It seems obvious that 3D printers aren’t for children, although it may become normal to use them for making Christmas and birthday presents. However, a US company believes there is a gap in the market as it prepares to launch the Printeer, the first 3D printer designed specifically for children.
Mission Street Manufacturing aims to raise at least $50,000, or £29,459, to kick-start its new project. The US firm has plans to develop and ship the first units by October 2014, according to The Guardian.
The 3D printer will be equipped with a ‘companion app’ that hooks up to an iPad. Children can then create designs on the iPad and print them out. The device uses PLA plastic filament as a substrate, which MSM claims is non-toxic and safe for children to use. The company states:
‘In a digital age, when technology skills are some of the most important a child can learn, is there a way to bridge the gap between the screen and the physical world? Now there is. 3D printing is tailor-made for today’s curious, tech-savvy kids and that’s why we’ve made Printeer.’
MSM revealed that it’s working alongside schools in California to test the device. It has high hopes that giving parents, teachers, and children the chance to try the device first will help persuade them to buy Printeer when it goes on sale. However, the asking price for a device ‘from the first production run’ is $549, or roughly £323.
The company has also introduced a range of options for those willing to pay a bit more. For $999 you can purchase a device that is customised with your name and is available in a range of colours. $1,499 will buy you a bundle of three devices and, for $2,999, MSM will travel to your school or office to build your very own model.
‘We aim to bring 3D printing to kids and schools across the globe. We are also committed to smart, sustainable growth,’ said a company spokesperson.
‘This is why we plan to make our first production right here in our garage, where we can maintain a tight feedback loop between engineering and manufacturing. We sleep fifty feet from our production line.’
Do you think that 3D printers will become as commonplace in offices and homes as colour laser printers or are they destined to remain an expensive toy for hobbyists and engineers?
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