3D printing helps small start Monster Crayons raise funds

For small start-ups 3D printing can be the perfect tool to transition from an idea into a product. This is what happened with the Australian group behind Monster Crayons. Monster Crayons 4 Kids have created a product aimed at abused and neglected children to aid their recovery through art. The crayons have been made in the shape of little monsters as a reference to the kids’ emotional monsters. To create the product initially, the two advertising executives tried melting crayons in a saucepan and pouring them into molds they had created themselves. However, the project has really started to gain ground after the duo turning to 3D printing to create molds.

Christian McKechnie and Ben Lees with their creations. Photo via ABC Brisbane.
Christian McKechnie and Ben Lees with their creations. Photo via ABC Brisbane.

Christian McKechnie and Ben Lees, the creators, contacted a friend who worked in 3D design to help design the crayons. Ian Anderson (pictured below) helped with design in order to 3D print their molds. From there they decided to crowd-fund and now they have a clever product on their hands. Monster Crayons has been created in order to help Australian charity Act For Kids. Meanwhile, another charity recently utilized 3D printing to help children with Brisbane-based group FutureHear creating prosthetic ears. Moreover, Brisbane seems to be becoming a hub for 3D printing with the creation of a biofabrication unit which specializes in creating 3D printed materials for medical use.

The design process. Photo via Monster Crayons.
The design process. Photo via Monster Crayons.

The idea for Monster Crayons came after speaking to child therapists. They explained how art therapy was a very beneficial tool for abused children and it sparked the idea to make crayons in the shape of their monsters. By doing so, the child is able to deal with their monsters both emotionally through their drawings and physically with the crayons. This concept is explained cleverly with the marketing image below.

Monster Crayons. Image via Monster Crayons.
Given their background they should have no issue marketing their idea. Image via Monster Crayons.

Mr McKechnie said:

It struck a chord with us and we wanted to turn it around … every drawing takes away the child’s monster. We really hope Monster Crayons will become fully self-sustaining and a successful product for Act For Kids.

The two men had worked with the Australian charity Act For Kids before and through the Monster Crayons they may be able to really make a difference. Monster Crayons will give 100% of the profits to the charity. This will hopefully enable Act For Kids to create other projects to help as many children as they can.

The Monster Crayon being put to use. Photo via Monster Crayons.
The Monster Crayon being put to use. Photo via Monster Crayons.

Through crowd-funding and 3D printing, Monster Crayons have now found themselves with over 200 packs of crayons ready to sale and with a further 10,000 packs on the way for early 2017. For now the team are selling the crayons through their Facebook page but as of next year the crayons will be venturing into a major Australian department store.

Featured image shows a Monster Crayon. Photo via Monster Crayons. 

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