The 3Doodler was the first handheld 3D printer to hit the market, but its use of heating elements and hot plastic meant that it couldn’t be used by kids — arguably one of its main demographics — without parental supervision. So Hasbro has come up with a much safer alternative called the DohVinci that uses a new kind of Play-Doh that hardens overnight.
Instead of coming in a big yellow tub, the newly formulated Play-Doh comes in fine-tipped cartridges so that it doesn’t harden all the way through after each use. The cartridges are inserted into a handheld extruder that allows kids to draw or write any design they like, and since it takes many hours to harden, mistakes can be easily and immediately wiped away.
The kit seems more suited to making 2D designs that have a bit of 3D texture to them. But you can also use the DohVinci to make 3D models if you have the patience to wait for every single layer to dry before applying the next one.
Just don’t think of this as a substitute for a real 3D printer. While the DohVinci extruder and replacement Play-Doh cartridges probably won’t be terribly expensive, your creations will only last for about a year before completely drying out and falling apart. So using this make cheap replacement parts just isn’t going to happen. But for kids it’s perfect, since a year is much longer than any child’s attention span would ever last. [Hasbro via Make]