Weistek today launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to complete development of MiniToy, their kid-friendly, educational 3D printer. The company is seeking funding of $50,000 by June 24.
According to the company, the MiniToy is fun, easy to use, and empowering. It can be used by kids from the age of 4 to create a variety of things. Families and classes can print toys to play with and accessories to wear. They can even print things like historical artifacts, molecules, and buildings to give children a more active role in their learning process.
Weistek’s CEO, Vicky Chen, said: “At Weistek, we believe that when the children stay ahead of the curve, everyone wins. So we created the MiniToy as a learning device for children to know more about this disruptive technology that’s already started to change the face of so many industries.”
The MiniToy, first introduced at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, has a colorful, fun design and is meant to be easy and safe to use. The simple, one-touch printing process can be initiated through a connected PC or wirelessly via a mobile app. The MiniToy is designed to look more like a toy than a machine, and it supports fun filament options like flexible PLA to make 3D printing exciting for kids.
In terms of safety, the device is fully enclosed with all mechanical parts hidden to prevent accidental burns. All printing materials supplied by Weistek are non-toxic and biodegradable.
Weistek also highlights MiniToy’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) education platform. This includes an easy-to-use mobile app that categorizes each 3D model into a STEAM category and contains many STEAM-based activities that can be done at home or in school.
If the Kickstarter campaign is successfully funded, Weistek says they will dedicate a portion of the funds to research activities specifically for students with special needs. The company believes that MiniToy’s accessibility can promote unprecedented development in students who face learning challenges in school.
MiniToy users can also access the company’s online community, with a large library of 3D models that can be downloaded and printed on the MiniToy.
The MiniToy will retail at $449, but Weistek is offering a limited number of early bird customers to get the device for $249. The early bird pricing is available to those who sign up for the company’s email list.