April 25, 2013 AT 8:00 am

Forbes: My Kindergartner Can 3D Print. So Can Yours #3dthursday

3d Printed Doodle

A short opinions piece from Forbes that makes a good point about grade school kids and creativity. From Forbes.com:

Experts like Joris Peels, creator of the first 3D printer for children, agrees that grade school kids are ideally suited to the brave new world of 3D printing.  Why?  Because they’re the most creative.  As he explained recently in a BBC interview: “Children make a lot of things but as we hit our teens we make less…  We become afraid of designing.  We hit that blank canvas problem and think ‘what am I going to make?’ We are basically very lazy creatures.”

Blank canvases are certainly not a problem for my kids and the others participating in the 3D printing workshop that I’ve been hosting at my apartment these past few weekends.  Run by digital fabrication expert Arthur Young-Spivey, the kids are learning several highly intuitive 3D modeling software programs.  Among them is Sculptris, a program that allows users to digitally sculpt objects onscreen  — virtually molding it like a piece of clay.  Last week, the kids experimented with Doodle3D, the sketching tool that brings 2D drawings to life.

Doodle3D was the breakaway hit at 3DEA, the 3D printing pop-up store in midtown Manhattan where I met Arthur in February.   Created by Dutch developer Rick Companje, the software is amazingly simple to use.  You just draw a sketch on a computer or tablet, click print, and the attached printer turns it into a 3D object.

Doodle3D and Sculptris are among the growing number of kid-friendly programs that don’t require knowledge of sophisticated modeling software.  One app, Lets Create!, recently featured on Forbes, lets you design and paint pottery that you can have 3D printed and mailed to you.  Another site, 3DMe, lets kids create 3D printed action figures that look just like themselves….

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