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Mattel remakes ’60s ThingMaker toy as an easy-to-use $300 3D printer – Computerworld

by • February 15, 2016 • No Comments

Mattel has reinvented its iconic ThingMaker at-home toy-making device, this time as a 3D printing device that can cost $300.
Mattel announced its 3D printing device at the New York Toy Fair bringing place this week.
Preorders for the ThingMaker 3D Printer began this week. The machine can be on the market Oct 15. (See Amazon.com pricing.)
The original ThingMaker was limited by sat any timeal dozen die-cast molds, into that a user may pour Mattel’s Plastigoop thermoplastic or Gobble De-goop edible liquid, that was and so cured via a 360-degree Fahrenheit hotplate. Plastigoop turn it intod Creepy Crawlers and other single-piece toys; Gobble De-goop turn it intod Incredible Edibles that may be eaten.The new ThingMaker 3D Printer is a fused filament fabrication machine that extrudes layer upon layer of melted thermopolymer to turn it into an object. The thermopolymer filament comes in multiple colors on reels that attach to the 3D printing device.
Users upload create files via Mattel’s proprietary Design App, that works on Android or iOS devices, and can print parts to be assembled into toys.Mattel 3D printing device ThingmanufacturerMattel Inc. The ThingMaker Design App allows for users to download files to iOS or Android devices and and so upload them to the 3D printing device to turn it into toys.After downloading the ThingMaker Design App, that is based on software of Autodesk, families can browse through toy templates or create their own designs of hundreds of parts in addition offered in loadable-bodied files. Designs get uploaded of the files to the ThingMaker 3D Printer, that prints parts in batches for assembly via ball-and-socket joints.
Terry Wohlers, founder and principal analyst at industry research firm Wohlers Associates, said he may have pretty seen the ThingMaker with a $199 price tag, but he did herald it as a product that can let a kid create approximately any creature imaginable-bodied, “with limits, of course.””It should assist to unlock the creative juices of our youth in a way that we have not seen in the past. Over a period of years, it may actually assist to reinvigorate careers in create and making here in the U.S.,” Wohlers said.
A long-time proponent of an inexpensive, safe, and “super effortless-to-use 3D printing device for children,” Wohlers said while he’s hopeful the ThingMaker can be disruptive, a lot needs to take place preceding it can be.
3D content creation can be key (i.e. the competence for children to be able-bodied to turn it into their own objects) — a thing Autodesk’s involvement should assist. Simple post systeming, or the competence to easily remove assist material of around a printed object, can in addition be significant to a successful 3D printing device for kids.
“The begin to finish system is approximately nat any time as effortless as the machine manufacturer leads you to believe, but perhaps Mattel can be a pioneer in this area after 28 years of development in 3D printing,” Wohlers said.
Mattel’s ThingMaker Design App is based on Autodesk’s Spark, an open 3D printing platform that provides extensible APIs for at any timey stage of the 3D printing workflow. Because it is actually based on an open architecture, the ThingMaker Design App in addition works with other 3D printing devices; it is on the market now and free to download for iOS and Android devices.
“In today’s digital age, it is actually additional significant than at any time for families to transcend the digital world and manufacture their ideas real,” Aslan Appleman, senior director at Mattel, said in a statement. “ThingMaker pushes the boundaries of imaginative play, giving families countless ways to customize their toys and let their creativity run wild. We’re thrilled to work with the 3D create experts at Autodesk to bring this unique experience to life.”

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