3D Printing has come a long way but it still has to do some catching up when it comes to being home friendly and wallet friendly. Mattel is one of the world’s largest toy maker known for its uber famous Hot Wheels toy line-up. Mattel has been trying to introduce new innovative ways to help kids build their own toys and surprisingly they built the first toy maker in the 1960’s. Called the ThingMaker, it used to let the kids create figurines by using moulds and pouring liquid plastic into them, simple yet effective.
The company now wants to continue with its effort in helping kids build their own toys with a modern touch to it. The ThingMaker 3D is Mattel’s latest endeavour to provide an affordable 3D printer that would pair up with an app and let kids create a diversified range of toys and jewellery. The ThingMaker will be priced at $300 which is indeed a killer price for a 3D printer that lets you churn out your own toys. The companion app is a full-fledged 3D modelling software which will most probably be laced with simple user interface. This app will allow the kids or the parents to render the new toys from their smartphones and with just a press of the button they would be able to get the new toy.
In this case, it is quintessential to make sure the companion app works as expected and since rendering a 3D model is a graphic intensive task, who better to trust than the Autodesk, maker of Autocad. The app we are talking would be mostly be a software platform for 3D printing and will be expected to work with other 3D printers as well.
ThingMaker is something just more than a kids dream; it is a tell-tale sign of how affordable 3D printing can get in the near future. It won’t be long before we start designing our own stuff and then get them printed wireless over the neighborhood 3D printing shop, still better we all might be able to afford a 3D printer ourselves. There have been other cheap 3D printers in the past few years, but none this cheap and coming from a reputed name like Mattel. Is this the game changer we were looking for? We surely hope so.