3D printers are a wonderful, creative outlet that allows the artists among us to truly flex their creative muscles. These kinds of printers are often relegated to an older demographic due to their complexities, but the Toybox 3D printer is an anomaly in that it is intended specifically for children.
The Toybox 3D printer is a great way to encourage creativity and let kids let loose their imaginations. If you are new to 3D printing, the Toybox is also a fantastic way to teach yourself a few things about the art of printing in three- dimensions too!
We are going to be diving into the Toybox 3D printer and its multiple features, as well as looking at why it is a great option for kids interested in the art of 3D printing.
Before we start, it is important to acknowledge that whilst this printer is certainly intended for children, it is best to always supervise them whilst they are using it, no matter how much they argue that they are able to do it by themselves!
The printer is a lot of fun and easy to use, so it is possible that kids will make this argument, but always keep an eye on them just in case! Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the Toybox 3D Printer.
We will begin with the essential (though sometimes a little stuffy and boring!) specifications section for this particular 3D printer so that you know exactly what you are getting with the Toybox.
We will also go into some detail with some of the specifications that may not be particularly self-explanatory to help you out if you are new to the world of 3D printing.
- 3D Printer Type: FDM 3D Printer/ 3D Printer Kit. FDM stands for “fused deposition modeling” in terms of 3D printing. It refers to an additive process in which the materials are fused together in layers in order to create a specific design or pattern.
An alternative term that you might have heard before is FFF, which stands for fused filament fabrication. These are essentially the same process, utilizing a thermoplastic filament melted above its glass transition temperature.
An extrusion system (we will get on to what that is exactly in a moment) and a hot nozzle are used to maneuver the printing bed along the pattern of the chosen design which is to be printed.
FDM is known for its reliability and accuracy, allowing it to take the lead when it comes to three-dimensional printing technology. This means that FDM printers have become the dominating force in the market of 3D printers!
- Supported OS’s: iOS, Android or a web browser.
- Compatible Systems: STL, gCode or OBJ. This specification relates to the various systems and formats available when it comes to 3D printing.
STL files are one of the most popular file formats in terms of 3D printing and are a standard data transmission format. gCode- which stands for geometric code- refers to the numerical programming language and file type that the 3D printer is able to understand.
OBJ is another popular 3D file format that stores information from 3D files. These compatible systems relate to the Creator Space application that runs alongside the Toybox 3D printer, as the printer can create 3D files in any of these formats.
- Resolution: 200 microns.
- Voltage: AC 100V-240V
- Speed: 60 mm/s
- Volume: 9x8x10xm
- Auto-Leveling: Yes
- Bedplate: Easy-peel magnetic bed.
- Max Heating Bed Temperature: Non-heated bed.
- Nozzle Size: 0.4 mm
- Max Nozzle Temperature: 428 F.
- Bed: Easy-Peel bed.
- Wi-Fi: 2.4 GHz.
- Weight: 3 kg (or 6.6lbs)
- Extruder: 4 mm Smooth- Flow Extruder Head. Single Extruder. You would be forgiven for not knowing what “extruder” refers to, particularly if you have not dealt with a 3D printer before.
An extruder is one of the most important segments of a 3D printer, relating to the part of the printer that draws in the filament (the material used to create a 3D project, similar to ink in a regular printer), melts it down appropriately, and then pushes it back out to create the 3D work.
- Display: 2- inch LCD.
- LCD Screens: Touch Screen
- Print Materials: PLA non-toxic plastic.1.75 mm diameter PLA filament.
- Fan System: No fan system.
Now that we have had a look at what the specifications are for the Toybox 3D printer, let’s delve into some of the features that make it a particularly inspiring and fun printer for kids to enjoy.
There is nothing more irritating than a product that is super complex and confusing when it comes to assembly. As frustrating as toys, gadgets and gizmos for kids can be to put together at times, you won’t have this issue with the Toybox 3D printer as it comes fully assembled.
Other than the removal of some padding around the frame, the print bed, and the extruder, there is very little that you need to do other than the basic unpacking and filament insertion. Once that is done, all you need to do is plug in the printer, and you are ready to go!
The filament insertion may sound a little foreign if you have never had dealings with a 3D printer before,, but it is all super straight forward. A filament holder is included in the kit that comes with the Toybox, and it slides neatly into the back of the printer.
All you need to do to slot it in is hook the filament spool onto the back and then feed the loose end of the spool into the printer.
The Toybox touchscreen LCD screen will help you further with the filament thanks to the handy “insert” and “eject” function that is accessible via said touchscreen. Press “insert” and this will start the heating process.
The filament will begin to heat up, and you can insert it fully to begin creating. To remove the filament if it needs replacing, just hit the “eject” button on the touchscreen and follow the instructions.
Toybox Set Up
Once your Toybox 3D printer is all plugged in and ready to print, you can begin the process of setting up the software that you will need to connect the printer up with in order to start working on designs and printing some cool new toys!
You will need the Toybox companion app to get stuck into it, and it’s a super easy process to get everything going.
Set up the Toybox app on a desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone or tablet, pair the device with the printer via the touchscreen and you are ready to print!
The app is specifically designed to be simple and easy to use, particularly for kids. It has a responsive user interface that shouldn’t pose any challenge to kids, but also adults not used to these kinds of printers.
No matter what your background may be with 3D printing- or with technology in general- you are sure to find this set up process quick, easy, efficient and accessible to all ages. 3D printing has never been easier!
Easy To Use
So many elements of the Toybox 3D printer work brilliantly well, particularly when you consider that it is intended to be a child-friendly product.
The touchscreen- which is used to control the basic functions of the Toybox- is incredibly user-friendly and easy for kids to get the hang of thanks to having only three buttons, all of which are clearly labeled with their functions.
Another handy feature of the Toybox is the easy-peel magnetic bed plate.
A bed plate is a highly important element of any 3D printer, providing the first layer on which the materials that you are printing with will sit on. The bed plate of the Toybox moves along the Z-axis of the printer on top of a magnetic slab of around 1 cm in thickness.
The slab is bendy and allows for removal of the bed quickly and easily, as well as easy removal of the finished 3D model once complete.
The bed in itself is not heated, meaning that you don’t need to wait around for it to cool down. Only the model will be hot when removed, so make sure to wait a minute or two before it is taken off of the bed plate.
This easy-peel nature makes removing the 3D model from the printer bed a breeze, particularly when impatient and excited kids are around and are desperate to see their newest creation.
The Toybox app features hundreds of designs for various toys and collections that can be created with the Toybox 3D printer app.
The Creator Space website is also a nifty online tool that can be utilized to create a wide range of toy designs with the Toybox.
The designs on the Toybox app that can be downloaded are free, though you can create and upload your own designs by paying a certain amount. Once you have created your own design, you are able to share it online.
This allows others to download your creations, but this in turn also means that you can download the creations of others. This sharing element allows for tons of options when it comes to printing out a design.
There are a range of different kinds of prints that you can choose from in terms of sizing with the Toybox too, such as a quick print- which, as the name suggests, is a quick and simple print straight out of the box that doesn’t require any significant calibration.
You can also opt for a specifically calibrated toy, or you can consider a multipart print, which requires multiple prints of different toy parts that you then have to put together, such as a puzzle toy.
These can take a fair amount of time though (for a toy with six parts- for example- it could take as long as an hour per part, so that would amount to six hours of waiting whilst it prints!) so prepare for a long wait if you are thinking about creating a toy with multiple parts with the Toybox.
You might want to plan ahead before you jump head first into a large project. These prints understandably take time and patience and sometimes kids- particularly high energy kids- can find it hard to keep their patience or attention for minutes at a time, let alone hours!
Our advice for these bigger prints is to explain the process to your children first so that they are well aware that they will need to have patience and care.
This can be said for all of the different prints- especially when considering the delicate nature of 3D printers and the models that they can create- but make sure to give them a heads-up to avoid any unnecessary frustrations for both you and the kids!
The printer can also be a little loud as well, though this only becomes noticeable with these larger projects where the Toybox needs to stay switched on and active for longer periods of time,
We have delved into the various features that the Toybox 3D printer has to offer, so now let’s sum it all up with a look at some of the pros and cons.
- Very accessible in terms of connectivity (easy to use app) and the physical printer (touchscreen user interface).
- Easy to assemble.
- Tons of designs to choose from via the Toybox App and the Creator Space.
- Fun for kids and adults in terms of creativity.
- Sometimes a little noisy.
- Can be a lengthy wait for the creation of more complex toys and parts.
All in all, the Toybox 3D printer is a great choice of 3D printer for both kids and adults who may be starting out in the world of three-dimensional models and printing.
The ease with which kids can connect to the Toybox through the app helps to maintain a strong sense of accessibility, as does the simple design of the printer, which utilizes an easy-to-use touch screen and three simple buttons.
The app offers hundreds of designs that are sure to please kids of all ages, so long as they have the patience to wait for the bigger designs!
The Toybox 3D printer is likely to keep kids entertained whilst offering tons of cool new toys options to play with. With this printer, you will never have to worry about a toy being too expensive or out of stock ever again. Just make it yourself!