John Henrik Clarke a pioneer in the creation of Africana studiesonce said “A good teacher, like a good entertainer first must hold his audience's attention, then he can teach his lesson.” These words of his is extremely important if we need to teach young children something as complex as 3d printing. There are many countries that have added 3d printing into the teaching curriculum, which according to us is a great idea. However, if the child does not understand the concept of 3d printing it would become just another subject they learn at school. Generating interest in a child’s mind is extremely important to make them adopt 3d printing and use it at every step of their lives. To generate this kind of maker culture would be like breaking the fabric of our consumerism behavior we have been living in for centuries.
Dream Factory is a company that plans to entertain and teach kids between 4-10 with their new gaming platform called “Buddyracers”. The idea is tolet the child explore the realm of his or her imagination and see it become a reality using a 3d printer. The game revolves around Cartoon Characters, who love their cars. A child who plays the game does not just build the car’s or the cartoon characters, they also get the privilege to design and customize their own cities, buildings, racetracks and the farms these racetracks pass through.
Every car that’s 3d printed for Buddyracershas its own 3d printed wheels, and can be easily assembled because of the simple push to lock design. There are 6 different kinds of cars and 6 cartoon characters available for free download at Thingiverseand at Dream Factory website.
Yanizo Chief Builder at 3D builder at Dream Factory added that each car needs 1½ hours to be printed and the cartoon characters need around 20 minutes. Once the models are printed the child can use his/her imagination to color and personalize them. As off today there are more than 70 highly customized designs available on the Dream Factory website. All models can be printed without support shortening the print time.
Yanizo explained the idea behind Buddyracers, "Basically, I wanted to engage my own children in age appropriate 3D printing and 3D digital modeling technology, for instance my 8 year old child draws in 3D on Tinkercad and 3D prints her own toy designs. With BuddyRacers we have added our four year old to the 3D Builder team.
I have been professionally involved in CAD design and 3D printing for years, and I wanted to pass on this emerging technology to my own kids. This venture has brought my kids and me closer, as we spend time designing and crafting new creations together. I am passionate about introducing the younger generation to a technology that will grow exponentially in the next few years."
With BuddyRacer the company wants to make an open source platform for children to learn, share and experiment while playing a game. It can become a perfect recipe for a good gaming experience; we really hope to see more games like these hitting the market sooner than later.