My daughter and I share the love of creating. While my version of creation might have me covered in woodchips or grease, my daughter is keen to painting, coloring and modeling clay.
I guess, in a way, one could call us “Makers.”
But I’ve always envisioned a “maker” as someone who is building circuits, programming stuff and printing 3D something-or-others.
Well, if that definition is true, we’re well on our way to being makers ourselves.
More on that in a moment.
Last year I built a giant dollhouse for my daughter’s room. It’s for those large collectible American Girl® dolls. Full of furniture, fixtures, lamps and other luxuries, it provides hours of good ‘ol fashioned pretend play.
As my wife and daughter found items to furnish it with, one thing bothered me. So many of the items were out of scale with the dolls.
I know. They’re dolls.
But there were these giant picture frames. Way-too-small silverware. Tiny little plates.
UGH. It just bothered me.
3D Desktop Computer
So a few months back I applied to try out a new PC that can scan 3D objects, turn them into digital models, and then print your model on a 3D printer.
I thought it would be perfect to try and make our own dollhouse accessories, in proper scale, and a whole lot more.
The HP Sprout is an all-in-one PC with a cool touchscreen and a giant touch mat that will make you push the mouse aside and use your hands to create. There’s an overhead projection/scanning system that can scan 2D and 3D objects—it’s like you can grab something from the real world, create with it digitally, then bring it back to the real world again.
For those of you that want specs, the Sprout has an Intel® Core™ i7 Processor, 1TB of storage and a Windows OS. For more info, check out the HP Sprout website.
Making Dollhouse Accessories
So our first project together was making a picture frame, and a picture, for her doll’s nightstand. We found a frame we liked around the house and decided to 3D scan it using the Sprout, then scale it down for her American Girl® doll.
And since my daughter would like to go to Paris someday, we thought her doll should have a photo of her visit to Paris. So we scanned her doll in 2D and created the picture for the frame.
It was something awesome to do together, and she loved creating with her hands and the computer. And you never know, with this technology, my little maker might be 3D printing spacecraft at NASA someday.
Since my girl is a little camera shy, I made a video recapping what we did. Check it out:
I’m sure this isn’t the last thing we make for the dollhouse. And my boys are already coming up with about a million things to 3D print. Cars, army men, LEGO accessories…it sounds like playtime but watching them interact with the Sprout is obviously getting them ahead with technology.
So stay tuned for more projects. I’ll be creating a post and some downloadable plans for the dollhouse soon. And I’ve been making some 3D models in Adobe Illustrator that I want to try and print out using the Dremel 3D Idea Builder.