For Christmas my kids wanted a 3D Printer. A few months ago I decided I wanted a 3D printer for them - so as luck would have it my Toybox 3D Printer arrived. I backed this project on Indiegogo and the timing could not have been better.
3D Printing is a subject I know little about - except that from the people I know that have tried, it can be complex. I wanted easy. I wanted to print from their iPads to the printer and I got just that.
The 3D Toybox is a joy. It costs $399 which I find very reasonable. High end 3D Printers will cost you $1,500 to $3,000 - but that's not the entry price I was looking for. Low end 3D printers can end up being more trouble than they are worth. The key for me was can the kids print on their own?
The printer setup was the hardest part. It took a few min to get it on my wifi network. Once I did though the kids were off to the races. My kids have printed about 20 things so far. Each print job takes anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. We placed the printer in our basement so that the noise doesn't bother anyone and for overnight printing jobs.
In general the world of 3D printing is amazing. The other day I wanted to repair my Nintendo Switch Joycons as they stopped functioning correctly. There is a whole write up on how you can do to this with 3D printed parts. I downloaded the part from Thingiverse (a web site for 3d models) and uploaded to 3Dhubs and had my parts in 3 days.
To make printed objects you can use an iPhone, iPad, Android device or web browser. Here is what it looks like to print some stuff.
Here are some of the items my son has made
The printer supports downloading any 3D model and uploading to print. We are now printing a Mario!