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buddyani3D printing has finally begun making its mark as an educational tool. School administrators, teachers and professors are realizing that this technology is here to stay, and that in the future virtually everyone will be exposed to it. While we are are still years off from mainstream adoption (perhaps even as long as a decade), we have begun to see classrooms as young as kindergarten begin bringing this technology to students.

For one company called Dreamfactory, they realize that 3D printing shouldn’t only be a technology used by adults. The future is a bright one and 3D printing has a lot to do with that.  Our future leaders, innovators, and workers all will be using the technology in some way, shape or form one day.  So why not begin teaching them about it now?

Today, DreamFactory has announced the release of a very unique and intuitive project called “BuddyRacers“, created for children between the ages of 4-10 to help them learn about 3D modeling, 3D design, and 3D printing, as well as all of the fun post processing techniques that come with it. During this learning process these children will be creating their own custom racecar toy sets.

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“Basically, I wanted to engage my own children in age appropriate 3D printing and 3D digital modeling technology,” Yanizo, Chief Master 3D Builder at DreamFactory tells 3DPrint.com. “For instance, my 8 year old child draws in 3D on Tinkercad and 3D prints her own toy designs. With BuddyRacers we have added our four year old to the 3D Builder team.”

The designs were developed with the help of two men, named Fabian Magri and John Revilla, each of whom have many years of toy design experience under their belts. The collection, which is now available for free download on 3DShare, is a set of cartoon themed open source designs for preschool children up to the age of 10, although some adults will have fun with this as well.

“In addition to learning about digital design and 3D printing, our junior Master Builders will also develop traditional skills to assemble and finish their models, such as gluing and painting; they can even design and print their own stickers to decorate their creations,” Yanizo tells us. “Each Master Builder will create their own unique story that they can share on Dreamfactory.build.”

buddy5As Yanizo explains, BuddyRacers are cartoon creatures who love to play in their cars, discovering farms, cities, racetracks and more. It is his hope that by providing a fun 3D design and printing process, children will learn a great deal about this up-and-coming technology, while teaching their family members about it at the same time.

All of the cars feature 3D printable wheels which actually turn when assembled with the chasis and bodies of the cars, all of which are 3D printed. There is even an adult version of the models for parents and older kids, which includes pin fastened wheels in place of the simple push and lock wheels on the “younger” version.

“We wanted to make dynamic toys to enhance play, be it wheels or articulated models,” Yanizo tells us. “In addition, the collection includes a complete range of buildings, trees, comprehensive collection of street furniture, and road and track sections.”

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In all, there are six separate car styles and six different BuddyRacers available for download. 3D printing takes about 1½ hours per car and 20 minutes per character. The complete collection features more than seventy 3D printable models. All of the designs have been crafted in such a way to minimize printing time and forego the need of printing support structures. This means, less time for kids to wait for prints to finish, and more time for them to assemble, paint and play with their new toys.

“This venture has brought my kids and me closer, as we spend time designing and crafting new creations together,” says Yanizo. “I am passionate about introducing the younger generation to a technology that will grow exponentially in the next few years.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone had Yanizo’s mindset? Feel free to download the BuddyRacers and all their 3D printable parts now at 3DShare. What do you think about this idea? Discuss and show off your BuddyRacers in the BuddyRacers forum thread on 3DPB.com.  Check out the introduction video by DreamFactory below:

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