If you have a child in preschool, kindergarten or early elementary school right now, you probably have at least one pair of safety scissors lying around the house. They’re a staple (unlike staples) on every young child’s school supply list at the beginning of the school year, and they’re laughable little things. I remember going through several pairs of the cheap plastic things in my childhood, and being infuriated by them. It was usually more effective to just tear paper than it was to cut it with safety scissors, so I usually begged my mother to let me use real scissors when I did art projects at home. In fourth grade or so we graduated up to rounded metal scissors and the kid sitting next to me promptly used them to cut a hole in his shirt, so I do see the merit of the plastic starter scissors, but boy were they useless.
It turns out that plastic doesn’t necessarily equal pointless, though. English design studio Create8 recently 3D printed a pair of bright orange PLA scissors on an Ultimaker, and though they look about as useful as the cat-shaped scissors I had in childhood, they cut through paper like butter. The video, which you can see below, is a nice little demonstration on how effective 3D printed tools can be, despite the fact that they may look like no more than toys.
3D printing is only one of the services that Create8 offers; the versatile Manchester-based design team does some nice work with graphic design and advertising, website design, photography and video, CAD prototyping and social media. Their 3D printed portfolio alone consists of a variety of designs, including 3D printed names and logos, a camera adapter, and customized USB sticks. On their website, most of Create8’s 3D printed designs are accompanied by time-lapse videos showing the object being printed from start to finish, which is a neat idea: I still know many people who have heard of 3D printing but have no idea how it actually works or what it looks like. Showing potential clients how it’s done – and how effective the end results can be, as in the case of the scissors – is a good way to spark their interest.
Speaking of sparking interest in 3D printing, this little scissors video gives me an idea for the incorporation of 3D printing into the classroom – why not have kids print their own school supplies, like scissors, right in class? Create8’s plastic scissors look to be much more effective than even the “intermediate” metal scissors from my later grade school years, and allowing students to design and print their own customized classroom tools could be a fun way to teach them about 3D design and printing while allowing them to make something that will actually be useful to them during the school day. As a side note, if you’re interested in Create8’s services, they’re offering a spring sale at the moment: enter the code SPRING10 at checkout and receive 10% off your first order. Are you interested in these tools? Discuss in the 3D Printed Scissors forum over at 3DPB.com.