Okay. Let’s get it out of our system now, everyone: kids these days, right? They get their own apps, have their own Maker community and can even turn their scribbles into 3D sculptures. We already hear ourselves saying it to our future offspring: “back in my day, we didn’t even have a 2D printer in our home until, like, middle school!” Well, these days, kids are lucky enough to have access to a 3D printer in school, at home, even in their local library where they might soon be able to check out books on the topic — starting with LEO the Maker Prince.
Inspired by the classic all-age favorite The Little Prince, author Carla Diana’s first book is more of a bedtime story for big and little kids too. LEO the Maker Prince’s main character is Carla, an accountant who rediscovers her long gone dreams of being a sculptor when she meets LEO, an alien who shows her he can turn any drawing into a physical object. They travel around Brooklyn printing, making and Carla falls in love with creating all over again.
While the protagonist may be named after the author, the real Carla is a tech-focused product designer who says her specialty is, appropriately, robots! Excited by the future of 3D printing in every home, she wanted to create a book that would inspire those growing up with this technology at their disposal: the kids, our “ambassadors to the future.” Aw.
Okay, quick #MemoryLane trip: anyone else a huge fan of The Jolly Postman growing up? It was like an interactive pop up book with all of these little letters and packages you could open and play with. LEO is kind of the 2014 version of that. All of the objects in the book that LEO and Carla create and print together are available to order or download and print at home from Thingiverse. Hmm, anyone else seeing 3D printing party themes at kid’s birthday parties in the not-so-distant future? We also think Nickelodeon should sign Carla and LEO stat.
We would love to see classic children’s books reimagined with 3D printing present. Obviously, Eloise would have one to play with when she got bored in her new Brooklyn digs. And Curious George would cause all kinds of trouble with the Man in the Yellow Hat’s printer.
What’s the most high tech toy your kids have? Would you get your family a 3D printer?