The most interesting 3D print–related crowdfunding campaign to kick off this week is that of the Printeer from Mission Street Manufacturing. A consumer additive manufacturing device designed specifically for children, if successful it could be one of the most important steps in the 3D printer’s journey into the classroom.
We’ve already seen 3D print applications that aimed to make the process more child-friendly, such as the Blokify simplified-CAD programme, yet the Californian start-up’s proposed machine aims to make the entire process, from the design to the creation of an object, accessible to the youngest of pupils.
It comes in a clear case, meaning kids can watch the machine’s parts in action during the print, learning more about the mechanics. It also means they are less likely to touch hot or moving parts while it is in action. In fact, every effort has been made to maximise safety. It prints in PLA, which is less toxic than the more popular ABS, and a removable build platform makes removing your finished prints safe and simple.
Meanwhile, a companion iPad application allows pupils to put together shapes with simple touch controls to create printable pieces.
Describing the philosophy behind the Printeer, Mission Street Manufacturing say:
In a digital age, when technology skills are some of the most important a child can learn, is there a way to bridge the gap between the screen and the physical world? Now there is. 3D printing is tailor-made for today’s curious, tech-savvy kids. And that’s why we’ve made Printeer.
The company is already collaborating with educators in its native state in the development of the model. Considering it’s mainly a tool for teaching kids about 3D printing, the specification sheet is pretty impressive. It includes:
Build Envelope: 6” x 4” x 5”
Weight: 5.5 kg
Auto Bed Levelling/ Removable Print Bed/ Wireless Access/ Fully Enclosed
Spool Capacity: 0.45kg of filament
The Kickstarter campaign has 27 days left to go and, currently, has racked up $22,785 of its $50,000 goal (that’s about £13,439 of 30 grand). If you fancy getting your own Printeer when the first batch ships in October, get over to Kickstarter and pledge $549 (£325).