3D printing – a kid’s guide


I accept that 3D publishing exists, but honestly, I can’t really get my head around it.

Perhaps I need to start from the beginning and I suspect a little character named Leo can help. Leo the Maker Prince is a story book written for children to teach them about 3D printing. The book is accompanied by files to download that bring the characters to life.

Written and illustrated by Carla Diana, the story is about a girl (in fact a fictional version of the author herself), and her walk through the city with Leo, a robot that can turn anything she draws into plastic reality through 3D printing. Along the way, they meet other clever robots including Hi-Ho who prints in metal and Sinclair who can find and print objects from a huge catalog of designs.


Incredibly, all of the objects in the book are printable. After reading the book and being inspired by the robot’s abilities to make new parts for broken things and create new designs, kids can download files to print their own versions of the characters and objects from the book at Thingiverse. Printable objects include a sheep and musical instruments. Now I just have to get my hands on a 3D printer!

Am I any closer to really coming to grips with 3D printing? Perhaps. It’s still mind-boggling. But I do know that this technology is the way of the future, allowing designers to customise pieces and to build and produce at a fraction of the cost of traditional manufacturing. Given that our children will be the champions of the 3D printer, capture their imagination now with this interesting and unique story.

Leo the Maker Prince is available from Amazon, which ships internationally.

(via Springwise)


Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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