I’m a HUGE fan of STEM (Science,Technology,Engineering & Math) curriculum. This is the kind of education my kids will need to compete as they get older. Consumer 3D printing of toys delivers on the promise of direct-digital manufacturing: the ability to design, customize and make precisely what is wanted or needed, when and where it is desired or necessary. This is the future of consumer products and my little design engineer is on the ground floor with the help of the IDo3D 3D Print Shop!
3D Molding has been around for quite some time now. Early additive manufacturing equipment and materials were developed in the 1980s. In 1981, Hideo Kodama of Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research Institute invented two additive methods for fabricating three-dimensional plastic models with photo-hardening thermoset polymer, and a UV exposure area.
Sustaining the United States’ position as a leader in research and development is a top concern of policy makers. Calls for improved mathematics and science education abound. The prevalence of “maker spaces” at innovative schools capture the imagination of kids the way traditional rote study can’t. Sophisticated toys that inspire the pursuit of STEM in early childhood like the IDo3D Print Shop I feel help greatly in this regard.
These 3D Printing toys have come so far over the years that today, my 8 year old or yours, can replicate any object that can fit into a modular mold in a few minutes! We thoroughly used all of the included templates and created our own molds using the easy to follow instructions had tremendous fun and she
learned a great deal while doing it!
From jewelry to vehicles, construction bricks to collectibles, fashion accessories to figures and more, the IDo3D 3D Print Shop empowers kids to imagine and create any 3D object they desire or to clone those they already own as we’ve done! Minimal assembly was required for the unit but you will need AA batteries not included.
Each IDo3D 3D print shop includes one 3D Print Shop machine, numerous assorted 3D Printshop accessories, assorted 3D Ink cartridges, and the infinitely reusable “Formula 4D.” mold making medium. Set up was a breeze! You simply scan the code on the box with your smartphone and a charming girl on the short YouTube video walks you through the priming & loading process. In no time at all we were producing colorful plastic charms for a bracelet.
As a matter of fact, there are dozens of helpful YouTube tutorials that cover both the IDo3D 3D print shop and 3D pen. The sky is the limit on your child’s creativity as the kit also includes materials to create your own molds! ANY hard object that can fit within the chamber can be pressed into the mold medium and copied!
Through trial and error we developed a hypothesis upon the right amount of UV exposure for different polymer toys. Bigger, denser objects need to “bake” (exposed to the UV lamp to cure & harden) longer than others. There is no heat generated by the machine. It’s totally safe to use on her own. I only helped trimming and sanding any rough edges left manufacturing our building blocks, charms and toys.
Bonus: the word “hypothesis” is firmly in my 8 year old daughters lexicon.
Clean up is a breeze, as long as you’re careful with the polymer and you allow your projects to cure properly. You can’t “over bake” things so when in doubt we found it’s best to go a bit longer with the UV curing process. The batteries we first put in are still going strong after over a month of continuous use. You can order more polymer ink cartitriges directly from the manufacturer.
Bottom line the IDo3D 3D Print Shop is a brilliantly designed machine. It offers an engaging, fulfilling 3D Design experience without the need for complicated 3D modeling CAD software. But most importantly, using IDo3D 3D Print Shop stimulated my daughters imagination and curiosity as we spoke in depth about- Design, Manufacturing & Distribution, investigated “What are Polymers”? , The nature of UV light, The Scientific Method, & the concept of building a Hypothesis, The History of 3D Printing Technology, and “What is CAD?”.
I highly recommend The IDo3D 3D Print Shop just on the simple merits it’s a fun, well made, creative toy that is well priced with long term value. But as a former teacher it intrigues me as I think about all the fun and engaging ways this toy could be used to teach applicable STEM based lessons to Upper Elementary & Middle School students!
The IDo3D 3D Print Shop is available in-store and online at major retailers!
Age: 8+ Available: Now!
For more information on RedwoodVentures, consumers can visit: www.redwood-ventures.com
Follow on Facebook Facebook.com/IDO3Dart
Read more of Alexander Yarde’s work here.
All photos courtesy of the author.