My kids have been wanting a 3D Printer for a long time. When we visit our nearest Microcenter, they somehow are attracted near the back where they see spindles of plastic feeder food and the various machines that are available on the market, but mainly for adults. However, after scrolling through Facebook a few times and using the words "3D printer", I somehow got an ad for Toybox. Now, generally, I'm a little skeptical on anything that runs as an ad. But for Christmas, I decided to suprise my kdis with the machine because the ad was quite convincing.
Toybox was positioned as a kid-friendly 3D printer that would allow them to easily print any premade design and make their own design. Having a nine year old and ten year old, fourth grade and fifth grade respectively, I knew it would be a great gift, but I didn't know if they would actually understand how to create designs from it.
We purchased the bundle kit that comes with the various "food", which are the spindles of plastic that come with the actual machine itself. It cost a little more, but I wanted to make sure that we had what we needed to set up and play with it that day.
I'm going to share with you my impressions, but this won't be a technical deep dive. There are plenty of YouTube videos and in-depth reviews out there that you can checkout. I wanted to give this perspective from a parent who knows nothing about 3D printers, talk about the ease (or complications) of the experience of setting it up, and what my recommendation is for Toybox for young kids.
We purchased the Toybox Deluxe Bundle that included 7 different colors. With shipping, the entire total was $329.29 (in 2021).
- KID FRIENDLY: Built to be used by children, Toybox can be controlled with simple one-touch functions. No adult assistance needed, no need to adjust removable print bed, easy filament loading and novel print bed design that doesn't require a knife to remove prints like most 3D printers
- UNLIMITED CATALOG OF TOYS: Thousands of awesome toys are available at your fingertips in our Toybox catalog. New toys added weekly and seasonally.
- CREATOR SPACE AND EASY IMPORT: Upload designs to create your own toys or draw them and bring them to life through our user-friendly apps and tools. Your creations are stored on the cloud for easy access.
When the box arrived, it was neatly packaged. The machine seemed smaller in person than in the videos. I didn't mind because I didn't want a giant machine. We have the family computer in our living room, so I didn't want something obnoxious in that space. So, it turned out to be great that it was smaller than what I thought.
The packaging was impeccable.
Setup of the Toybox
After watching a few YouTube videos on Toybox (this one was my favorite for tips and tricks), I decided to unbox it. That video pretty much told me everything I needed to know.
The machine literally had a power plug the plastic spindle for the food. That's pretty much it. Super simple. Anyone can do it.
Here's the location of the power button:
Application and Software for Toybox
Initially, we used our iPhone app to download the software. What was NOT as intuitive was the link that you could use for their desktop web-based application. Make sure you sign up with a login so you can save your designs.
We have an iMac that is setup for the kids to use. For desktop, they have an online web-based version of the application in which you do not need to install an application for, which is great. The link is: make.toys/toys, so make sure you bookmark that in the browser bookmark tool bar for your kids.
Premade Designs for Toybox
Toybox has a huge catalog of premade items that kids can make, which is absolutely amazing if you are making your first project. My kids made a pinecone cup holder, Yoda, and so many more designs on the FIRST day.
Feeding the Printer Food on Toybox
This was probably the least intuitive part. You have to make sure that the printer is set to warm up first, and only then can you feed in the food through the hole on top. Getting it heated up takes a few minutes, so you'll want to be patient as this happens and get the rolls at least readyt to feed.
Designing on Toybox
While the kids didn't do designs, they actually had a Grandpa who was into this stuff. Grandpa designed something on the Toybox app and sent them a link to print it out, which is pretty cool.
I think this will be the next part of their learning process: designing their own 3D objects for printing on Toybox. Since grandpa did it without even having a machine, I'm sure they can figure it out too.
Printing Designs on Toybox
We didn't have any connection issues once we figured out the browser for Toybox. We preferred printing from the browser over the app because it was easier to understand via the interface.
Each of the designs generally took around 45 minutes to 2 hours to complete, so the machine also teaches the kids patience.
Taking Out Design
Once the design is complete, the app will notify you when it's done, which is pretty nifty. Toybox comes with a magnetic plastic tray that slides in and out to remove the design. It also is flexible enough for you to bend it so you can take the design out.
For my nine and ten year old, I thought it was the perfect age to introduce them to this machine. For my six year old son, I think it was a bit over his head to be able to use the machine himself. I also don't trust him to ensure that he uses the machine correctly without supervision and potentially burning himself.
More 3D Printing Inspiration for Kids
- Why 3D Printers Make Great Gifts for Kids
- Parents Guide to 3D Printers for Kids
- Affordable 3D Printer for Kids Roundup Guide
- ToyBox 3D Printer for Kids - Honest Review
- Small Business Ideas for Kids with 3D Printers
- Useful Things Kids Can Make with 3D Printer
- 3D Printer Toys for Kids
- Why to Not Get 3D Printer for Kids
- Top 3D Accessories for Kids
- Show and Tell Ideas for Kids with 3D Printers
Overall, if you have a fourth or fifth grader, I would highly recommend the Toybox knowing that the designs will be smaller (like the size of your hand or a coffee cup). It will teach them smaller engineering skills like designing, prototyping, and providing them immense self-confidence in creating something on their own.
- 🌟Are the regular 3D printer filament colors too monotonous? Better to try Glow in The Dark Filament,which appears white at day, but emits light at night. Making it perfect for creation needing low-key, rich and enigmatic appearance;
- 🌟What is an excellent PLA filament for you? A filament that can glow in the dark? Odorless, Clog-Free, Bubble-Free & Easy-to-use? No odor and low warpage during printing? High toughness and excellent strength?How about something that combines the functionality of all of the above!
- 🌟Safe to use and made of natural materials，reliable and durable. CE, RoHS certificated by authority,. The phosphorescent substance in PLA Filament absorbs light energy and emits light in the dark. In order to get better results, we recommend that the model be exposed to sunlight or UV light for 15 minutes.
- ✔GLOW PLA FILAMENT - Contains 20% glow powders that glow in the dark after absorbing light energy. Exposure to the strong sunlight or UV light for only 30 minutes will get an amazing glow effect, but too long exposure time may damage the glow filament. Glow green pla filament has the best luminous effect, then glow blue filament, glow deep blue purple filament, shiny glow green filament, glow red filament, glow pink filament
- ✔UPGRADE GLOW FILAMENT - AMOLEN Specializes in researching Glow in the Dark Filament, using the most advanced Glow materials, PLA raw materials come from USA. All the glow filaments on the market are a bit brittle, please print with patience and keep the angle smooth when feeding
- ✔HIGH COMPATIBILITY - Perfectly compatible with most of the FDM 3D Printer and 3D Pen, Comgrow Creality Ender, ANYCUBIC, Creality 3D, SUNLU, ERYONE, MYNT3D, 3Doodler, 1.75mm pla filament consistent diameter, dimensional accuracy +/- 0.03mm
- ✔Glow In The Dark Filament - Print as usual, then expose your model to sunlight or UV light for 30 minutes, take it back to the dark room, and the amazing glowing model is done! Attention: too long exposure time may damage the glow filament
- ✔Glow Rainbow Filament - Every 10 Meters color change with Green, Blue, Purple and Pink. Use more than 10 meters of glow pla filament to show the rainbow color! Glow rainbow filament is the embodiment of your imagination
- ✔High Compatibility & Less Tangle - Due to the high quality standards in terms of manufacturing accuracy and the small tolerance in diameter of+/-0.03mm, it is perfectly compatible with most FDM 3D printers and 3D pens on the market. Full mechanical winding, bring more neat wiring, smooth entry, avoid possible blockage and line breaking
- ATTENTION BEFORE USE：Firstly, please make sure the bottom of the soft magnetic sticker and the top layer are firmly adsorbed before installation. If it cannot be adsorbed, please rotate it 90 degrees and try again until they are completely adsorbed and will not separate. Secondly, after finding the correct magnetic direction, then you can stick the bottom part on the hot bed. Please pay attention to the direction before installation.
- ALL NEW FUNCTIONALITY: Introducing the first ever removable, magnetically secured, build surface for hassle free model removal.It is recommended to heat the hot bed for 2-3 minutes before removing the model with the removal tools.
- EASY MODEL REMOVAL: The first 3D printing surface designed with model removal in mind. This surface is easily removed, and flexible. Simply print on the surface, remove the upper magnetic surface from the lower, bend the flexible surface and watch the model fall right into your hands.
- 【3D Printer Nozzle Cleaning Kit】Our Cleaning Set includes high-quality brushes and needles perfect for removing debris and residue from your 3D printer's nozzles and other hard-to-reach areas. The 10 different size nozzles cleaner PCB drill bits allow you to easily clean every part of your printer, ensuring it runs smoothly and efficiently.
- 【Nozzle Removal Kit】The set comes equipped with a dual-function screwdriver featuring both a cross and a flat head, as well as three hex sockets in varying sizes to tackle any nozzle-related task with ease. Also, the 8-piece Allen wrench set offers a wide range of sizes suitable for various applications.
- 【Cutter Tool Kit】The Teflon tube cutting tool is designed to make precise cuts on even the most delicate filaments, ensuring that the PTFE is cut flat on both sides to prevent malfunctions or heat during retraction. Additionally, the cutters and pliers can also process print details and remove excess material, burrs, and model supports, allowing you to complete your job quickly and efficiently.