Australian Charity Uses 3D Printed Molds to Create Monster Crayons, Benefiting Abused & Neglected Children

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7159294-3x2-700x467While we all hopefully agree that it’s important to work to offer whatever type of support possible to anyone going through an emotional or physical challenge, most have a true soft spot for children who have been hurt or neglected. So new to life, they start out as wonderful little amazing beings—and anyone who would chisel away at that positive, miraculous shine we see in children is indeed a monster.

To say that their plight tugs at your heartstrings can often be a bit of an understatement. Finding a way to help realistically is often sometimes a challenge also. We can’t all adopt children or take on more in our own lives, and giving to charities sometimes feels like a gray area as it’s difficult to know who to trust in terms of who is really getting the money where it needs to go.

The greatest hope is that children who have been through rough times can be rescued and put into a safe environment as quickly as possible. Along with that, therapy is crucial to their healing, as they say goodbye to the monsters, who are often very classically stated in their drawings. Act for Kids, headquartered in Brisbane, Australia, is an organization very involved in working with small groups of children who need intensive attention due to abuse or neglect. With most of them creating “enough drawings to fill an art gallery” children are encouraged to express themselves on paper or canvas with the mission for those helping them being “to take away their monsters.”

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Working with friend Ian Anderson to make digital designs of the ‘monsters’ for the 3D printed prototypes.

The ad team working for Act for Kids comprises Christian McKechnie and Ben Lees, who have developed Monster Crayons, which they hope will become a product that the charity can use as a source of income. This resourceful idea came about as they all found challenges in getting enough funding for the kids they want to help because due to the unpleasant topic of abuse in children, many would just rather look the other way and go about their business rather than stopping to think about what children have endured and offering much-needed donations. Because of that, those involved have had to become much more creative in their programs. With their latest idea, they didn’t have to look much further than the creativity of the amazing kids they work with on a continual basis.

“An interesting insight that we discovered along the way was that these kids that were going through this abuse, when they go through art therapy [they] were drawing monster after monster,” said McKechnie.  “It’s sad but true.”

“It struck a chord with us so we thought, ‘how can we use that to turn it around for the kids to make something good happen’.”

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[Photo: 612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe]

In no way a thing of shame, they’ve brought the monsters out front and center, and are offering them in the shape of giant sized monster crayons in different sizes and colors—with all the ‘characters’ based on some of the children’s real drawings. They began making the monsters by melting crayons into molds, and as the project evolved they looked toward a different type of fabrication.

“Our friend Ian Anderson, who is a 3D designer in Brisbane, turned them into these shapes,” he said. “We then took it to a 3D printer and that’s how we made the first mold to create the crayon.”

With a crowdfunding campaign just launched on Pozible, they are hoping to raise $20,000 AUD (which translates to roughly $14,200 USD). The goal at Act for Kids is to market their four-packs of the chunky crayons to major retailers, creating a self-sustaining business that won’t have to rely on donations but rather will be operating with a product true business plan. All of their profits will go to abused children.

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The 3D printed prototypes

The point of the Pozible campaign is to raise enough funds so that the Act for Kids team can get started on making their colorful monster crayon packs ready for sale.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have the initial money to manufacture our first batch,” states the team on Pozible. “That is where you come in – thank you, thank you, thank you in advance! Each dollar you donate will help these kids exponentially, as it helps establish a long-term income for the charity.

“Imagine every time you see a pack of these crayons at your newsagents or your local grocers, feeling proud of what a difference you’ve made to kids in need.”

Funds from the campaign will be used for:1454739171

  • Manufacturing
  • Packaging
  • Distribution
  • 3D Modeling Molds

If you decide to back this campaign, there is a whole host of rewards geared toward helping kids, beginning with a general donation of $15 USD to $22 for a pack of the crayons, with free shipping for those in Australia. As prices ascend, backers can look forward to adding hand-drawn artwork from the kids, as well as sponsorships with Products should begin going out in April of 2016.

Act for Kids offers free art based therapy and support for both children and families in their area who have been abused or are at risk. They encourage kids to speak out, and also offer safe houses in very poor areas. Not only is this project making ad pros McKechnie and Lees feel great about their work, but with the Monster Crayons business plan they are setting up the charity with a business plan that can grow into something very beneficial for kids and families in great need. Are you thinking about backing this campaign? Discuss in the 3D Printed Molds for Monster Crayons forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source: 612 ABC Brisbane]

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