X

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy.

I agree
Learn More
Great Geek Gifts in the Technabob Shop!Get Technabob Daily: Join our Mailing List! | Follow Us: Facebook | Twitter
Awesomer Media Sites: THE AWESOMER | MIGHTYMEGA | 95OCTANE
subscribe to our rss feedsubscribe via e-mailfollow technabob on twittertechnabob facebook fan pageGoogle+follow us in feedly
Follow Us:

2016 Mattel ThingMaker 3D Printer: Pretty Printer

by Lambert Varias
Advertisement

If there was ever a better name for a 3D printer than “3D printer”, it would probably be ThingMaker. So it’s no surprise that the accidentally prescient toymaker Mattel is relaunching its brand as exactly that. Where before you molded and baked Plastigoop to create Creepy Crawlers, now you just have to tap on an app and the ThingMaker will do the rest.

mattel_thingmaker_3d_printer_1zoom in

The ThingMaker is definitely meant for beginners and people who don’t want to deal with the technical side of 3D printing. Its biggest constraint is that it can’t print just any 3D model. Instead, its mobile app – which is a carbon copy of Autodesk’s Tinkerplay – has a pool of components that you can mix and match. You can also simply pick from the pre-made combinations if you’re not feeling creative. You can alter a few of the components’ features, such as color and texture, to further customize your printed toy.

Mattel will update the app with templates and parts based on popular characters, so you may be able to print an Iron Man-themed Barbie in the future.

mattel_thingmaker_3d_printer_2zoom in

In return for its walled garden, the ThingMaker offers a no-brainer drag-and-drop interface. You also won’t have to worry whether the components are properly scaled or if they’ll fit with each other. The printer itself is also said to be newbie-friendly. Its large transparent cover won’t open until the print is finished, and it supposedly has a simple filament loading system. Speaking of filaments, Mattel says it will launch a variety of those. Some will let you create soft objects, while some change color when exposed to UV light.

The new ThingMaker will be available on Amazon starting 2/15/16 for $300 (USD). That’s not bad, but if you ask me the branded DLC is where Mattel is really going to make money. As far as I can see the ThingMaker’s biggest selling point is the user-friendly mobile app, but again that’s already available on its own and for free. So why would you bother buying the printer itself if you could let your kids use practically the same app with dozens of other printers? The answer of course is Iron Barbie.

[via Mattel via Forbes & Toy News International]




Comments (2):

  1. Allison says:

    This looks just like the 3D printing setup that Toybox made at http://www.make.toys, has Mattel done anything different here?

    • Paul Strauss says:

      I think the main functional difference is that the Mattel printer offers a locking build area for safety. Also, ToyBox says their printer will go for about $500, while the ThingMaker will be just $300.

Post a Comment:

Want a personal avatar on your comments? Sign up for a free Gravatar now!

Note: All comments with links in them will be held for moderation in order to prevent spam, so you may not see your post appear immediately.

Recent Posts

Affordable Handsfree Bluetooth Mouse for the Disabled: GlassOuse

Affordable Handsfree Bluetooth Mouse for the Disabled: GlassOuse

Double Barrel Paintball Gun Brings 2x the Pain

Double Barrel Paintball Gun Brings 2x the Pain

Conan O\

Conan O'Brien Gets Dicks on His Face for Losing Mario Kart

Giveaway: Win a $1000 Steam Gift Card

Giveaway: Win a $1000 Steam Gift Card

DIY Synesthesia Mask Releases Scents Based on Color: I Smell Trees of Green

DIY Synesthesia Mask Releases Scents Based on Color: I Smell Trees of Green

More from Awesomer Media...

The Awesomer Logo MightyMega Logo 95octane Logo