It all started when three designers, Arthur Murcia, Danilo Makio Saito, and Cauê Oliveira decided to create a toy-making project aimed at raising awareness regarding production processes of common everyday tools and objects. To do so, the team decided to create a recyclable toy project.
The way it works is rather simple. This crew created a kit that allows you to make multiple vehicles mostly from objects found in your home. Now, as open-source as it may be, don’t bother looking for this project online, not at this time anyway. Why? After searching to the edge of Google, I was unable to find this project anywhere, except for a Behance page from five years ago that shows the project in the making. Damn shame if you ask me; it is sure to keep you and your kids busy for quite some time.
However, not all hope is lost. The project is so simple and easy to understand that with a bit of simple ingenuity and a 3D printer, you can make your own from what you see on Behance.
The project consists of only two sets of components. The first set of components are the 3D printed pieces, including wheels, a platform, and cabin furniture. These pieces are designed with holes that allow you to lock each one in place to create a platform on which to build a body.
If you think that 3D printing isn’t a sustainable or eco-friendly way of building toys, you may want to consider that the most common way to 3D print is to use PLA (polylactic acid) filament. This filament is obtained from renewable and natural materials like corn and other high-starch plants. Best of all, any 3D printed toy using this method is 100% biodegradable and even compostable.
To verify this information, I called up a local 3D printing service to hear it from the source.
Diana Janmejay, CEO of Invictus Technologies SRL, a manufacturer of high-quality custom-made 3D printed products, had this to say about PLA filament. “Using PLA to 3D print items is one way to bring imagination to life in a non-waste-accumulating way. Not only can it be recycled but it can also be composted, giving the material a whole new life. Because of PLA’s ability to decompose under the right conditions, anyone can print with an environmentally clean conscious.”
The second set of components you’ll need are simple objects you can find around the house. You can send your child on a scavenger hunt to provide some cardboard, a couple of round whatchamacallits, and a few soda can tabs. Together, these pieces are used to form the body of one of three vehicles: a tractor, a Jeep-like car, and a cargo truck. Although, it not so simple.
Once you and your children have all the pieces gathered, you’ll need to start cutting the cardboard into appropriate dimensions and design to build the ride your child wants. One thing the designers insisted upon was making this sort of project a customizable one. You can add motors, controllers, or anything else you and your kid can dream of.
Personally, I made something like this in the eighth grade with my mom, and it was a blast of a project. I was able to strap a tiny motor to the front axle and instead of using batteries, I connected a tiny solar panel to it. Should’ve seen that little bugger go. Since I had no remote to control power flux, that little sucker would ride for as long as there was sunlight or the motor burned out. Three years later, I made a tattoo gun out of it. Renew, reuse, recycle, and reinvent.