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1 expert and 2 parents have answered

Joanne Mallon writer
Joanne Mallon Author, parent, blogger Brighton, The City of Brighton and Hove, UK

3D printing technology has really got my children excited this year. They’d love to be able to design a model and bring it to life. Obviously they can do this already via building and drawing, but a 3D printer takes it to a whole new level.

Disney are currently developing software to enable people to 3D print their own mechanical toys, so it could become mainstream sooner than we think. Customisable doll brand Makies say they’re the world’s first 3D printed toy but they won’t be the only one forever.

It’s said that the more a child has to bring their own imagination to a toy, the more that toy will then stimulate imaginative play. Hence the simple LEGO brick never goes out of fashion. But with a 3D printed toy, the imagination starts with creating it in the first place. A child doesn’t have to passively accept what they are given and can be an active participant in creating the toys they play with.

McDonald's is reportedly thinking about producing 3D printed Happy Meal toys, made alongside burgers right there in the store, so every child gets exactly the toy they want. No more disappointment. But dealing with disappointment is surely a necessary part of childhood. Knowing that you can’t always get what you want and then learning to deal with that is an essential life lesson.

More 3D toys may make children happy in the short term, but in the long term would it lead to a generation of spoilt brats? Or imaginative creators?

As the signs seem to be that we will see more 3D printed toys in 2014, is that a good or a bad thing for our children?

2 Reply Share:
Opinion 3 years ago
expert answer
Andrew Grant expert
Andrew Grant Web Development Company Owner Trowbridge, GB
Technology expert

3D printing is still very much in its infancy and the cost of the equipment is currently stopping this from being a houshold machine. Current costs for the budget machines are circa £1000 and the machines are of a size that would only suit a shed or garage.

Whilst we love the idea of printing things ourself, there are other points to consider. The cost of the material that is used in the process and software and skill required to create the products.

Currently the software to create 3D objects is that similar to AutoCad. I am a software developer and am used to complicated software packages, however, looking at autocad, I can see it will not be easy for normal people to be inventive.

I can see 3D printers being used to replicate items where a design is sent to them, and not somthing that a child/adult will be able to let their imagination run wilde.

Leave it a couple of years and I think we will be a lot closer.

Sorry for a semi negative review :-(

2 Reply Share:
Experience 3 years ago
Danilov Father of three RU

One question. Where can I buy 3D printer and which kind of model??!

0 Reply ( 1 ) Share:
Opinion 3 years ago

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