While many around the world pooh-pooh technology for kids, criticizing any amount of ‘screen time’ or, goodness forbid, offering up the ‘electronic babysitter’ spiel, today there is a global culture of modern kids thriving as they learn about a wide range of technologies, often serving as an initial foundation to the world of innovation found in digital design and 3D printing.
It’s all in your perspective. As STEM learning is pushed heavily around the world, many kids who were once given limited time on the computer so as not to corrupt them are now learning amazing skill sets which will hopefully serve them well one day in any number of capacities. And as one very unique company, Generation 3D of Dubai, likes to point out, the kids they are introducing to technologies like 3D scanning and 3D printing are not special…they are super.
The entire story, made possible by Generation 3D, is indeed super all around, just reinforcing the fact that the 3D printing industry seems to have an inordinate amount of creative and generous people who are driven to share their expertise and innovation with everyone.
Generation 3D centered quite a project around the kids from Al Noor Training Center for Children With Special Needs. Most of us enjoy a superhero at any age, but kids do especially, and this group was certainly no exception. With that in mind, the Generation 3D team collaborated with Majid Al Futtaim to make a really fun and memorable day for the kids—and with something really cool that they could take away as a memory, in the form of a 3D printed superhero doll for each.
The team went to a lot of effort to get these dolls just right, even with a customized backstory for each one, as 20 children sat down and were interviewed, with an illustrator at the table too. The kids filled the tech teams in on descriptions of themselves as superheros, and it sounds as if the whole process was incredibly charming, with the kids going into extensive detail about what powers they would possess, and why those particular talents would be theirs.
“We had to make each model perfect in every way, right down to the pose the child described,” Max Reynard, co-founder of Generation 3D, told 3DPrint.com, discussing the particular challenges of this 3D printing project. “This made the 3D modeling very challenging as each one started from scratch, however we were not willing to compromise and each one thankfully came out perfect!”
Once all of the interviews were concluded and the illustrator had drawn up all of the concepts, Generation 3D was able to translate them into 3D models. To make the whole project even more incredible—and further inclusive for the kids from Al Noor in terms of being involved with the 3D technology—the next day they performed a 3D scan of each child’s face. These were superimposed onto the existing models, and then the prints were completed on a 3DS Projet 860Pro 3D printer.
Several weeks later, in another fun-filled day, each of the 20 children enjoyed a surprise ceremony at the center where they were given their personalized 3D printed superhero ‘selfies.’
Generation 3D also created a video campaign to go along with this heartwarming project (view below), and it was received with huge success; in fact, they have won several international awards for the video, including one from the prestigious Festival of Media Global 2016. It’s wonderful not only in the story that it tells, but also in allowing you to see how they actually visualized the children as the very superheroes that they described. And the results? Well, they are exceptional.
The Dubai company hopes to continue with this momentum, with the potential for launching an international program that would give the same positive experience for other kids around the world. They enjoy helping kids with disabilities who really benefit from the extra attention, not to mention the educational aspect. Generation 3D is hoping to get this global project rolling sometime later this year, and is open to the idea of partners.
“It is definitely the most rewarding project we have ever been a part of, and I wish we could do it every day,” co-founder Dominic Wright told 3DPrint.com. “The project was designed to give the children a boost and remind them they are real super heroes.”
What an incredible program. Let’s discuss further over in the 3D Printed Superheroes forum at 3DPB.com.