Minimum child age to use 3D Printer: Risks, what not to do, and suggestions.


Being a responsible parent of a tech enthusiastic kid interested in 3D printing makes you concerned about when you should buy your child a 3d Printer. While researching authentic information, I found that many people have the exact same concern of if your Child Old Enough to use a 3D Printer? .They don’t want to go after something which may turn to be a waste, or even worst, do harmful to their kids. 

So, what is the minimum age to operate and use a 3d printer? There are specifically design 3d printers for kids that allow children at the age of 5 years and older to use the 3d printer under parental supervision. At this age, kids can understand all functionalities of the 3D Printer and operate it well.

When your kid turns 12 years, then you can trust in them and leave your kid alone with a 3D printer. Also, make sure you talk about proper handling and protection with them.

Also check out our article on Where To and Not To Place A 3D Printer In Homes And Schools? Potential Risks!

3D Printing Is Here To Stay

However, a few brilliant kids have effectively handled the 3D printers while younger than eight years old. That is incredible. Still, we don’t propose a beginning that youthful for everybody. The best guideline to this is the manufacturer’s recommendation. Here is a table that lists several 3d printer models, their prices, and the manufacturer listed age group,

ModelPrice (USD)Age Group
Toybox 3D Printer$5405 Years
Dremel Digilab 3D20$6798-10 Years
Flashforge Finder Lite$29910-12 Years
Flsun Q5 Entry$26512-14 Years
Tiertime UP Box+ 3D Printer$1,49912 Years & Above  
Ultimaker S3$3,8506-12 Years
Monoprice Voxel 3D Printer$4006-8 Years
Monoprice Mini V2$212011-16 Years
Creality Ender 3 3D$25911-16 Years
Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D Printer$83910 Years and & Above
Best 3D Printer for kids according to their Age Group

 I would still recommend that you utilize sound judgment and consider your individual kids’ abilities before getting them a 3D printer.

Check out the 3d printer we recommend for young kids (Amazon link)

What is the Minimum Age of Using 3d Printer?
What is the Minimum Age of Using 3d Printer?

But before going any further, make sure to check out our post on Are 3D Printed Items Kids And Baby Safe? Potential Hazards And What Not To Do!

3D Printers associated risks? What to do!

At present, there are just a few intentional projects to urge producers to produce low-emission items, including UL’s Greenguard program’s rundown of 50,000 items that meet low-VOC rules. However, many green-building programs require the utilization of low-VOC items. UL just has placed emission standards for 3D printers.

It would be helpful if you went through the article we wrote about ” Is 3D Printing Poisonous?

After researching thoroughly concerning to find the best answer for your question, I have come up with some guidelines to keep your kids safe while using 3D Printers. Well, I recommend to:

  • Use the 3D Printer in Well- Ventilated area; 3d printers heat up faster and sometimes shut down if there is no space left for odors & emissions. This is why it’s advisable to place your 3D Printer in an area where you can easily open the windows or doors. 
  • Never allow your Kids to stand too close to the 3D Printer. Some 3D Models or additive manufacturing objects take much time or even more than one night to complete. In this case, turn on the printer, leave and then come back when all is finished.
  • Purchase filaments that produce very little emissions. Make sure that the 3D Printer you’re purchasing complies with low-emission requirements and has valid certification. 
  • If your 3D Printer releases any odor, take a step back and be cautious, as those vapors reflect emissions that may contain hazardous pollutants.
  • Keep your kids away from the printer if they are not feeling well or suffering from some diseases, including asthma or allergies. 

Is it a good idea?

Are you a tech pioneer? If your answer is yes, then you already know that 3D Printing is no longer a futuristic idea. It has already arrived.

3D Printing helps a wide variety of industrial applications, including smartphones, vehicles, jewelry, medical equipment, and much more. I think it could give your kid a headstart in life by teaching them about it. Some compare the 3d printing revolution with the old revolution of the internet.

Check this nice video of kids ambitions with 3d printing,

There’s no secret that 3D printers are expensive. But this cost should not be a factor in your decision. Instead, think of the benefit your children would have in terms of physical activity and added knowledge. Through these printers, your children can not only learn about 3D Printing but will also get hands-on experience with it.

Are they going to enjoy it ?

Enjoying a 3d printer depends on the kid’s turns on the printer. Children at the age of 5 years old are ready to understand 3D Printing. But their enjoyment with 3D Printer depends on the kids and their ability to learn. Some kids start at 15 but would find it hard for them to learn that much earlier. In contrast, others will begin at eight and can handle complex systems at the age of 12.

Check out our post on How To Explain 3D Printing To Kids & Preschoolers? Why You Should Get Them One !

When a child gets a 3D Printer at the age of 8, they feel indifferent. If they can understand the functionalities of a 3D Printer at this age, they would definitely enjoy it. That’s why it depends upon the kid going to work on the printer.

But also note that not everyone can properly teach 3d printing. Check out our article one Who Can Teach 3D Printing? ( Skill, resources and future growth)

For an 11-year-old, I’d say the answer is yes, they would enjoy using a 3D printer, but of course, not all 11-year-olds are equal. It might be a lot easier with a printer that doesn’t require tinkering to work.

A finicky printer that needed to be fully assembled and upgraded doesn’t usually attract kids interest

If they do get one, make sure it requires minimal assembly or an adult who can provide lots of help. There are few things that might dangerous for kids i.e. electricity wires. Probably comfortable with something sort of a flash forge finder that isn’t super DIY.

What are the Kids Friendly 3D Printers?

In this regard, Forbes has provided the list of 3D Printers that are kids friendly. I personally suggest you check:

Dremel Digilab 3D20:

The Dremel Digilab 3D20 is a fantastic 3D Printer for kids ages 8-10 years. Dremel Digilab 3D20 is one of the best 3D Printers available on Amazon for your kids. It costs $679-a a bit expensive than others- but it can print much larger items. The 3D20 is more extensive than most printers on this list. The 3D20 is fully enclosed, making it simple for small children to use while remaining versatile enough for teens and adults to enjoy. Furthermore, since Dremel makes it, customer service is readily accessible and trustworthy. The 3D20 is also compatible with various 3D object libraries, such as Cura, allowing you to print a vast array of objects.

Flashforge Finder Lite:

The Flashforge Finder Lite is an easy-to-use and inexpensive 3D Printer for your kids.  Flashforge Finder Lite comes with secure software, make it ideal for beginners and children of all ages. This 3D printer only prints with PLA, has no heated print bed and covers the nozzle when printing. The Finder Lite also has a semi-enclosed build area that protects all cables. Using this printer with young children, whether at home or in a classroom, is exceptionally safe.

The Finder Lite also includes beginner-friendly software called FlashPrint, which is simple to use and allows the kids to use either basic or advanced features. This means that your child will have no difficulty understanding the printer’s function and will play with various settings once they are comfortable with it.

Overall, this is a fantastic option for your children. Childs under the age of 12 will have all they need to let their imaginations run wild.

Tiertime UP Box+ 3D Printer:

When your kids turn 12+ or become little mature ones, you can trust them to handle some complex printing system. The Tiertime UP BOX+ is a solid and safe upgrade from the other printers on the list.

Tiertime UP BOX+ comes up with an Integrated HEPA filtration system to remove fine particles micro and 3D fumes. Don’t worry, though- for safe operation, the print area is fully enclosed.

Flsun Q5 Entry 3D Printer:

 3D printers offered by the FLUSAN are great machines to cater to the need of your kids. Since Flusan Q5 3D Printers are made up by the Flusan, therefore you can expect excellent customer support.

These printers have a TFT and offer a user-friendly interface, make it easier for your kids to navigate. It also provides Auto-Calibration; the delta design is self-calibrated continuously, so you won’t have to fight with bed leveling.

FLSUN Q5 is a durable 3D machine for your kids. You can save an interruption point and print it later on. The printer will automatically save the point of interruption if the energy interval occurs during the printing process. Smart! Smart! Delta 3D Printer FLSUN Q5 fulfills all your requirements. Beautiful yet confident machine!!

We also highly recommend that you check out our post Do 3D Printers Come With Software? Can You Get Them For Free!

What 3D Printers should kids not own?

Printers that are complicated to assemble, with a lot of bits and pieces and difficult to operate are the worst for kids. Here are some example,

Resin 3D Printer:

Resin printers are known for producing more sophisticated prints with higher resolution. At the same time, it requires much patience and plenty of skill set to remove support structures, sand imperfections, and give a nice finish to your print. So, your kid might get bored and find it hard to understand the complexities.

Stratasys Fortus 450MC:

Stratasys 3D Printers are durable & made up of imported plastic, and famous for their 3D printing space at the industrial level. These printers require a piece of specialized knowledge to operate. So, your kids should not start with it.

Conclusion:

 3D Printers are becoming more popular among kids nowadays, and it’s a well rewarding hobby. At the same time, it’s important to note that kids under five should not be allowed to turn on the printer.

Children at the age of 5 years old are ready to understand the basic functionalities of 3D Printers and can use one under parental supervision. But of course, all kids are not the same and differ in terms of their ability to learn. However, when your kid turns out 12, then you can trust in them and leave your kid alone with a 3D printer while keeping in mind basic safety concerns. 

 

 

Preh

A writer and student who is excited to see the 3D printing world evolve and bring the information you crave for it.

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