Dec 26, 2014 | By Simon

When it comes to raising kids, there are few things that parents will hold as close to their heart as their children's artwork. Not only are the crayoned or painted pieces oftentimes a colorful and abstract way of seeing the world, they are also capable of immortalizing a period in time.

It comes with little surprise then, that some creatives and 3D printing startups are looking to help parents keep their children's artwork alive in the form of sculptural pieces that are better suited for standing the test of time. Companies such as DoodleSculpt and Crayon Creatures are finding success in offering a service that allows parents to send in their children's 2D artwork and have it made into a 3D object.

The latest initiative to offer a service of bringing 2D drawings into the 3D world is Japan-based t-o-f-u in collaboration with 3D printing company Inter-Culture. The relatively new firm, which was founded by Tokyo-based industrial designers "Sam and Mitsuki" just three months ago, has already been responsible for five collaboration projects that combine their design and 3D modeling skills with the creative direction provided by children ages 4-9.

The cars, which Sam tells 3Ders are "perfectly drivable and very fast!!", start out as a piece of blank paper with a proportioned car template featuring a wheel base for the children to start drawing off of. While the goal is to let children design their cars per their own direction, a simple proportional guide featuring two wheels provides both a platform to design off of as well as a measuring reference for when Sam and Mitsuki put the final artwork into Autodesk Alias for 3D modeling. Once the car is modeled in CAD, it is 3D printed using the selective laser sintering technique (SLS) on a 3D Systems Sinterstation HiQ. Finally, the car bodies are added to a pre-designed chassis to ensure that the cars will roll properly and the kids are then able to project their original artwork onto their car designs using provided crayons. To top it all off, the kids even get to see their design featured on an actual model car box.

T-o-f-u and Inter-Culture recently shared the project at a Tokyo Maker-Faire in November. In addition to helping create the 3D models for the cars, Sam and Mitsuki also designed a booth for the occasion that allowed the young car designers to test their creations on a car track.

"We will continue to make creative workshops for kids using digital tools like 3D printers and laser cutting machines, (as well as) keep collaborating with other companies in needs of design and 3D data creation skills," Sam added. "We are also planning to start design(ing) our own t-o-f-u brand products in near future."

You can check out t-o-f-u's Facebook page to stay updated on some of their other projects that include additional 3D printed car projects as well as interior products that combine wood with 3D printing.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


Maybe you also like:


Big Dooki wrote at 1/1/2015 12:33:15 AM:

Omg deez nuts would be so lol on the frfr.

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive