As 3D printers become cheaper and more accessible, it was only a matter of time before a 3D printer trickled down into actually being a ‘toy’. After all, this has happened before with other methods of manufacturing including vacuum forming and casting molds, among others.
As anybody who has used an FDM 3D printer knows though, the high temperatures needed to extrude plastic are less than desirable if junior is playing with one unsupervised – not to mention the colorful blobs can sometimes look like candy…hence the design problem.
Bonsai Lab Inc, a Tokyo-based 3D printer company, has just unveiled their version of a fused deposition modeling (FDM) toy 3D printer whose melting temperature is just 80°C at the Nuremberg Toy Fair. While other 3D printers commonly melt their filaments at temperatures of 200°C or more, the Bonsai developed a low temperature filament that will operate with the arguably safer 80°C melt temperature.
The BS Toy (actual name – do these guys have a marketing department?) is also much smaller than traditional desktop 3D printers with measurements coming in at 200 (W) x 200 (D) x 200mm (H) and weighs 2.0kg but can form an object as large as 130 (W) x 125 (D) x 100mm (H). While the nozzle diameter is .4mm, Bonsai will be offering nozzles in four different diameters ranging from .2mm to .5mm.
Perhaps most interestingly though, is that Bonsai went out of their way to create a filament out of raw biodegradable materials that has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the case that it becomes ingested…although no word yet on if it comes in Strawberry or Apple flavors.
Currently, the only color option is clear however the company is working on a line of colored filaments to launch alongside the printer itself later in 2015.