3D Printing Toys For Kids
3D printing is an invaluable tool for prototyping designs and manufacturing end-use parts. However, a 3D printer is much more than just a tool. It’s also a toy. A toy for making other toys! Using 3D printing to make toys gives you control over material, color, size, and other details, so the resulting toys will be unique!
If you don’t have a 3D printer, you can still create some amazing 3D printed toys with craftcloud.shortcode.text. With suppliers around the world printing to your specifications, the kids in your life will be delighted while someone else does all the work!
With thousands and thousands of 3D printable toy designs, it’s difficult to choose just a few. With that in mind, here are some super fun toys that fit into three main categories: Toys That Move, Toys to Build, and Toys for Toddlers.
Now, let’s stop playing around and get to the list!
TOYS THAT MOVE
Toys are fun and all, but toys with moving parts bring the fun to a whole new level. And while 3D printing is often thought of as producing static objects, that doesn’t have to be the case! Here are some toys that will get the fun rolling in no time.
Mini Monster Trucks
Not everyone can have a monster truck, but if you have a 3D printer, you can print your very own mini monster truck… which is almost as cool. Complete with print-in-place suspension and customizable friction-fit rim caps, this truck is right-off-the-build-plate awesome.
You can even choose from a variety of body or wheel styles. For a two-tone tire ring, pause the wheel print at 19.8 mm and swap filaments.
Bigger is not always better. In fact, sometimes the most fun comes in small packages, and these 3D printed surprise eggs are no exception.
These tiny vehicles with moving wheels and other accessories are so adorably fun, and there are lots of options to choose from, too! You can print surprise eggs filled with everything from a steam roller to a fighter jet to a fire truck.
No support is required for these models. Remember to use at least 40% infill to make sure that the small features are nice and sturdy. Since these prints have such tiny details, they double as torture tests for your printer. With a well-calibrated machine, everything should be smooth sailing.
Rubber Band Gliders
With a 3D printed glider, you can stretch even more fun out of a rubber band! Just hook, pull, and let fly! With dozens of options on Thingiverse, you can take to the skies with a whole fleet of rubber band-powered gliders.
For the model shown above, 100% infill is suggested for a sturdy glider, and remember to print at 0.1-mm layer height to allow for staggered layering that will greatly increase the longevity of the thin wings.
This next toy is probably not the best thing to hand your kid to keep them occupied in a fine Chinaware shop. In the right environment, however, collapsible swords are loads of fun. The designer has created collapsing pirate swords, katanas, daggers, lightsabers, and more to make make-believe games even more fun.
A successful print of a collapsing sword requires a printer with good retraction, wipe, and coasting settings. Be sure to use a 0.4-mm nozzle and print slowly to avoid letting the blade sections fuse together. After you pop the sword off your build plate, give it a few wiggles, and gently retract and collapse the blade to allow for a smoother collapse over time.
- Who designed it? 3DPRINTINGWORLD
- How printable/popular is it? Hundreds of Makes have been posted on Thingiverse in a variety of colors, materials, and printers. Just be sure to dial in your retraction settings and consider using a forgiving material like PLA instead of PETG.
- Where to find it? Thingiverse
“It can throw a small bit of paper, chunks of raft, and pretty much anything you can fit inside. Selected ammunition can be thrown around 2 metres, plenty to hit unaware victims at another desk!” (LukeTansell, designer)
In other words, this catapult is a wonderful toy for kids and office workers alike. This design is a print-in-place model that doesn’t require any support material or special settings. Minimal infill and a 0.25-mm layer height are sufficient.
Spinning tops are said to be the oldest toys in the world, dating back to nearly 6,000 years ago. Ancient tops were made of everything from stone and wood to fruit and nuts. And now, you can make your own spinning top with a 3D printer! All you need to do is print, glue the parts together, and have some dizzyingly amazing fun.
With a wide variety of filaments available, flexible parts are absolutely feasible. But you don’t have to use TPE or TPU to create flexible parts.
Making use of some awesome print-in-place hinges, you can make flexible toys with filaments such as PLA, PETG, and ABS. You don’t even need special settings! A standard 0.2 mm layer height and at least 15% infill will work just fine.
- Who designed it?
- How printable/popular is it? DrLex’s Flexi Rex has over 1,200 Makes on Thingiverse. The large- and small-scale Makes are particularly fun to see. And McGybeer’s adorable flexi octopus has 1,522 Makes and counting!
- Where to find it?
Sometimes the best toys are those that have been around for thousands of years. This 3D printed whirligig will keep your kids entertained as they try to spin it faster and faster, just like kids did back in ancient times.
This toy isn’t hard to print since its design is simplistic and requires no supports.
As a bonus, you can tell your children that variations of this toy have even been used to separate blood using centrifugal motion.
Transformers are still an incredibly popular childhood toy. These Optimus Prime and Megatron will keep your kids busy while they try to defend Cybertron from the evil Decepticons.
Amazingly, this Optimus Prime 3D print is transformable from Optimus’s classic truck form to a fully functional standing robot, even though it’s only printed in one piece. He can be printed without supports in PLA.
Of course, no Optimus Prime would be complete without an enemy to fight. Consider also printing the matching Megatron to have a proper battle. It should be noted that Megatron is printed in two pieces due to his fusion cannon, so he may not be as easy to print as Optimus Prime.
TOYS TO BUILD
Building toys inspires creativity and invention. And guess what? You can 3D print toys to build that are fun for kids of all ages!
Most cars that move on their own have motors and batteries. Not this one! All you need is a 3D printer and some filament to print two credit card-sized sheets, from which you simply pop out the components to assemble into a brilliantly entertaining wind-up car. Be sure to check out the assembly tutorial if you need some extra help.
The designer suggests printing the cards at 100% infill, which is quite standard for thin pieces that need to be strong. As per suggestions, remember to include support for the wind-up key. Prepare for a 4-hour print time for the first card and a 2-hour print time for the second, for a total of 6 hours.
You may recognize this design team, CreativeTools, for their very famous 3DBenchy. Like the Benchy, this castle playset is meticulously designed for 3D printing. Make this castle big, make it small, make it any way you like.
According to the designer, “The set contains walls, towers, houses, characters, animals, and a myriad of different props. All parts are small enough to be 3D-printed in a build volume of 140 x 140 x 140 mm.” In no time you’ll be building and playing in a medieval world of your own.
Lego bricks are among the most popular toys in the world, and the wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes is incredible. However, with 3D printing, you can print your very own bricks customized to whatever design you are making.
Whether you need a replacement brick or a completely new kind of brick, this customizable Thingiverse model has you covered. Simply open the model in Thingiverse Customizer and go wild with the dozens of adjustable variables to create your perfect brick.
These bricks aren’t exactly identical to real Lego, but they are compatible in every way.
- Who designed it? cfinke
- How printable/popular is it? Only 13 Makes are available on Thingiverse. However, with nearly 2000 remixes, this customizable model has gained quite some traction in the 3D printing community. Be sure to check out the remixes to find someone who’s already customized the brick you need.
- Where to find it? Thingiverse
Tic Tac Gun
This is a wildly creative toy designed to shoot Tic Tacs a short distance, aimed at your enemies or just into your own mouth. It’s a fun project to build, and then fun to play with when it’s done! Just note that this “gun” isn’t designed to shoot fast or far so as to limit choking hazards.
To put it together, all you need is a ballpoint pen spring, a 3D printer, and some Tic Tacs and you’re good to go. The original design by 3DPatriot is a brilliant design. This model is just a remix that improved key features such as the trigger mechanism, the loading mechanism, overall printability, and so on.
The Open Toys project started as a way to turn commonly wasted leftover materials such as wood and cork into toys like helicopters, airplanes, birds, and so on. However, the project evolved to replace wood and cork with materials more readily available and easier to pierce: fruits and veggies. With Open Toys you can transform veggies and fruits into fun, customizable toys.
The design team offers helpful steps in printing and playing with Open Toys, and a complementary Ratatouille recipe to transform your veggie toys into a delicious meal. Talk about playing with your food!
Polypanels have various shapes and sizes but the edge connectors are always the same, allowing you to run wild with ideas. The parts snap together and can create flexible or firm shapes, so the possibilities are limitless! You can even design your own custom Polypanels. Be sure to check the MakeAnything page for design tips and base CAD files.
TOYS FOR TODDLERS
3D printing isn’t just for big kids – this last section of toys is for anyone looking to make something for very young children or babies. You can make fun toys for anyone, all you need is a 3D printer and some nifty designs. Just be sure to avoid particularly small features that might become choking hazards, and strongly consider using food-safe filament.
Chunky Trucks Collection
Titan Transporter, Power Pusher, and Mighty Mixer are just three of the 13 adorable designs in the Chunky Truck Collection, which includes various construction worker designs and even a crossing guard. The trucks are chunky enough for babies to play with. However, you might want to keep the construction worker toys away from kids who might put them straight into their mouths!
All of the designs are printable without supports. Consider printing with at least 25% infill and three walls to increase the longevity of the toys.
Baby rattles are cool, but you can hardly top the cuteness of a rattle shaped like a sword. This next design is not just fun for babies to play with though, it’s also incredibly fun to print.
First, you need to print two runs of the beads file, and midway through the sword print, drop the beads into the blade. This ensures that your rattle never loses its rattler. After you print all the files, simply secure all the pieces with super glue or epoxy, though naturally be aware of what you’re gluing with and ensure that there’s nothing worrying that a baby’s mouth could get at!
If you’re looking for some fun baby-safe and glue-free toys, Squigglepeeps may be the perfect print. These rotund Vikings and their boat are too big to choke on, making them great toys for babies and other young children. Simply print and play: no supports, no glue, just fun. Print with at least two shells, and a 0.3-mm layer height works fine since there’s no real detail to worry about.
You’re never too young to start learning math!
This math spinner toy is the perfect way to do that: It’ll have your kids learning addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication with ease for every number from 0 to 9.
It should be noted that this print requires an existing pipe with an outer diameter of 32 mm to thread the spinners onto. However, if you can’t find one, you could always print it.
And last but certainly not least, we have squishy turtles. Even the name sounds fun! With countless shell designs to choose from, this is a quick and easy model to print for babies.
Designed with a similar suspension design as the Mini Monster Trucks, these turtles bounce up and down when you push down on the shell. Run wild with colors and designs, and be sure to check out the creator’s design process.