3D printing technology, deemed as the technology of the future, is opening up new avenues of innovation and advancement in medicine and manufacturing. It will change the way we live and produce commodities such as food and other products forever – and now that 3D printing technology has become more accessible and affordable for consumers, even children can use it to explore their creativity.

Printeer, Mission Street Manufacturing’s soon-to-be-released commercial 3D printer, is designed for students who are in the K-12 educational program. With Printeer, a child’s imagination can come to life, literally.

It allows anybody to create 3D models from two-dimensional drawings that they can then input through Printeer’s custom iPad design software, which instantly renders three-dimensional printable versions of 2D drawings. Using WiFi technology, the app wirelessly sends the information to the printer, which then proceeds to form the design layer by layer.

Imagine being able to turn your doodles into actual tangible objects that you can see being made before your own eyes!

This technology creates new possibilities in classroom learning, taking it to a whole new level and encouraging children’s engagement and active participation. With this technology, who knows what the bright minds of tomorrow can come up with? Possibilities are virtually endless when you can create something out of nothing with just a press of a button.

How it works

The printer uses a 0.5 mm nozzle to print objects layer by layer using nontoxic PLA bioplastic that comes in different colors. The plastic comes in a spool form, which you can load into the printer one pound at a time. Weighing only 12 pounds, Printeer is a foot tall and is 16 in. wide and 9 in. deep. It has a see-through body, allowing children to see their creations come to life from start to finish.

22 Comments
  1. How cool! I would have loved to have this for my young creative years — or for now! Haha! This is another one I’ll hang onto for my nephew. The “future” is so exciting!

    • That’s pretty neat. Though I have to say — when I was young, we also had ways to bring our imagination to 3D life. It often involved cardboard, newspapers, glue and a bunch of reused items, but what it lacked in precision and elegance, we made up the rest. I know a boy who was very proud to show me the shield and sword he fashioned himself and drew upon just this winter! So no matter how cool this technology is, I hope it won’t be one of those things that kids feel like they need to have to be cool and then be ashamed of their own creations made on a low-budget.

      I mean… I really wish I was a kid of today. The ones I know got tablets, PSP and a bunch of other very expensive technological items before they even turned 10! Spoiled silly. Hopefully they make something interesting out of it all.

  2. Damn it I wish I wasn’t born too early. When I was a kid all we had was Mario Paint. But this is cool, although I’m not sure how complex this goes, I would love to see more variations with this, maybe you can print out a 3D image other than just a flat 2D doodle, you know, like a real 3D printer does.

  3. This is great! I remember a service which would turn your child’s drawings into dolls, but with this, you can do the same thing right at your home! 3D printer technology looks cool, after all. Our future generation will enjoy this. Great going!

  4. This 3D printing is pretty awesome. Children can create anything that they want and just print it out and have a full figure of their creation which seems quite fun for children of all ages. Even adults can use 3D printing. I think this was a great invention for little kids. The more technology that they can use to have fun and learn, the better.

  5. This is incredible! My son would be fascinated by this. I am sure it is ridiculously expensive, but what a great tool to have in education. I can see this really catching the attention of students and inspiring them to create, design, and invent new things. There are definitely endless possibilities for use in education, particularly for students who are visual and kinesthetic learners.

  6. Love this! This reminds me of one of those spy movies that were popular among kids years ago. It is actually quite amazing to watch the creativity of a child at play. They are full of surprises and this is a great way of getting a child engaged into expressing himself.

  7. Technology are really moving fast. This innovation would definitely help our youth to further extend their learning and imagination. This is indeed a great news.

  8. This would be fun for the kids surely, but kind a creepy somehow for the adults (hey some kids doodle scary things). I just hope that the use of the device will be governed thorougly by the teachers, since you know, kids will always be kids. It kinda reminds me of the show Chalkzone, where the kid doodle something and it comes to life.

  9. This is so cool. We are living in an awesome time. This reminds me of the company that was making kids sketches into stuffed animals. Very very cool. This is going to be so fun for children and a wonderful tool for teachers.

  10. This is very cool–I would have loved to have this as a kid. I was always drawing on something. The imagination of children is boundless. Many awesome creations will come to life thanks to this app. Technology continues to amaze me!

  11. When I saw the chess piece in the picture, I realized how easy it was to replace missing pieces from my chess board. I see a lot of possibilities with such a printer. I could decorate my own home with my own artwork, make small replacements, containers, specific tools. This could be really revolutionary, especially when the consumables become cheaper. I wonder how a car I design would look, when it is printed as a 3D model, just amazing.

    • Hehehe, I had a similar thought, but my main worry would be the cost of the refills! If they became really affordable I’d really consider getting one of those 3D printers, at least just for fun 🙂 You could create your own Christmas or Halloween decorations 😉 It sounds like a lot potentially fun family projects could take place with that printer around!

  12. This is amazing! However, I hope that the refills for the printer are reasonably priced – otherwise, I can see this ending up as one of those “use once, never again” type products, which’d be a huge waste of potential. I wish something like this had existed when I was younger, it’s the type of thing I’d have loved.

    • That would be my biggest worry if I ever were to purchase a 3D printer. I really don’t know how much the refills cost, but I’m almost certain those refills aren’t going to be cheap at all, at least not at the moment! That’s how it is most of the time, maybe in a few years the printer itself will be more affordable as well.

  13. Wow, this is really amazing, kids are gonna love this. This is gonna be really cool for them, seeing things in the virtual world exist for real in real life. But the downside to it can be that they’d expect everything to come to life, suppose one day a kid tries to bring a person to life, I mean, the results would be disappointing and give kids false hopes. If the kids know and understand the limitations of the printer, then it can help kids be more creative and print stuff that could be useful for them in their daily lives. Excellent product and technology though, especially the transparent printer which shows how their imaginations turns to life.

  14. Neat idea! I wish I had Printeer when I was a little kid.
    Little kids have a lot of imagination and it’s incredible that this machine was invented. It will really help them learn faster and expand their imagination. I think it is very expensive at the moment but maybe in the future we will see those everywhere.

  15. See how interesting a 3D printer is? Ideally, a 3D printer would not be used for children’s project. Perhaps of certain age groups. It takes design skills to be able to use the software to design a thing and then print it out. Designers have the choice of remixing designs using these apps that can be connected to the printer. The printing process should also be valued, because we have the chance to be 100% present at the moment. I really hope one day I would be able to purchase one of those 3D printing apps.

  16. This would be awesome to have in day cares and some elementary school classrooms. Depending on the cost, this could also be used to bring STEM education to younger kids, even in some low-budget school districts. I would love to see the look on a child’s face as their creation comes to life.

  17. This is just amazing. To be honest this is the very first time I hear about this kind of technology, I could have never dreamed a thing like this would exist, let alone be at the reach of everyone having enough money to buy it! It’s just amazing! I can imagine how some children would love to have one of those 3D printers at home, if I was a little girl I know I would!

  18. I’m glad that my children have access to new advancements in technology as well. It’s really a great tool to get kids to learn spatially and about 3 dimensional objects in general. I hope the price range isn’t too steep though.

  19. This is cool. I can’t wait for 3D printers to cheapen up so that everyone can have one. They are complicated at the moment though, as I have learned from my schools printer. If someone managed to create an easy way of printing that was also cheap, I bet many people would buy them. The printer described in this blog post probably has the “easy” part down, but the price might be high.

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