Making your own miniature toys and cloning existing ones sounds like something straight out of an 80’s sci-fi movie.
From tiny collectibles, construction bricks, fashion accessories, and more, kids can now make their own 3-D objects using the IDo3D Print Shop, from RedwoodVentures. This battery-operated device builds small objects using special ink and molds that are pre-made or ones that you make yourself. Each print shop comes with the machine, 3-D accessories, a red and blue ink cartridge, and the reusable Formula 4D.
Without using complicated software, this 3D Print Shop is basically an injection molding machine that uses LED light to harden the creations in a safe and easy way for kids ages 9 and up to use.
There are three different ways for kids to create their own 3-D designs: they can use the pre-made molds, create their own molds, or clone their own objects.
To use the pre-made molds, choose an ink color, screw on the tip, and install the cartridge. Since the ink will hand upside-down, I recommend blocking the ink with a tissue or the likes to prevent the ink from automatically coming out. Then, pick your mold! I chose a teddy bear, so I installed it right underneath the ink cartridge and then let the ink start flowing.
Since the molds are clear, you’ll be able to see when it’s full, and then pull the lever back up to stop ink from flowing. Now, leave your design inside and turn on the lights, which will go on for 90 seconds. This may take longer for larger pieces. Remove your project from the mold, trim the extra ink, and voi-la! You have your very first awesome 3-D object!
Kids can also use molding plates to create their own molds. For this, kids will be using the special Formula 4D, which is designed to form and reform molds into any shape. Translation: you can use this over and over again! That’s a major win in my book.
To make these, kids must place the Formula 4D in hot water to soften it and make it moldable. The compound comes in strips (like Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape), but cut off as much as you need to fill in the mold. Once the Formula 4D is soft, push it into the clone your own mold maker, push one of the included molding plates into it (I used a dog bone!), and then wait for it to harden to take its new shape. Now that you just made your own mold, follow the same steps as if you were using a pre-made mold.
Drum roll please, the moment you’ve been waiting for! Lastly, kids can create identical versions of mini toys and objects they already own. Just like in the prior steps, all they need to do is soften up some good ‘ol Formula 4D, place the object inside until it hardens, and then fill it up with ink in the Print Shop.
With some practice, kids will be pros in no time and will be making jewelry, small vehicles, accessories, figures, and more, using the IDO3D 3D Print Shop in no time!