Mattel Unveils ThingMaker, A $300 3D Printer That Lets Youngsters Make Their Personal Toys
At New York’s Toy Truthful commerce present over the weekend, Mattel unveiled its new, $300 3D Printer, the “ThingMaker,” which can permit youngsters to print their very own toys at residence. The system works along side a 3D printing app developed in collaboration with Autodesk that gives a easy interface for designing gadgets that may then come to life by way of Mattel’s ThingMaker in addition to with different normal 3D printers already available on the market.
The accompanying app is definitely key to creating Mattel’s 3D printing expertise extra accessible to a wider viewers.
Whereas there are affordably priced 3D printers out there at present, the software program that works with them can typically have a studying curve that may hinder adoption. With the brand new software, reside now on iOS and Android, the objective was to make it straightforward sufficient for anybody to design their very own toys – even youthful youngsters.
Autodesk was tasked with constructing this app which early testers, together with these at Toyland, have already described as “quick,” “straightforward to navigate” and “ridiculously intuitive.”
Referred to as ThingMaker Design, the app consists of quite a lot of constructed-in character templates and straightforward-to-use tutorials that assist novices get began. Nevertheless it additionally permits for designing characters from scratch, as soon as youngsters get the cling of issues. The toys might be custom-made with totally different colours and textures, and can bend and twist within the app so you will get a really feel for a way they’ll work after they’ve been printed. The creations might be saved as pictures to the cellular system’s Digital camera Roll, or uploaded to Google Drive or Dropbox.
When a design is full, the app permits you to export the STL print information wirelessly to your at-house printer, whether or not Mattel’s or in any other case.
The thought isn’t simply to print an object and be completed, nevertheless – as an alternative, youngsters will print elements that may be assembled to type bigger creations, like dolls, robots, dinosaurs, scorpions, skeletons, bracelets or necklaces, for instance.
What’s fascinating right here is the potential for Mattel to tie into different youngsters’s’ manufacturers it already owns or licenses and convey them to life by means of 3D printing. That’s one thing the corporate hints is on the roadmap, saying it’ll launch “further design content material, together with branded choices” at a later date. No precise model names have been introduced, nevertheless.
The bodily elements are printed in batches then assembled by means of ball-and-socket joints that snap collectively.
Mattel says its ThingMaker 3D will use a tough PLA filament, but in addition hasn’t but introduced the colours that shall be out there. In line with studies from the Toy Truthful, although, there have been some two dozen colours on show. A spokesperson stated the corporate might launch different supplies sooner or later.
When printing begins, the printer’s door will routinely lock for security’s sake, however youngsters can watch the method by way of the clear window on the entrance. As well as, the printing head will even retract when not in use, which can assist to maintain youngsters protected from burning their fingers by by chance (or deliberately) touching the heated half.
Whereas printing out toys is one thing that looks like it might attraction to littler youngsters – Mattel covers itself from a legal responsibility standpoint by saying the gadget is “designed for customers ages thirteen and up,” USA At present reviews. However the simplicity of the app and printer’s design mixed with its objective involving toy printing will possible see mother and father of youthful youngsters bringing the system into their houses.
If the identify “ThingMaker” rings a bell, it’s as a result of it references Mattel’s unique at-house maker system from the 1960’s. Again then, the corporate labored to encourage youngsters’ creativity by letting them construct toys like flowers or “Creepy Crawlers” by pouring liquid plastic-like materials referred to as Plastigoop into molds that have been heated up then cooled.
Now the corporate says it has reimagined the ThingMaker expertise for the twenty first century.
“In right now’s digital age, it’s extra essential than ever for households to transcend the digital world and make their concepts actual,” stated Aslan Appleman, senior director, at Mattel in a press release. “ThingMaker pushes the boundaries of imaginative play, giving households numerous methods to customise their toys and let their creativity run wild.”
The printer gained’t truly develop into out there for buy till later this fall, however pre-orders on Amazon are kicking off immediately.
As a toy model, Mattel has been pretty ahead-considering relating to combining play and digital units. Along with the ThingMaker, the corporate additionally unveiled a brand new View-Grasp system on the Toy Truthful powered by Google Cardboard.