The TinyBoy 3D printer is a perfect addition for your child’s desktop. Meant for kids, it’s a piece of 3D printing equipment that won’t take up much space, or break the bank; in fact, it’s so affordable, you may want several.
A great match for any classroom, the TinyBoy is targeting younger students — and was designed by students — with an interest in providing equipment to the future designers and engineers of the world. It serves its purpose with a diminutive size that can pump out small 3D models and do so affordably, on every level. It has a sleek clear acrylic design, so that kids can see the inner mechanics — another plus. Not only can they pump out 3D models, you can be pumping out these 3D printers yourselves and setting up an entire science lab, as well as sharing the 3D printing love.
Meant to be a ‘cheap 3D printer solution’ the creators aren’t touting the TinyBoy to be anything other than what it is, which is a quality way for kids to 3D print small pieces, with a build plate meant for small figurines and designs. Sized overall at 15 x 15 x 22 cm, the TinyBoy’s build plate is 8.5 x 8.5 x 8.5 cm.
Because the printer is so small, maintenance and material costs are small as well. The amazing thing though is that if you have the skills and wherewithal to 3D print the parts, your kids or students can have the TinyBoy all to themselves for about $130. With the main material being acrylic, you will need the overhead of a 3D printer and a laser cutter, which are the clinchers for this deal, but these items can be borrowed for the project as well. The $130 bottom line can be reduced as well if you are interested in making your own 3D printing school lab and are producing a higher volume of your own 3D printers.
The TinyBoy team operates under the open-source design concept and encourages other young people not only to manufacture and assemble the TinyBoy 3D printers themselves, but to pass them on to other young 3D printing novices and enthusiasts. It can also be assembled from a kit with just a screwdriver.
Created by Parker Leung of Hong Kong, the TinyBoy is no flash in the pan, just jumping on the 3D printing bandwagon sort of project. It’s been in development for almost four years, and was first demonstrated in Taiwan, where it was met with great curiosity by children who wanted to know all about the mechanics of the 3D printer. The team notes that on a couple of occasions small kids got a bit too close to the TinyBoy as it was printing, but the enthusiasm was greatly appreciated with good humor.
The TinyBoy has passed internal ‘stress tests,’ refinements have been made, and it’s ready for the public to enjoy. You can download the files from Thingiverse, as well as Github. Is this a 3D printer you would be interested in making or purchasing the kit for? What do you think of the compact size, and can you see it being realistic for making a student lab? Tell us your thoughts in the TinyBoy 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com.