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color-9When I was younger, I remember the trips to the grocery store with my mother. There was one reason why I would love going shopping with her every Sunday morning, and that was for the simple fact that it was “coloring book day” in my world. Each and every week, my mom would buy me a new coloring book, which would keep me busy for the rest of the day. It was amazing how the simple act of taking my Crayola crayons and coloring between the lines of my favorite cartoon characters could keep me so entertained for so long.

Now, thanks to Crayola and 3D printing powerhouse 3D Systems, my son will have even more to look forward to when he is old enough to start coloring his favorite characters. Yesterday at CES 2015, Crayola was on hand at the 3D Systems booth to show off a revolutionary new technology that will most definitely bring a new “cool” factor to simple coloring books.

Color ALIVE, which launches now, provides a completely new take on the act of coloring, by utilizing a mobile application, photography and 3D printing. The way it works is quite simple. Anyone can download the free iOS or Android mobile application, which allows for the photography of any photos from Crayola’s Color ALIVE coloring books, which sell for $5.99 each. Currently these books include: Mythical Creatures, Enchanted Garden, Skylanders and Barbie, but more are on their way. Crayola will be bringing more characters from brands such as Disney in the near future.

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Once a picture is colored, using any type of coloring tool such as a crayon, marker, colored pencil, or whatever else, the mobile app can be used to take a quick photo of the picture. The app then converts that photo into a 3-dimensional representation of the character, featuring all of the intricately colored details that a child has created in the book. Crayola also includes special crayons with their books which enable unique virtual effects. Some of these crayons include ‘pixie dust’ and ‘fire breath’ which give your 3D animation on the app some added features. For example, ‘fire breath’ will allow a character to breathe animated fire.

color-4Kids can interact with these characters via the app and even take photos with them. However, where the really cool part comes into play is through Crayola’s partnership with 3D Systems, where they 3D print these characters on a ProJet® 660Pro 3D printer for just $50. Any picture that a child colors can be turned into a 3D animated character via the Color ALIVE app, and then with the press of a button or two, turned into a 3D printed version that will be shipped right to your front door. The 3D printing features will be launched sometime in March or April of this year.

“At Crayola, we’re all about inspiring creativity through color and innovative play experiences, and our partnership with DAQRI to bring new and revolutionary experiences to kids demonstrates this continued passion,” said Mike Perry, president and chief executive officer, Crayola LLC back in October when they announce plans for Color ALIVE! “Children are incredibly digitally savvy and the offline experience continues to be so important because it allows kids to color the world through their own imagination and bring it to life. Color Alive offers a truly unified creative experience that transforms the way that parents and kids think about coloring.”

Without a doubt this will make coloring even more fun for children of all ages, while at the same time teaching them a little bit about 3D technology.

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Next, Crayola tells 3DPrint.com that they will be advancing their app further by allowing these characters to be imported into games. This should definitely give kids more of an incentive, if they didn’t already have one, to open their coloring books and begin utilizing their Crayola crayons.

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