3Doodler cranks out print and play learning package
3Doodler has today launched a 3D printing pen specifically designed for pre-schoolers and above. The 3D Build & Play package comes with a low-heat drawing device, character and accessory molds and colorful backdrops to encourage learning through play.
The first 3D printing pen from 3Doodler, which allowed users to draw three dimensional creations by forming shapes from extruded plastic, was the subject of a very successful Kickstarter in 2013 and has since been followed by a number of devices and accessories. We got to try the original at CES 2014, and one aimed specifically at kids a year later.
And it's youngsters who are the focus of the company's latest edutainment development, including children as young as four.
"We recognize that innovative play and early tech options that drive creative development remain limited, particularly for children ages 4+," said company CEO, Daniel Cowen. "With 3D Build & Play, we’re giving children the freedom to come up with unique ideas without adhering to structure or rules, while at the same time helping them to develop leadership, focus, confidence, and out-of-the-box critical thinking skills."
The printing device at the heart of the 3D Build & Play package kinda looks like a toy cordless drill. The user switches on the battery-powered unit, pops a strand on colorful BPA-free, non-toxic plastic in the feeder at the back and then turns the hand crank (which can be mounted for left- or right-hand users) to extrude the pliable, safe to touch material into character or accessory molds.
When hardened, the pieces can be connected together to form models, which can be used with a themed story book (or upcoming app backgrounds) for creative adventures.
The company says that the 3D Build & Play platform "teaches fine motor skills, hands-on learning, and three-dimensional thinking, all while having a ton of fun." It's on sale now for US$29.99.
Product page: 3D Build & Play