Consumer Products

3D printing provides a creative future where children start to create their own sustainable toys

Frankfurt start-up Enable 3D and German DIY magazine Selber Machen have collaboratively launched the Print and Play Construction company collection. 

The designs were created and presented entirely on a newly developed recycled printing material from Amsterdam-based startup Reflow. Reflow’s bioderived material, which is made with recycled food packaging, is available in a variety of translucent colors. Users can obtain free templates for each product from the website and 3D printing platforms and print them on their own 3D printers.

“This is our first project in the field of toys and we were amazed by the feedback of kids on it. This next generation is naturally interested in new technologies and amazed if they can see how their toys are made right at home. This would have been my very own dream as a kid,” said Manuel Siskowski, founder of Enable 3D.

Enable 3D team. Image via Enable 3D.
Enable 3D team. Image via Enable 3D.

Creating a safer childhood while simultaneously taking a step toward sustainability

Siskowski added, “The toy market is flooded with cheap products from virgin plastic shipped around the world. We are excited to offer an alternative from recycled materials with a super-local production right at the user’s home.”

The company believes that new technologies and tools will be essential for the next wave of young makers and builders. This collection will help children create their own environmentally friendly toys employing 3D printing. This January, eight different tool toys ranging from screwdrivers to shovels will be available for children aged two to six years. The toys are intended to be printed at home and represent a special type of parent-child project.

The designs will be available worldwide due to the decentralized production approach because they simply need to be installed. According to the company, customers will be able to access them for free in order to remain as feasible as possible despite the economic situation, especially in difficult times like these.

The project will be featured in the print magazine’s February issue. The company claims to have conducted printing and play assessments with the assistance of construction expert Stephanie Stefan.

Enable 3D was honored with the German Innovation Award in Gold by the German Design Council. Image via Enable 3D.
Enable 3D was honored with the German Innovation Award in Gold by the German Design Council. Image via Enable 3D.

3D printed toys

Previously, Formlabs, an SLA 3D printing company, and Hasbro Inc., an American multinational conglomerate that specializes in toys, board games, and media assets, announced a partnership to provide customized 3D printed action figurines. The Hasbro Selfie series is the name of the venture. The customization system makes use of Formlabs 3D printers, enabling users to create an action figure measuring six inches and featuring their faces.

“Our collaboration together with Hasbro continues to grow to stay at the top of the innovation curve. 3D printing has long been considered a prototyping tool however it is now a Hasbro Selfie Series personalization system that shows that Formlabs can enable end-product production at a scale. I am a fan of personalizing and designing products I use and am looking forward to seeing how people react to this brand new experience that is powered by additive manufacturing,” said Max Lobovsky, CEO and co-founder of Formlabs.

Furthermore, Danish toy manufacturer LEGO released its first official 3D printed toy. The piece, which was distributed at a LEGO House adult fan convention, is a scaled-down replica of the company’s original 1935 duck. The tiny red replica, like the genuine article, has turning tires that enable it to be pulled along, snapping its beak as it goes. The move follows just three years after LEGO released 3D printing community takedown notices requiring manufacturers to eliminate downloadable STL files of unlicensed recreations of its products.

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Feature image shows Enable 3D team. Image via Enable 3D.