Are you ready to get extreme?! To make some stuff?! Basically for Free?! Then let’s get out there and print some toys!!! Yep, another printing post now that the printer is perfectly calibrated we’re ready for the next chapter, toys. Now, I wouldn’t call my self a scrooge per say, but baby toys ain’t cheap. And if they are, they don’t survive long enough to be worth it!
I decided to take on the challenge to print some toys for my son. The good news is he’s a baby, so most toys are basic shapes and easy prints. The bad news is PLA isnt the softest material… so cuddling with a low poly teddy bear wasn’t really an option. I did find a few things out there that would keep him happy and should hopefully keep us out of the ER.
The Most Extreme of Toys: Blocks!
Keeping things real extreme here, we’re starting with Blocks! But these are not your nanny’s blocks, oh no no no! These are home grown, state of the art, 3D printed blocks, packed with shape matching technology. I found them on Thingiverse (of course…) and had a variety of PLA colors to print from making a good variety.
So Triangle will have a circle peg, circle stacks on triangle. Circle has a hex peg, hex stacks, and so on and so forth. The peg shape on the top corresponds with the bottom hole in the block above. It makes a good infinite loop, keeping him happy for a good 15 minutes or so. The blocks themselves are damn near indestructible. Printing at 0.2mm and 40% infill, no supports needed. I’d say they are very baby proof!
Toys more Extreme than a Bolt of Lightning?!
That’s right! An actual Bolt! Like a nut and bolt, well two nuts (he he…) All jokes aside, this ended up being a fun but challenging print. Again, from Thingiverse, this print has one large bolt, meant to be printed vertically along with two large nuts. Total print time was roughly 16 hours, at 0.2mm and 40% infill. Again, this print ended up being very baby proof!
The challenging part was the bolt itself. The nuts as you can imagine, printed very easily. However, during my first attempt, about half way though, my nozzle clipped part of the print and completely offset it. It still continued printing like nothing happened, so the end result was interesting…
So, instead of having to prints the nuts again, I cheated a bit by importing the STL into blender and deleting the nuts from the original file. Exporting just the bolt, I was able to shave of significant time, bringing it down to just 9 hours.
And 9 hours later, without any hiccups this time, we had a full functioning bolt. Threading the nuts was a little rough at first, but after a few goes through the bolt it ended up spinning quite smooth! In the end the boy liked it and now he can work on his dexterity skills!
Who Says It has to be Toys?!
This last one isn’t a toy per say but whatever… it takes place in the toy room so close enough! For his first birthday, a close friend gave us a custom wood puzzle made into his name. Its less of a toy and more of a show piece, something nice to have in his room. And the best place to put nice things with kids is in a safe… or more practically, somewhere high up and on a wall.
But I couldn’t just command hook it to the wall and call it a day. If the puzzle sat too flat against the wall, the pieces would easily fall out. I have to have it sit and just the right angle, enough to be clearly visible but also enough to keep gravity at bay. Which means were going custom! Lets hop into blender and make something!
So after calipering every angle and length of the puzzle, I made a small hook bracket. Wide enough to provide support but also stay discreet. I even made one side flat for quick printing and no supports. Last thing was to just make the part that attaches to the wall. I ended up doing a flat panel big enough to fit a piece of double sided tape. One day I’ll be cool enough to use blender to make screw holes, but not today.
A print job and 20 minutes later, I had a pair of brackets and Vinny now had a wall puzzle, that he can’t reach and ruin! Everyone wins! 🙂
Whew… I’m all Extremed out…
Welp that’s all I’ve got for this one. Be sure to check out the Gallery for other things that I’ve printed but haven’t written about. If you are a parent or soon to be one, hopefully this inspired you a bit to craft some really cool things for your little ones. I know I get a big dopamine rush watching him play with something fresh off the printer, I know you will too 🙂
Thanks for swinging by, until next time!