Mattel, the international toy brand, has reinvented its iconic ThingMaker at-home toy-making device into an easy-to-use 3D printer for domestic ecosystems costing just $300.
The original ThingMaker from Mattel was first debuted as ‘at-home maker’ device in the 1960s. It was limited by a few dozen die-cast molds, into which a user would pour Mattel’s Plastigoop thermoplastic or Gobble De-goop edible liquid. It was then cured using a 360-degree Fahrenheit hotplate.
The new revamped ThingMaker 3D printing eco-system is a domestic equipment to design, create and print toys from start to finish.
“In today’s digital age, it’s more important than ever for families to transcend the digital world and make their ideas real,” said Aslan Appleman, senior director at Mattel. “ThingMaker pushes the boundaries of imaginative play, giving families countless ways to customize their toys and let their creativity run wild. We’re thrilled to work with the 3D design experts at Autodesk to bring this one-of-a-kind experience to life.”
ThingMaker 3D printer is basically a fused filament fabrication machine that extrudes layer upon layer of melted thermopolymer to create an object. The thermopolymer filament comes in multiple colors on reels that can be attached to the 3D printer.
Users can browse through toy templates or build their own creations from hundreds of parts offered in loadable files. The design files have to be uploaded via Mattel’s proprietary Design App, which works on Android or iOS devices. The parts then start printing in batches for assembly via ball-and-socket joints
The design app is based on Autodesk’s Spark, an open 3D printing platform that provides extensible APIs for each stage of the 3D printing workflow. Samir Hanna, vice president and general manager at Autodesk said, “Creativity begins with inspiring the individual. The ThingMaker eco-system makes building your own creations not only possible, but more intuitive for young creators than ever before.”
Image courtesy: Mattel