Feb. 26, 2015 | By Alec

While 3D printers could theoretically be used for just about any project you can think of, they are overwhelmingly used to produce basic toys, accessories, planters and things like that. While great fun to make and give, I’ve found that modern, spoiled children quickly get bored of them as it doesn’t move and only relies on their own imagination. While you could 3D print an entire robot, industrial designer Emmanuel Carrillo has just shared his designs for a toy that is fun, educational and remarkably easy to 3D print: the Ozo Bear.

So what is it exactly? If the design kind of reminds you of a Rubik’s cube, you’re on the right path, as the Ozo is essentially a kid-friendly cube. While the original and surprisingly complex Rubik’s Cube consists of twentysix different cubes and requires a you to memorize basic mathematical patterns to complete, the Ozo Bear is an easier version of that. Consisting of just six components and shaped like a friendly bear, the Ozo is a great educational toy for young children that is not only be fun to play with, but also enables children to practise basic mathematical skills.

The Ozo Bear is essentially a small Rubik's Cube in a child-friendly jacket.

Carrillo, who works as an industrial designer at Fossil on the Adidas team, is always working on various DIY projects in his spare time. ‘I designed A twistable puzzle while at the University of Cincinnati. The idea was to take the traditional Rubik’s cube and reinterpret it into a more kid friendly form factor.’ He explains. His 3D printer played a crucial role in this process, not just as a prototyping device but also to make molds for silicone production.

While Carillo therefore made the original Ozo Bears in resin, before covering them with custom made vinyl stickers, he has fortunately also released 3D printable designs on the web for free, and invites everyone to make one. He only has one request: ‘If you make one of these and post it to social media please use the #OzoBear tag so I can check it out.’

Making one is remarkably simple; just download the prepared files from Carrillo’s webpage on cult3d here, and 3D print them in either PLA or ABS at .25 mm layer height (no supports).You will of course also need to 3D print the pins that hold everything together. Carrillo’s original prototypes took about four hours to complete, but that depends on your own printer. Of course, as the rotating surfaces will be rubbing against each other, it is very important to have very smooth layers. Assembly itself is fairly straightforward, but just make sure that all the parts glide smoothly before snapping in the pin (this might require a bit of polishing.

A basic 3D printed version - stickers are optional.

In short, this is a very easy project to work on, but can definitely give young children hours of educational fun. Check it out!



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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