Digitally designing your own toys on a tablet computer and making them a reality with 3D printing? This is precisely what applications such as the TinkerToys app, available since May 2018 (for Android and iOS), make possible. Children can print their designs themselves or let TinkerToys take over production using recyclable bioplastics.
Being able to digitally produce your own toy is cutting edge technology. With its concept of the "Thingmaker", Mattel already showed in 2016 that 3D printing that is currently still being used in the maker scene in particular has great potential for children and teenagers Children and young people can use this technology to express their creativity and playfully acquire skills for the STEM professions of the future – because 3D printing is becoming increasingly important in industry.
Time Machine Building Kit
But what do such solutions have to do with the time around 1900? An awful lot! Because it was then that Frank Hornby invented the modern metal construction kit in England. He turned real-world industrial technology into a game: the principle of machine and bridge construction with prefabricated iron parts connected by rivets was transformed into a brilliantly flexible game system of punched tapes and screws.