For children who love to create and design, there comes a time when markers, crayons and colored pencils just aren't enough to satisfy them. Many children who enjoy hands-on creating and building enjoy using items like dough, clay, LEGOs, and other materials. As children become older, and their spatial skills are more developed and advanced, the creation process changes from creating flat pictures and drawings into items with more interest, character and dimension.
3D Printing For Kids
3D printing is the wave of the future, but it's still a costly and time consuming activity that not everyone has access to.
The 3D Magic Maker is a safe, 3D character creator that kids can use to build cool designs, jewelry, models, replicas, national landmarks, animals, dinosaurs, or anything their imagination can dream of by using molds, templates, stencils, or free-hand drawing something of their own.
The original kit includes the 3D maker unit, 3 3D gel colors in individual containers (orange, green and red), 3 3D molds (fish, turtle, dog), 3 stencils (bridge, jet, car) and plain squares for customized drawings.. Additional accessory packs can be purchased for additional molds and gel colors.
Children decide whether they will use a mold, stencil or free-hand draw, then using the 3D gels squirt the liquid onto the mold or template. When finished, they place their creation into the 3D Maker, close the door, hit the button and in 30 seconds the gel transforms from a colored liquid to solid, bendable plastic.
The plastic items are pulled of the molds. Using more gel, then placing the item back in the 3D maker, kids can attach pieces together that are more sturdy over time.
The maker itself is similar to the type of machine used for gel manicures. The LED lights inside the maker are what help to harden the gel into the plastic.
Using the 3D Magic Maker
For new users, start with a mold like the turtle, and then progress to a more advanced stencil once you are familiar with how the gels work and how the finished pieces are removed from the molds or stencils. When using some of the stencils, pay specific attention to the shape outlines making sure to place gel in all areas. Once they are removed from the stencils, and the items are assembled, if you didn't fill in all areas it could make an impact on the final product.
While the gel can be sticky if it is left out, especially if the item is not placed in the maker immediately, this is really the only potential for mess. Some of the gel that was on the counter was easy to wipe up. All of the pieces stored back inside the box or can easily fit inside a storage box.
Some of these projects can be finished within a 20-minute time frame, but others may take longer depending on the child's engagement. It is helpful to have plastic bags and containers available to store any small pieces for lengthier projects that may take multiple days to complete.
Activities like the 3D Maker are great for kids who like to be creative, but they are also a fun STEM opportunity, as kids use their creativity and imagination to engineer new toys and gifts.
When purchasing the 3D Maker you will also need to buy 3 "AA" batteries.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.