Following their partnership with Autodesk, Toy manufacturing company Mattel has unveiled the ThingMaker 3D printer at the New York Toy Fair last weekend, along with a fun and intuitive 3D design app for kids to create their own 3D printed toys.
February 15, 2016: The ThingMaker 3D printer will be available at an extremely competitive price of $ 299,99 through Amazon later this year. The ThingMaker 3D design app, that pretty much resembles the Tinkerplay App by Autodesk, is already available for iOS and Android devices and allows children to easily customise existing models such as dragons, knights or even jewellery. The application automatically prepares the parts for 3D printing, assigning parts of one colour to the same print job.
Dan Pressman, Creative Director at Autodesk, explains: “All the physical behaviors are as it would be when it was actually printed out, so you can get an idea for how it is going to mechanically move and what the limits of all the joints and sockets that you create are.”
The 3D printer is easy and safe to use for kids, as it has safety features such as the closed build area, that will automatically be locked during the printing process. Mattel also offers a variety of different materials such as flexible, glow-in-the-dark and colour-changing filaments.
March 25, 2016: Update – ThingMaker 3D Printer available for pre-order
The ThingMaker 3D printer is currently available for pre-order on Amazon, and will be officially released on October 15, 2016.
September 28, 2016: Update – Release of ThingMaker pushed back to fall 2017
The launch of Mattel’s ThingMaker 3D printer has been postponed for a year. The company wants to continue to enhance the printer as well as the corresponding ThingMaker app. A spokesman told Engadget: “After much consideration, Mattel has decided to move its Thingmaker/3D printer launch to Fall 2017. At Mattel, we pride ourselves on delivering best-in-class products and the additional time will allow us to enhance the digital functionality to ensure we deliver the most engaging end-to-end experience for all family members. We are grateful for the excitement around this product and look forward to exceeding expectations in 2017. For more information/updates on product avail visit Thingmaker.com.”