If you’re been keeping abreast with the latest developments in technology, you’ve probably realized by now that robots, artificial intelligence and automated machines will play a very important role in the near future. From serving food and drinks at restaurants to building entire homes, robots and machines will take over many jobs that once could only be done by humans. Getting your children acquainted with robotics from a young age will guarantee they have a good head start in life.
And what better way to do this than to teach them how to unleash their creative and innovative talents at an early age with 3D printers. 3D printers are an important tool in any inventor’s workshop but they are not generally safe for children to use. This is because most 3D printers feature heated beds and hot ends that operate at temperatures of 100C or higher. Many also feature exposed electrical components and moving mechanical parts that can injure if not handled properly.
For this reason, it is important to consider the safety aspects of a 3D printer when introducing them to your children. Here is a list of 3D printers that have the best safety features and child-friendly designs. This includes not having fully exposed hot ends, the capability to print without heated beds and having a very enclosed design that prevents dangerous components from being exposed.
And last but not least, a child must always have adult supervision when operating a 3D printer no matter how safe it is to use. All printers featured in this list were selected based on their safety features for children and general customer feedback on Amazon and other websites.
da Vinci miniMaker
Of all the printers in this list, XYZprinting’s da Vinci MiniMaker is probably the one that would attract the most attention from children thanks to its colorful casing that consists of a bright yellow body with red, green and blue parts. In fact, the MiniMaker looks more like a toy than a 3D printer. That colorful facade aside, the MiniMaker is actually a fully functional 3D printer inside. It also features a 9-point auto-calibration feature for its bed so you don’t have to scratch your head when it comes to leveling it. At less than $250, it is one of the most affordable 3D printers around.
Click here to find out more about the da Vinci MiniMaker.
da Vinci Mini
The da Vinci Mini is the slightly more advanced version of the MiniMaker and features wireless connectivity. This means you can send print files to it from a computer via WiFi. It also has the same enclosure as the MiniMaker but instead of featuring a multi-color design, it is only available in orange. It also has the same 6″ x 6″ x 6″ print volume and costs just $20 more than the MiniMaker.
Click here to find out more about the da Vinci Mini.
New Matter MOD-t
The MOD-t is one of the sleekest and elegant-looking models in this list — the kind that you’d place in an art studio. It is also one of the easiest to set up and use. In fact, New Matter claims you can set it up in just 20 minutes and start printing right away. Featuring a full transparent enclosure that completely covers the print area and hot end when the printer is working, this is one 3D printer that is very child-friendly and safe to use. It also features WiFi connectivity and a print layer accuracy of 50 microns which is impressive for a printer that costs $300.
Click here for more details about the New Matter MOD-t.
The SkyCube is one of the most compact and lightest 3D printer in this list. It features a smaller print volume compared to the MiniMaker and Mini and weighs just 2.4kg. Although it does not have a fully enclosed casing such as the one featured on the MOD-t, it sports a less-exposed hot end when compared to the MiniMaker or Mini. This makes it harder for kids with prying hands to reach the nozzle.
Click here for more details about the Aladdinbox SkyCube.
Easythreed E3D NANO
The name says it all, the E3D NANO is very nano-ish in its product dimensions and weight. Specifically, it weighs an impressive 1.17kg. To put that into perspective, a typical roll of 1.75mm 3D printing filament weighs 1kg. The NANO also has the smallest print capacity of all printers in this list at 90 x 110 x 70mm. One nice feature the NANO has is its hot end which moves on all 3 axis. The print bed itself does not move and this design approach means the printer produces less vibration compared to printers that have moving beds. Not only that, it is also highly affordable at just $164 and is available in orange or white.
Click here for more details about the Easythreed E3D NANO.
da Vinci 3D pen
The da Vinci 3D pen is one of the best ways to teach young ones the fundamentals of 3D printing which generally take some time for beginners to fully understand. The 3D pen simplifies this and gives children and beginners a good understanding of how layering in 3D printing is achieved. Best of all, it is incredibly affordable at just $32. With the 3D pen, you can print and sketch out designs in 3D space. What you can sketch with it is limited to your imagination. For those want more out of the 3D pen, it is also available as the 3D pen Edu Bundle which includes free filament, a drawing pad, activity book and USB bonus. The Edu Bundle is priced at $50.
Click here for more details about the da Vinci 3D pen.
MYNT3D Professional 3D pen
If you find the da Vinci 3D pen a bit too basic for your liking then you might want to check out MYNT3D’s Professional 3D pen. The MYNT3D can print both ABS and PLA thanks to its higher maximum printing temperature of 240C. It also features an OLED status display which lets you monitor temperature readings and stepless speed control which allows you to control the extrusion speed to suit different printing needs. All these advanced features do come at a slightly higher price and the MYNT3D is available at $70.
Click here for more details about the MYNT3D Professional 3D pen
The Dikale 05A has a design that kids would naturally get attracted to — a body which features a decorative head of a cat at the tip. It also features an OLED status display which tells you the printing temperature and extrusion speed. It also comes with 20 different drawing stencils for beginners. The Dikale 05A is available for just $54.
Click here for more details about the Dikale 05A 3D pen.
da Vinci Jr. 1.0W
The Jr. 1.0W is the most expensive da Vinci 3D printer in this list and it’s also the most advanced of the 3 Da Vinci printers featured here. Unlike the other da Vincis, the Jr. 1.0W features a fully enclosed casing which means a higher level of safety. It features WiFi connectivity and 9-point auto-calibration for its print bed. There is even auto-calibration for its extruder module for best print results. For users who want even more features, it is also available as the Jr. 3in1 which is essentially the same printer as the JR. 1.0W but with 3D scanning and laser engraving capabilities. In fact, the Jr. 3in1 is the only printer in this list with these advanced features. The Jr. 1.0W is available for $330 while the more advanced Jr. 3in1 is available for $550.
Click here for more details about the da Vinci Jr. 1.0W.
Robo 3D C2
Costing anywhere between $650 to $880, the Robo 3D C2 is the most expensive model in this list but for good reasons — it has excellent connectivity features, a claimed maximum printing speed of 300mm/s, Alexa integration and color touchscreen display, just to name a few. And if you’re still wondering if it’s really worth its lofty price tag, the C2 has an average customer rating of 3.6 out of 5 stars at Amazon at press time. That may not seem much but plug-n-play 3D printers are not easy to design and produce so the C2’s average rating of 3.6 is actually quite decent. In fact, many customer reviews on Amazon praise the C2’s excellent customer service, great design and printing performance. For now, the only downside of the C2 seems to be its expensive price tag.
Click here for more details about the Robo 3D C2.