3D printer technology has gone from science fiction to something that school children can use in art class since its initial concept. For those interested, the original idea for it came from a man called Hideo Kodama of the Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research Institute in Japan. Unfortunately for Hideo, he never managed to have his idea patented.
The 3D printers we know today stemmed from Hideo Kodama’s idea, however it is Charles “Chuck” Hull, an American engineer who is today known as “the Father ” of 3D printing. Chuck created a prototype for a process called stereolithography (SLA). This is one of the technologies that today’s 3D printers are based on.
The Polaroid PlaySmart 3D Printer is a compact printer that would fit right into your home office or classroom. Its simple, stylish and timeless design would compliment your home working setup. It has an open-frame style so you can see the printing process as it happens, and includes a WI-FI camera so that you can monitor your print jobs from your laptop whilst you work.
3D Printer Specifications
The PlaySmart 3D Printer is quite compact. It measures 12.6 x 10.6 x 11.8 inches, or 32cm x 27cm x 30cm and it weighs 5kg. Its interior matte black finish and exterior glossy white paint job with retro looking Polaroid rainbow stripes look pretty good. There is definitely a set prop from Star Trek kind of feel to it!
The 3.5 inch/9cm touch screen is positioned to the right of the printing space. It is measured 4.7 by 4.7 by 4.7 inches or 12cm x 12cm x 12cm
Front, back and top of the printer are open to the air and do not have a door of any kind. With this in mind you should be very careful when removing the build plate. The plate can get quite hot and could cause burns if not left to cool. So pets and small children should be kept clear of the printer until it has finished working and left to cool.
The noise levels from the printer are at a minimum and are quite typical of modern 3D printers
Starting a Printing Job
Unboxing and starting your first printing job is made hassle free and there is a straightforward quick start guide included. You will need to connect a plastic guide tube, plug the printer in and turn the printer on.
Next add your filament spool into the holder which sits neatly to the side. The holder is officially called the “precise filament holder and scale” by Polaroid! First, thread the filament loose end through the feeder in the printer. Then tap the filament icon on the touch screen, and hit “Load”. This should start the extrusion and you can press “Confirm” to stop it.
The Polaroid SmartPrep software needs to be downloaded to your laptop or desktop computer. With it you can import an STL file which is the 3D object files needed to start a project. You can adjust the object in the file to the sizes you would like, and you’re ready to go.
Polaroid’s SmartPrep Software
As mentioned earlier, the SmartPrep software is needed to interact with your new 3D printer. You can find it here on Polaroid3d.com. Your Polaroid PlaySmart 3D Printer’s serial number is needed to start the download.
For those familiar with Photoshop or similar programs, the layout is similar but considerably less complicated. You can upload a build project from Polaroid 3D’s Model Library or from a 3D model file (.stl).
Next step all you need to do is resize the object using the X,Y and Z axis controls displayed to the right of the screen. You can adjust the colours you would like to print in, including multicolour if desired. Hit “Print” when you are happy with the object design. This takes you to a print menu in which you can adjust the print quality and filament type.
If you hit print at this point, the file will be prepared for printing and an estimated time for completion will appear on screen. Depending on the settings you have entered up to this point, the time may be quite short. If this is the case you might wish to go back and adjust the settings to allow greater quality and detail in the final 3D printed object. The opposite is true also, as you might not need high quality detailing.
As well as starting the printing project from your laptop or desktop computer, you can download the PlaySmart mobile app and start a project from your phone.
Accessible, Entry Level 3D Printing
We highly recommend the Playsmart 3D Printer for 3D printing beginners. It’s easy to use and straightforward setup encourages repeat use, and the bright colours available in the filament range appeals to creative kids with big imaginations.
Feel free to get in contact with us if you have any questions on the product.