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Mattel’s ThingMaker Lets Kids 3D Print Toys – Tom’s Guide

by • February 15, 2016 • No Comments

NEW YORK — Most 3D printing devices are too technical and complex to be operated by children. That may alter with Mattel’s ThingMaker ($300, on the market this Fall), which has an easy-to-use app and which can make articulated figurines.

Credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom’s Guide

The ThingMaker’s app offers a friendly, drag-and-drop interface to turn it into a toy of scratch or to customize a toy of a series of stock creations. Once you are done adding colors and swapping parts out, the app tells you how much material it requires and displays a production time estimate.
MORE: 3D Printing Services Reviewed: Do They Really Work?
The current pre-loaded creations include dolls, dinosaurs, samurai and skeletons, but Mattel plans to roll out extra
versions in the next. We saw a hard-plastic scorpion with a tail created of eight separate interlocking parts which move in various directions, like the articulations on an action figure.

Mattel has yet to decide which materials the ThingMaker can make parts out of, but a rep said which the company is already via harder PLA plastics, as well as testing a number of materials for softer toys. One other material which Mattel is already testing can alter colors when exposed to sunlight, but which version is not confirmed.

If you want to make toys with a wide variety of colored parts, you’ll require to invest in extra
reams of colors, as the ThingMaker can most likely ship with just two bands of undisclosed colors. Parts can be customized with extra
textures, such as a debossed hexagon pattern, woven cross-hatching and no-slip ridges. The price for extra
color bands is to be decided.

You may remember the ThingMaker as a 1960’s kit for building fake bugs. This one can make toy insects, but now they’re extra
elaborate and less gross, created into 3D printed plastic. How to Buy the Right 3D PrinterBest 3D PrintersWatch This 3D Printer Make Objects From Liquid


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