Forget a New Bike, Get Your Kids a 3-D Printer this Holiday Season!

What holiday gifts do kids want these days? A new bike or an iPad? How about their very own 3-D printer.

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Qubea, a 3-D printing firm launched a new affordable 3-D printer for kids called the Rever. Normally, 3-D printers will cost a few thousand dollars, but the Rever now costs $229 and will eventually retail for $399. That’s cheaper than an iPad or an XBox One. This affordable 3-D printer allows for children to explore the world of 3-D printing by creating useable objects. It’s essentially a toy maker. Almost anything a kid may want can be created with the touch of a button. The company hopes to expose children to industrial design to foster creative thinking and an early interest in the field. The Rever even comes in white, red, blue, and yellow to appeal to a wide range of kids.

3_qubea-design-affordable-3d-printer-kids-project-kickstarter-5The device is paired with its child-friendly Rever app that allows kids to easily design the object they want. With just a wifi connection, the printer receives the design and starts printing. The app comes with many pre-set designs and the company hopes to work with toy makers and designers to add even more. The app also lets kids know when materials are running low or if there is something obstructing the printing area.

Traditionally, 3-D printers have exposed dangerous heating elements and sharp instruments, but the Rever encloses these elements while it prints. It has a transparent shield that swings down and locks while the printer prints. This eliminates injury by hot or sharp parts, but it also allows for kids to see the printing process. The filament, which is the plastic ingredient that is heated and formed into the 3-D objects, is non-toxic. This means that kids can create cups and bowls and actually use them to eat out of. Qubea has yet to set age restrictions for the product, but as long as there is adult supervision any aged child could be part of this safe and kid-friendly 3-D printing process.

Currently, Qubea is trying to raise funding to develop and produce the 3-D printers with a Kickstarter. They have raised almost $60,000 in 28 days and are well on their way to reaching their goal of $120,000. Once they reach their goal, the printers will be sold through retailers for $399.

The product and app are very well thought out and innovative, however, Qubea’s marketing department needs a wake-up call.

This introductory video for the Rever shows very strong gender stereotypes. The boy wants to be a superhero, but the girls only want to be a prom queen and a little lady, whatever that means. The girls end up creating high heels and jewelry and the boy creates airplanes and a superhero costume. Why is the company limiting what kids create to these weird and outdated stereotypes? For such a forward-thinking tech company, Qubea needs to step up their marketing game and get in touch with what kids really want to create before the Rever hits retailers.

Once all the kinks are worked out, I foresee this product becoming a huge success in not only the industrial design industry but the toy industry as well. It is the most inexpensive, safe, and kid-friendly of its kind. Don’t be surprised if it makes it way onto your kids’ holiday wish list this season!

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