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  1. #1

    Advice for kids 3D Scanning / Design Software / Printer from iOS

    Hello all, My 8 year old recently had their first experience with a 3D printer and is hooked. In a rush to try and find something suitable as a holiday gift, I have come here to ask for some input. I imagine she would enjoy modeling things in Play-Doh or clay, scanning them into a design app, edit, and print. So, we need some software and a printer. I've already got the Play-Doh taken care of. She has a 2019 10.2" iPad and I have an iPhone XR. She would most likely enjoy managing it all from a portable device but I could setup an old Mac Mini or a Windows 10 computer for her to use. The Mac Mini we have is from 2011, upgraded with a solid state HD and 8gb Ram. It is no longer supported in iOS updates though so OS version might be a consideration with some software. The Windows 10 computer I could give her is pretty new, also with sold state HD and 8gb ram. Thank you sincerely for any advice

  2. #2
    Because Tinkercad runs in a web browser, it may be a good solution to part of your quest. It is extremely easy to understand. I've seen youths in our local library "teach" mom or dad how to do something in the program, but that's not too surprising, is it?

    Tinkercad can also be a gateway to more complex powerful software, once the user poses a question that can't be answered in Tinkercad. At that point you'll have a better feel for the hardware needed for the future.

    Your post had my alleged mind spinning a bit faster too. There are a few 3D printers made for creating clay objects, which are typically placed in a kiln and fired/glazed/fired. I don't see a reason why one could not use such a printer with Play-Doh, especially as the stuff is consistent texture which can't always be said of clay materials. I suspect the price is a bit out of hand though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Monterey Bay, California
    Add jamcultur on Thingiverse
    BlocksCAD is an online 3D design tool made especially to teach children how to do 3D design. There are many tutorials for it online.

    Structure Sensor is an iPad accessory for 3D scanning. It's pricey, but I've used it and it works well. There are also iPhone apps for 3D scanning, some of which will run on the iPad. I haven't tried any of them. I suspect the results aren't as good as the Structure Sensor, but they are much less expensive. There are reviews of some of them here:

  4. #4
    BlockSCAD is a good option for youngsters who may develop an interest in programming and parametric modeling, as it's based on OpenSCAD, a text based modeling description "language." My experience with BlockSCAD is mostly frustrating but that's because I learned OpenSCAD before I became aware of BlockSCAD. For the youth, it's a good start due to the simplicity and intuitive aspect of the coding. Other resources use a similar GUI that make BlockSCAD valuable in accepting other, similar types of software.

  5. #5
    I support the TinkerCad platform my son started working with the printer using this program. Here is an article about the program take a look. It all started when he was asked to write an essay about the new 3D printers, he found many examples of abstracts on this topic at website that the teacher advised them. There are many materials available for children. But of course a little older, probably more likely for children ten years and above. But children grow up quickly)
    Last edited by Kevin2020; 12-23-2020 at 05:48 AM.

  6. #6
    Thank you everyone. I'm reviewing the suggestions now. I appreciate all the input.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Monterey Bay, California
    Add jamcultur on Thingiverse
    I just ran across this tutorial on making a 3D model using photos and free software called Meshroom:

    There's more about Meshroom here:
    Last edited by jamcultur; 12-09-2020 at 11:22 AM.

  8. #8
    Learn TinkerCAD. STL is very easy to get and never fails. My blog: The Best 3D Design Software For Beginners


    3D Scanning - Learn Photogrammetry if you need details and FREE if combined with Meshroom.


    iOS apps read the blog by Andrews Sink he reviewed 4 iOS and android 3D scanning apps just recently. Will cost you some, but in case of AR/VR this may be the best option.


  9. #9
    Thank you for all the great software recommendations.

    I selected a Polaroid PlaySmart 3D Printer that I found on sale for $199.

    It is small but I think it will give us a good start.

  10. #10
    I don`t know if it is still actual, but anyway, it can be a great idea not only for birthday. I was searching for a website to print some photos and found .They had the possibility to make frames personalized and we started experimenting. It made so much fun and my son was in love with that service. You can try! Especially now with this pandemic and kids at home... everyday I have to have a brainstorming session about activities for kids and what to invent more to keep the busy
    Last edited by LClarck007; 01-20-2021 at 01:20 PM.

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