot instead of an xyz system?
  • by dbc ( 135354 ) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @10:02PM (#37697610)

    Built a Makerbot Cupcake with my daughter, now age 12. We print a lot of stuff. I do robot parts. She learned the basics of Solidworks, and does doll house furniture, cookie cutters, gift boxes, and parts for robots that we build together. A 3D printer is great for kids in many ways. Since she was little, I've always told her: "The best toys are the ones you build yourself." and I'll spend much more freely on supplies at the craft store than crap from Toys-R-Us. 3D printers are just an extension of that theme.

  • by EEPROMS ( 889169 ) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @10:37PM (#37697786)
    Add 2 x Microsoft Kinnects and you can not only scan the subject/item in 3D but make a copy of it and you can do all this with FOSS software.

    Imagine in 10 years you break your car wing mirror, no worries scan it in and print a new one for $2 using recycled bottles with no shipping fees.
  • Will be replaced by 10 year olds using up Dad's entire 3D printer cartridge in a single afternoon to print dildos.

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