3D Printing

3D Printable Toys Physically Illustrate Blokko's "Era of Drones" Kids' Book

As more homes and educational institutions at all levels begin to have access to 3D printers, new online applications are starting to develop business models for entertainment properties with which the user is involved in the story by actually creating the physical objects that are described in it. Online website Blokko takes this to a higher degree of interaction by allowing storytellers to publish their stories and design toys that users can 3D print.

Blokko is still in a very early, experimental phase, but the concept is clear: mixing captivating fictional environments created by storytellers with the physical interaction possible with 3D printing. The process goes both ways, with the story supplying the ideas for new 3D printing projects and the 3D printed objects helping to shape the new chapters of the story. This is particularly evident in the newly introduce XR-35 3D printable toy truck.


Designed by Prad La,  CTO of Blokko, the XR-35 was designed around the key concepts of play-ability, modularity, and ease-to-build. “Most of the 3D printed toys available now are difficult to build and kids can’t really play with them,” Prad explained. “This is why we designed the pump-action joint which make the toy modular, strong and yet, easy to take apart. This truly opens up the concept of modularity.”

The toy truck is the first in a a series called called ‘Era of Drones’, and can be printed using basic consumer 3D printers. The model costs $19 and is, of course, targeted towards people – and institutions – that already own 3D printers. In fact, the designer explains that it is envisioned primarily as a group activity for kids to build it together at home. It was designed in order to be very easy to build, printing without any support. However, it will also be a very “real” toy that kids can play with, even featuring a full suspension lower body.


As Blokko grows so will the story setting around the XR-35. This takes place in the year 2070, in a world stricken by the effects of climate change. The lower atmosphere, with its high frequency of dust winds combined with extreme droughts, has become subject to an ecological collapse and an ever changing terrain. The human population has congregated to protected subsurface habitats, with agriculture carried out mostly in hover-fields orbiting above the lower atmosphere. Nations no longer fight for oil; they fight over technology.


The XR-35 is a sturdy truck developed primarily as a mobile refuel station for the Agri-drones. Designed and built in the White Plains lab to specifically withstand a rough terrain, it is used in a variety of fields, with some rumored to be re-purposed by the black ops as well. Clearly the “Agri-drones” could be the next design project in the Era of Drones storyline, with the story evolving together with the growth and diffusion of 3D printing technologies. And the children that today play with them growing into the engineering students of tomorrow.