This child-friendly 3D printer lets your kids make up to 300 toys on their own

Originally published at: This child-friendly 3D printer lets your kids make up to 300 toys on their own | Boing Boing

We’ve had toybox for over a year now. For a cheap 3D printer is is fairly nice. The default toy patterns in the provided library work fairly well, and I think their filaments aren’t too badly priced. A couple things to be aware of:

  • The interface is entirely web based and proprietary, so you need to be on the network to use it. If the company ever goes under… ?
  • The print bed is fairly tiny. Around 7x7cm. And sometimes things don’t print well near the edges. Sometimes one edge can be a tiny bit higher than the other. Not usually a problem though.
  • It only connects via wifi. The procedure can be a little tedious (turn on computer Hotspot, use cell phone wifi to log in to printer wifi, use cell phone to point printer wifi at computer hotspot). Not impossibly difficult not not exactly kid friendly. Also, If I turn off the wifi Hotspot it is connected to or it becomes disconnected, sometimes the printer has trouble reconnecting when turned back on. Sometimes you have to turn the printer off and on to get it to reconnect. Fortunately the printer will run fine without being connected once it starts a job.
  • Sometimes if the room is too hot or cold the print might not adhere to the bed so well or might warp. Anecdotally this seems to happen more with certain colors of filament (especially black) and shapes of print.
  • In addition to their library, you can upload your own STL files. But they can be finicky to print. The device uses its own slicer behind the scenes with few adjustments. It can automatically insert supports, but I’m not a fan of them. Recommend you create your own supports before uploading.
  • There is a limit on the file size it can upload. So overly complex prints are not ideal.
  • Not really a complaint, but 3D printing newbies should be aware that printed materials can be a little porous, so they aren’t usually ideal for holding liquid. Also, the plastic this prints is PLA, so acetone smoothing isn’t an option.

All these gripes aside, it is not a bad little device, and you could do worse for a kids first 3D printer. We’ve printed a lot of projects with it, including youger kids toys, wargame terrain, light use home improvement doodads, and components for community college engineering design classes I was taking.

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