Aaron Widmar
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These 3D-Printed Children’s Cars Are Imaginative, Heartwarming

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Children’s drawings were turned into real toy models thanks to 3D printing

Do you remember pinewood derby races? You know–when boy scouts take small blocks of wood, carve out the shape of a vehicle, attach four plastic wheels, and race the final product down a sloped track. Perhaps you’re even old enough to have made one yourself.

If you did, chances are you or your parents kept your blocky, wooden creation–even if it didn’t win any medals. Regardless of its racing record, the model was a treasured testament to your hard work, individuality, and creative ability to bring your designs to life.

Unfortunately, pine wood derby racing has rapidly faded from the childhood experience as digital technology replaces “old fashioned” activities.

But what if digital technology could bring hand-crafted, imaginative toy car creation to a new level? Welcome to the 21st century of pinewood derby cars, courtesy of Japanese company t-o-f-u design.

Using basic 3D printing technology, and a dedication to empowering youth, the company created 3D-printed children’s cars based on the drawings of young boys and girls.

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Could you picture these cars being turned into 3D models?
Photo: t-o-f-u | CREATIVE DESIGN UNIT via Vimeo

Using 3D-Printed Children’s Cars to Inspire Creativity

During the 2014 Maker Faire in Tokyo, t-o-f-u design partnered with Inter-Culture to bring the creative inspirations of young boys and girls to life. Eleven children between ages four and eight were asked to draw a car from their imaginations–just a basic side view was sufficient.

Moderators scanned and programmed the drawings into 3D printing software, turning them into actual designs which were carved into physical models. The children then added their colorful touches with special art supplies.

Take a look at some of the lovable final products:

As you could guess, the children were thrilled to see their creative work realized in physical form–especially having the car move on working wheels.

“Since we made only a one course race track, we could not race them, but all the cars drive perfectly,” said Sam Park, who founded t-o-f-u design with Mitsuki. “So we had [the kids] drive them one by one, and they were super excited to see their own designed cars moving!”

Clearly this realization of imagination will inspire young boys and girls to pursue design, engineering, or even 3D printing as future careers. In addition to familiarizing children with technology likely to become commonplace in future classrooms and workplaces, the 3D-printed children’s cars provided an empowering experience for all involved.

“We created this design unit to create fun and meaningful educational workshops for kids and also to do more collaboration projects with other creative talents,” noted Park.

See all eleven cars and their young designers in the heartwarming video below:

3D printed Kid’s design toy car from t-o-f-u | CREATIVE DESIGN UNIT on Vimeo.

News Source: 3DPrint.com