Co-designing with kids

Posted by in Art, Community, What's Hot

A few months ago Vijay Paul of DotSan was showing off some of his 3D printed creations to two cousins aged 6 and 7. The two were inspired by Vijay’s designs and wanted to make things too. The pair of aspiring designers could not 3D model however so Vijay decided to co-design with them. They made drawings of the models they wanted.


Vijay then turned these designs into 3D models. We hope to see the results soon!

Vijay is not the only ones letting children in on the 3D printing game. Ivo Beckers (Ibec)has let his kids design a number of things.

Meike, who is 7, had her signature drawing turned into a great pendants that were 3D printed in plastic, color and metal. You can check out her Head Heart model here

Another daughter Esmee, 10, used a neocube magnetic puzzle to design a ring. Her dad then 3D modeled that design to make a metal 3D print.

The kids also used paper cut outs to design these wonderful flowersticks.

Opening up alternative ways for people to design really lowers the barriers to entry to 3D printing. We really want “everyone” to be able to 3D print. Vijay and Ivo’s innovative approaches illustrate the path to the future. Design by proxy, design by explanation and design using existing tools are three key ways in which design and with it production can be democratized. Over the coming weeks we will show you some of our own work in allowing more people to get into the design game. 


  1. Boing Boing

    The Shapeways 3D printing blog shows off designs that kids and adults have worked on together. I really like this fire-engine, co-designed between Vijay Paul of DotSan and his 6- and 7-year-old cousins (it has yet to be instantiated): Co-designing with kids Previously:3D printing comes to ceramics Shapeways interviews Makerbot: 3D printing ahoy! Sci-fi objects from a 3D printer Shapeways 3D printing by Internet: 500 free beta signups Homemade 3D printer goop made from maltodextrin costs 1/50 of the … 3D printer jargon in action Scientific American: five 3D printers…

  2. peter

    Great way to inspire each other , seems to me something special is going resulting in very nice designs.

  3. Michael Williams

    I guess I have to wait a few more years to be able to use my daughters drawings. Right now she just just likes to scribble in my drawings. If I asked her what I should draw I know what she’d say though. Spongebob, and Patrick. Gotta love 2 year olds :-D

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