Right after Mattel introduces a 3D printer specifically for children called the ThingMaker — looks a bit like an EZ Bake Oven and uses an app that allows kids to design their own creatures and toys –Hasbro has just filed a patent with the US Patent & Trademark Office, not for an actual printer, but for a 3D scanner for kids. Instead of creating your own new toys, this one would let you scan the ones you have and make new ones. The thing is, you’d need to have a printer of your own to actually make the item.
This device would use your smartphone camera and software to scan the item, which is placed on a hand-cranked platform. Your smartphone captures different angles so you can either use your own printer or upload the specs to a 3D printing site to get your item. You could create a more destruction-resistant version of a beloved stuffed animal or multiple versions of your action figures so they can battle each other a la Mortal Kombat.
There’s no word on what the scanner will cost, though it’s for children, and will likely be less pricey than the laser scanners that are out there now. Would you pick one of these up for your kids? For yourself? Would it be worth it if you don’t have a printer as well?
Image credit: US Patent & Trademark Office