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3D Printer For Your Kids

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the make-your-own-toys dept.

Printer 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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I don't get it (5, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#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?

Re:I don't get it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37696650)

Lol what?

This is about a printer, presumably printing toys. Thus the reason for "could be the last toy you ever have to buy for your kids?"

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37696670)

whoosh? Their post was a joke.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37696950)

It is physically impossible to print a kid so either the poster is really stupid or they made a joke. I'd say they did the latter.

Re:I don't get it (2)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697488)

It is physically impossible to print a kid so either the poster is really stupid or they made a joke. I'd say they did the latter.

Really? Most women I know have a 3D human printer that comes factory installed. Most of them even work, theoretically. I haven't tested this theory, which is why I can actually afford the toy printer discussed in the article.

Re:I don't get it (1)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697228)

It might well be - if they choke on it ... "hey dude, let's make a fake popsicle and see how many try to take a bite"

Re:I don't get it (1)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697482)

Lol what?

This is about a printer, presumably printing toys. Thus the reason for "could be the last toy you ever have to buy for your kids?"

There is treatments now for Asperger's that will make your life easier. Just saying.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696758)

Maybe some people don't like getting screwed?

Re:I don't get it (1)

Adriax (746043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696796)

Someone's doing it wrong then.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37697398)

Which part of "Microsoft product" did you not understand?

Re:I don't get it (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696878)

And what's wrong with the old fashioned way

Mine's broken down.

Re:I don't get it (4, Funny)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#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!

For my kids? (5, Insightful)

jedo (470842) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696594)

I want one for myself!

Re:For my kids? (2)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696632)

From the summary:

Could be[sic] the last toy you ever have to buy for your kids?"

Sure, when your kid chokes on whatever crap the machine spits out. Not too good for the kids, but it will work wonders for your social lives and insurance payouts.

Re:For my kids? (1)

EdZ (755139) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697168)

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!

Re:For my kids? (2)

pla (258480) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697274)

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. :)

Print me (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37696598)

Print me a six-foot blonde chick.

Copies: 3

Re:Print me (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696780)

"My polyester girl... so fine..."

Re:Print me (2)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696916)

No no..

Should be:

"I love, I love, I love, I love my polymer girl..."

Re:Print me (1)

reverseengineer (580922) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697226)

She looks like the real thing
She tastes like the real thing
My fake plastic love....

A toy that makes other toys... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696600)

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...

Re:A toy that makes other toys... (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696616)

Now you know what happened to him :)

Forget the kids! (4, Interesting)

socz (1057222) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696608)

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

Re:Forget the kids! (2)

arielCo (995647) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696860)

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 :)

Re:Forget the kids! (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697444)

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.

Re:Forget the kids! (1)

arielCo (995647) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697470)

naw, I just started dreaming up non-Lego stuff in abs/steel/aluminium. One day imma get a cnc mill :D

Last Toy (1)

DeeEff (2370332) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696614)

Of course it'd be the last toy. You'd never be able to afford more after HP gets into this 3D ink business.

For that matter, who wants their kid printing off shit without supervision. I never let anyone get near my 2D printer, much less a 3D one that could produce velociraptors.

Cost? (2)

quangdog (1002624) | more than 2 years ago | (#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?

Re:Cost? (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696790)

If you're a parent, just be glad it's not cars.

Re:Cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37697522)

Redneck math for measuring length:

Width of Texas > Air craft carrier > Football field > NEW! Xbox

Re:Cost? (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697676)

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

3D printed choking hazard (1)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696644)

What could possibly go wrong?

Re:3D printed choking hazard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37696716)

Are you kidding me? "Oh no, someone might use this to MAKE something that someone could choke on! Think of the children!"

While your kids are locked in their air-filtered bubble rooms for safety, my kids will be creating, learning, and experiencing.

Re:3D printed choking hazard (2, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696778)

If a ten year old hasn't yet figured out how to not swallow and choke on a toy, maybe they don't need to be around anymore.

Re:3D printed choking hazard (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696792)

Toys stop being choking hazards when kids are about 3(-ish?) and stop trying to put everything into their mouths. That's why happy meal toys are different for the really really small kids. This device is for older kids.

Re:3D printed choking hazard (1)

EdZ (755139) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697174)

I wonder how they intend to prevent children from putting their hand inside and grabbing the 180+C extruder head, or embedding semimolten plastic into their skin?

Re:3D printed choking hazard (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697220)

Probably with the same safety features that are on the professional versions, minus all the manual overrides. Besides, if your ten year old is that desperate to burn themselves, they'll just use the stovetop.

Re:3D printed choking hazard (1)

jackbird (721605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697368)

As a kid, I had a GI Joe-themed woodburning set. It was basically a cheapass soldering iron (with a GI Joe sticker on it) and some sheets of balsa wood in a cardboard box. It was very obvious that touching something capable of burning designs into wood on contact would hurt. So I didn't.

(Less obviously dangerous was the piece of still-soft glass I picked up from the floor of the glassblowing studio tour at age 10, but I came away from the experience with nothing more than a blister and a lifelong respect for items of unknown temperature.)

3D Printer for my kids? (5, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696674)

Sounds like a fair trade.

Limits (1)

frisket (149522) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696706)

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 :-)

Re:Limits (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696816)

This looks like a low cost "binder + powder" type printer. If so, then such printed objects could be possible.

See for instance the tech demo for zcorp's printers, where they print an entire bearing race assemby, including the bearings, then demonstrate such rotation. If that wouldn't be sexy enough, you can look at this product demo video. [youtube.com]

3d printers can do some fancy shit.

Re:Limits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37696856)

You mean: "Not until it can make an iPod touch"...

screw buying for kids... (3, Interesting)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:screw buying for kids... (1)

nomel (244635) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697212)

What materials would you want it to work with?

Re:screw buying for kids... (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697338)

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 huge print volumes, so something tiny like that would work great. But the scanner is a must have.

Re:screw buying for kids... (1)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697552)

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."

Re:screw buying for kids... (1)

Dr Herbert West (1357769) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697592)

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!

Re:screw buying for kids... (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697664)

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, spin.

Can it make Lego? (1)

a.koepke (688359) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696724)

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?

Re:Can it make Lego? (1)

evenmoreconfused (451154) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696840)

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?

Yes, of course. See for example http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:591 [thingiverse.com] .

Re:Can it make Lego? (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696940)

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

Good Luck (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696750)

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.

Re:Good Luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37696832)

Why did you pay 1300$ for a silly toy when you could have gotten a real milling machine instead?

Re:Good Luck (1)

anon mouse-cow-aard (443646) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697152)

Please point to an add for a computer controlled multi-axis milling machine for 1300$ Not a manual one that requires a skilled machinist to calibrate, maintain and operate, but an automated one that accepts at least G-code.

Re:Good Luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37697408)

An "add"? Like an addition?

Here ya go: http://www.ebay.com/itm/4axis-cnc-router-engraver-DRILLING-MILLING-mahcine-/220835081127?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item336acbeba7 [ebay.com] OK, so it's an actual machine and it doesn't have a cutesy-pie PT Barnum vibe to it. Sorry, you'll have to actually learn something. But isn't Slashdot the place of the DYI open source geek? Make everytihng yourself?

Re:Good Luck (1)

evenmoreconfused (451154) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696900)

It's complicated to make, but it's not complicated to use -- any ten-year-old playing games like DND or Warhammer 30000 can use it easily to make any pieces they want -- and they can find thousands of them online. Saves more than the cost of the machine just in stupid pewter models.

Re:Good Luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37697186)

Eh, considering a child of 10 can enjoy programming or building a single-board PC from components (YASBEC in my case) as a recreational activity, why would they be incapable of mechanical design? Sure, I would have made mistakes I wouldn't make at this point (we do have engineering degrees for a reason), resulting in failed parts and going back, fixing the design and reprinting, but that doesn't keep a kid from eventually succeeding, or having fun overall.

so when (1)

mbkennel (97636) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696766)

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.

Re:so when (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37696932)

hahaha!

That 3Dtin program should have a Clippy-like helper widget.
"I see you are trying to make a dildo! I'll color it black and add some balls for you. Click me to chose your balls."

Re:so when (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696962)

"Daddy, there's no option for "mega elephant" size!"

Re:so when (1)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697018)

"Daddy, there's no option for "mega elephant" size!"

You sir owe me a new laptop screen...

Oh and I award you an internets. :-)

Re:so when (3, Funny)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696988)

b) dildos

I doubt Bart and Beavis will be crafting one of these, but their mothers might. Talk about a choking hazard...

Toy? (2)

anubi (640541) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696770)

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.

Re:Toy? (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696892)

Indeed. If someone would print up some replacements for the gears in a front loading Sega CD, he'd save a lot of consoles from the landfill.

Re:Toy? (1)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697586)

Gears are pretty easy, actually, to a point. How small are the teeth? http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3575 [thingiverse.com] is a year or more old, but a good overview of what's possible, http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:10955 [thingiverse.com] is a current design, you can see from the photo how the print quality is. The spiral gear is about 1.5" in diameter, for scale. Are the Sega gears near this size?

This Will Mean A World of Trouble (2)

sehlat (180760) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696820)

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.

Re:This Will Mean A World of Trouble (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697148)

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.

Re:This Will Mean A World of Trouble (1)

sehlat (180760) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697568)

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.

For now. See Wikipedia in re: DMCA(1996), Copyright Term Extension Act(1998), ACTA(2011)

Laws are code, and code can always be changed, not necessarily for the better.

Re:This Will Mean A World of Trouble (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697632)

Ever. The logistics of enforcing it would be completely unmanageable without some super technology not altogether unlike the "instrument of obedience"in the ST:TOS episode "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky". The technological difficulties, coupled with philosophical implications of something like that make it something that won't happen anytime while human beings value personal liberty.

Re:This Will Mean A World of Trouble (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697360)

Oh no! My kid printed out a photo of Superman the other day, should I expect a lawsuit from DC? /swoosh

So this is better than a MakerBot why? (1)

evenmoreconfused (451154) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696826)

My three pre-teenish kids are totally able to use our MakerBot Thing-o-Matic to do this already. It's only slightly over 1K$ and can print anything (almost) from thingiverse.com or things they make themselves in Google Sketchup.

So what makes this new thing better?

Re:So this is better than a MakerBot why? (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696884)

"No assembly required" maybe?

Last I checked on makerbot, you have to assemble quite a few things. This system looks self contained in a plastic shell, so possibly no assembly requirements.

A big deal at christmas time.

Re:So this is better than a MakerBot why? (1)

evenmoreconfused (451154) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696960)

Well it's true that if you want a MakerBot assembled instead of a kit the price doubles ($2499 vs. $1299). And the kit is not for beginners, nor do they guarantee anything at all if you choose the kit option. Nevertheless, it's a pretty impressive device.

But I do admit that if I didn't use for 3D prototypes in my job, it would probably just be infrequently used for toys / game bits and the occasional novelty item.

Re:So this is better than a MakerBot why? (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697004)

Personally I would prefer this because it's a lot smaller. I live in a single room and there's no way a MakerBot will fit anywhere. This, though, this could be stored in any number of places when not in use, and when I want to use it I can just pull it out. Sure, the size also means you can't produce things that are as big as MakerBot can, but I'm willing to sacrifice that for the ease of storage and the portability.

Looks interesting, but (1)

giorgist (1208992) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696828)

Looks interesting, but isn't lego a faster means to express their imagination
with less mess ?

Re:Looks interesting, but (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697020)

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.

Where to start? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#37696902)

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.

Scifi Trope (1)

PAPPP (546666) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697036)

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.

If they're so great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37697050)

Technically, you sell one 3D printer and it's pretty much over. Kid #1 prints out two printers, gives them to two other kids, and so on. Since this isn't happening, I have to assume 3D printers are nothing but scams that print out misshappen globs of cheap plastic that can not be used for much besides cursing yourself for being so gullible.

Re:If they're so great (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697534)

I see, so either it's completely worthless or it's equivalent to a fully self-replicating von Neumann machine.

Have you always been this stupid?

Im not a father (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697146)

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.

D&D miniatures? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697156)

Could this be a cost effective way to supplement my miniature fantasy figure collection? I suspect not, but it can't hurt to ask.

Re:D&D miniatures? (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697242)

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.

Re:D&D miniatures? (1)

jackbird (721605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697386)

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.

Re:D&D miniatures? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37697390)

Nah, they could perfectly sell the plans and industrial high definition "prints".

Re:D&D miniatures? (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697426)

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.

Re:D&D miniatures? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697468)

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.

Re:D&D miniatures? (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697288)

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... (the only way I can get bismuth in large quantities is bismuth shot for hand loaders, and that is super expensive.)

To use something like this to make minuatures, you will need to coat the original with silicone mold release, gently paint the original with rtv silicone gasket maker, then mold in flexible rtv silicone mold maker to give it body. Wait 36 hours, unmold the original, then melt and spincast the mold with some molten bismuth. (Melt temps are a little hotter than lead,, but is much safer chemically.)

One miniature, start to finish, takes a week of time to do right, not counting sculpting.

I doubt the 3d objects made with this prototype system would be strong enough to hold up to heavy use. I know the supersculpey+miniature epoxy minis I have made for fun wouldn't withstand a 3ft drop, let alone a heated pen and paper session.

But if you want to make the original for metal cast ones, that would work great.

Thing Maker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37697210)

When I was a kid we had the Thing Maker. It is nice to see something that truly advances that concept.

No it wont be (1)

Killer Instinct (851436) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697222)

"Could be the last toy you ever have to buy for your kids?"

No. they'll probably want the 4D printer coming out in two years......

Playdough? (1)

WPIDalamar (122110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697286)

Whatever happened to playdough?

The killer feature.... (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697350)

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.

Re:The killer feature.... (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697378)

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.

riiight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37697418)

then when puberty hits, they'll be using them to print dildos...

Makerbot for kids? (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 2 years ago | (#37697574)

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?

Did that a year and a half ago (4, Insightful)

dbc (135354) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

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