Geppetto’s workshop has come to life! Users of all ages can dream, design and 3D print their own creepy crawlers or missing Monopoly pieces with the brilliant new ThingMaker 3D printer and design app.

My Quick Take:

“The keys to the toy factory are yours!” Mattel has come up with a combination as good as bread and butter. The power of 3D printing – making physical objects from a 3-D model – and toy-making.  With its new ThingMaker design app, Mattel app users of any age can design and customize dynamic dolls, celestial creatures or jammin’ jewelry digitally and bring them to life with its new ThingMaker 3D printer (or your current 3D printer). Kids, families and even myself(!) will be inspired to dream and create in any way we choose.

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What it is:

The ThingMaker duo consists of a design-making app along with the supporting 3D printer to print out your designs.  The app, currently available for Android and iOS, contains a vast library of interchangeable and customizable parts makes it engaging to make a new creation. Quickly make a scorpion or a samurai using the built-in character templates and easy to use tutorials. Or start from scratch and mix things up to create a scorpion samurai with skeleton legs. All joints in the app bend and twist just like the real 3D printed parts. All 3D parts print easily, with no rafts or supports.

Once you’ve perfected your design, export it to your current 3D printer or the ThingMaker printer, available in stores this fall.  Once 3D printed, these parts can be snapped together to create your design in real life. Special features (including the simple drag-and-drop functionality) have been added to make the world of 3D design easy and fun no matter what age the designer is.

Fine Print:

Even with something designed for child’s play, there can be snags.  Parts can be too tight to snap together, requiring some muscle or redesign.  Printing issues can occur like missing or holes in the printed parts. All could require tinkering with your printer head or bed settings, making this an experiment in trial and error, just as much as creativity. But for inventor-types, this is all part of the creation process.


Get it now:

App available now on iOS and Android with printer to come Fall of 2016. Get them all here.