Mattel is bringing back an old toy, Thingmaker, but the new version will be a 3D printer for kids.
After wirelessly linking the 3D printer to a mobile device running the ThingMaker Design App for iOS or Android, users decide whether they want to create a toy figure or jewelry, with the option to print ready-designed toys, or mix and match from hundreds of parts which can be popped together after printing thanks to ball and socket joints. After designing their creation, users simply push a button to start printing.
Features of the ThingMaker 3D printer which make it more suitable for children than your typical 3D printer include it being simple to use, and having an auto-locking door. This will stay shut until your toy is at a safe temperature and the hot print head has retracted into a recess, so that it can’t burn eager little fingers.
Simplicity is applicable to adults as well. This gives us a hint where all 3D printing is heading.
And though the article describes as a negative the fact that it will routinely take 12 hours for each toy to print, I consider this irrelevant. I would have loved to have this thing as a kid, and would have gladly tried out a new design each day, just for fun. The toys themselves are what is irrelevant, not the creation process.