New Construction Kits Incorporate 3D Printing
A major 3D printer maker and an educational game
teaming up to deliver a construction kit designed to help young children
an interest in engineering.
has created the Maker
Studio Construction Set that
will let children 7 and older, their parents and teachers work together
ordinary household items into engineering-inspired machines. The sets
will be distributed
at no cost via MakerBot's
a 3D design community for discovering,
making and sharing 3D printable objects.
The construction sets will contain gears, winches,
3D-printable parts like connectors, wheels, rods, hubcaps, spools and
punches. The combination of the two types of objects will allow children
turn things like cereal boxes or soda cans into kinetic machines.
Assembly diagrams and instructions can be downloaded
Thingiverse, as can 10 open-ended challenges that are intended to
Children, in conjunction with their parents and
teachers or on
their own, can work through the challenges, follow the instructions or
their imaginations to create their own objects.
"These new construction sets use 3D printing to
child's imagination and build important cognitive skills," said MakerBot
Jonathan Jaglom. "The open-ended, creative play fosters child
through self-expression and problem solving."
ThinkFun and MakerBot have also launched the "Kids
Challenge" to share their creations and compete for prizes and the title
Master Maker. To enter, children or their parents simply post a photo or
of their Maker Studio creation on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag
#KidsMakeIt by July 14. Formal contest rules are on the #Kids Make It
Challenge Page and winners will be announced July 28
on the MakerBot
"Kids are inherently creative, and it's amazing to
imaginative they can be when given the opportunity to exercise their
ingenuity with smart toys like Maker Studio," said ThinkFun Co-founder
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.