Leave it to Disney to be part of the team behind a 3D printer that brings out the kid in us faster than the sight of a Beauty and the Beast VHS can. Their research team (yes, Disney has a research team and it worked with Carnegie Mellon University on this project) released a 30 second video showing a machine making just about the cutest thing we ever saw printed: a teddy bear in just a few hours.
Picture it… aww, your friend just had a baby! Mazel, good tidings, yayyyy — wait, she wants you to meet her little bundle of joy, but, like, where are you going to find the right baby gift right now? Just print out baby’s first teddy with your 3D printer, of course!
Okay, this is a very specific scenario we’re imagining, but any 3D printing innovation is one we welcome with open arms — and those open arms are soo ready to cuddle up to a cute lil stuffed boo bear right about now.
3D printing hasn’t mastered making using natural, organic, fabric-like fibers just yet, but we’ve seen systems more along the line of large scale sewing machine hacks, like the “Do Knit Yourself” knitter. The 3D printed teddy bear maker is a lot like that. It uses open source software you’re used to using in your printing projects, looks like a regular sewing machine, also kind of like a regular 3D printer and does a little bit of both. In a process similar to the way a MakerBot’s extruder lays down lines of PLA to print your creations, the teddy bear machine “felts” soft yarn with a needle, laying down fibers and entangling them to make a 3D object. And, from the video below, it appears it’s easy enough for a baby to make…
No, as interesting as the technique is, this isn’t exactly an at-home Build-a-Bear machine. But that baby doesn’t seem to mind.
If you had a 3D printer at home, what would you make? Share below!