The Toybox is a $300 FDM 3D printer that is marketed towards younger kids. The printer is operated over Wi-fi on an app that kids can use to print drawings or choose from a file catalog. It is simple to operate but has very low functionality given its price point.
We typically recommend printers like the Anycubic Kobra or Artillery Genius that have increased functionality and more quality of life features. When 3D printer shopping for kids, choosing a printer like the two mentioned will allow them to grow into an advanced user and provide the entire family the opportunity to take advantage of its capabilities.
Photo credits: (c) Toybox - toybox.com
The Toybox printer has a small build volume
The Toybox's build volume is 70 x 80 x 90 mm or 504 cubic centimeters. The majority of FDM printers on the market today are at least 220 x 220 x 250 mm or 12,100 cubic centimeters. This makes the Toybox's build volume at least 24 times smaller than most printers.
The Toybox printer does not have a heated bed
While PLA is one of the filaments that does not necessarily require a heated bed, using one can increase the chance of success for a print. The Toybox printer does not have a heated bed, which explains why one of the more common issues is prints detaching from the bed.
The Toybox printing relies on the app and Wi-Fi
The only method of printing for the Toybox printer is over Wi-Fi, while most printers allow for SD cards and USB drives. This makes the functionality of the printer reliable on the stability of the Toybox servers, your internet, and your local Wi-Fi connection.
The Toybox printer is still not safe for young kids
The Toybox printer uses a metal nozzle that is heated to ~200°C (392°F) which is pretty toasty. All FDM 3D printers use elevated temperatures to melt the plastic, and curious kids can be burned if they are intent on touching the nozzle.
PLA is one of the safest filaments you can use with a printer but it is still not without some small risks. Printing with PLA can release nanoplastic particulates and trace amounts of tetrachloroethylene, formaldehyde, and methyl methacrylate gasses. This can be mitigated by having a small air filter next to the printer - the air filter should have a MERV or HEPA particulate filter and activated carbon, ideally granules.
The Toybox printer food is expensive
The Toybox printer food is 0.5 lb spools of PLA that sell for $10-14 each, which is $42-62 per kg. In comparison, Prusament is one of the better PLA filaments on the market and it is only $30 per kg. There are plenty of other quality brands that sell PLA in 1 kg spools for $20.
What are the benefits of the Toybox printer?
- Printing is pretty straightforward for simple prints, when it works.
- There is a flexible magnetic bed for easy print removal.
- There is a vast catalogue to select prints from, but some of the files are paid.
- The Toybox app allows kids to draw an object and print it right away.
What are the alternatives to Toybox?
There are a few $200 FDM printers that are decent and you can find those on our printer table page. You will likely run into Creality printers such as the Ender 3 being suggested to you, and we can not recommend any of those printers at all since they are generally poorly designed and the company has poor quality control. Instead, printers like the Anycubic Kobra and Artillery Genius below have the additional quality of life features, and the companies are known for producing reliable printers.
Max Nozzle Temp: ~200°C
Max Bed Temp: N/A
Print Volume: 70mm (L) 80mm (W) 90mm (H)
To compare resin printers, browse resin, and get equipment inspiration visit our Ultimate Resin Guide.
To compare FDM printers via an interactive table, side-by-sides, and in-depth articles.
Application & Safety FAQ answers common questions about resin.
Ventilation Simulations has animations for common DIY venting setups, and Heating Resin Printers during winter provides data for specific heat sources.
Our Resin Print Settings Table has associated images, mixes, and does a resin giveaway.
To browse resin properties and find your ideal strong, durable, flexible, or high-temp resin visit our Resin Properties Table. To find properties of filaments, visit our FDM Properties Table.
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