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Now that 3D printing is knocking on the door of mainstream audiences, the goals should be to get the price of entry down, and to introduce the technology to kids. Mission Street Manufacturing is aiming at the latter by taking its Printeer 3D printer for kids and schools to Kickstarter, where it hopes to raise $50,000. At the time of this writing, Printeer has solicited nearly $28,000 in funding with 23 days left.
"Toys such as Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, Legos, and K'nex have been at the center of children's playrooms for generations. But what about now? In a digital age, when technology skills are some of the most important a child can learn, is there a way to bridge the gap between the screen and the physical world? Now there is. 3D printing is tailor-made for today's curious, tech-savvy kids. And that's why we've made Printeer," Mission Street Manufacturing explains on its Kickstarter page.
Using Printeer and an accompanying app for Apple's iPad, kids can create objects for 3D printing. According to Mission Street Manufacturing, the software is incredibly easy to use and can be learned in about 30 seconds -- there are no intermediate steps between design and 3D printing.
Mission Street Manufacturing has already partnered with local schools in California to bring Printeer to after-school programs and in-classroom demos. The point of the Kickstarter campaign is to expand Printeer's reach "into schools we've never heard of, in towns and cities across the country."
Printeer sports a clear case to prevent accidental contact with heated or moving parts. It has a removable platform for extracting finished parts and usee non-toxic PLA plastic filament. Moving parts like motors, pulleys, betls, and sliders are visible so kids can see how they interact.
We reached out to Mission Street Manufacturing and asked if there were any plans to support Android. Here's the response:
"For now we are only developing our apps for iOS. This is simply because we do not have the resources to develop a great user experience for both platforms at the same time, and iPad is the leading platform in schools in the United States. In the future we would love to support Android, but we have to set plans to begin that project."