Design of the Week: Flying Toaster SD Card Holder

By on March 2nd, 2016 in Design


This week’s selection is the eclectic After Dark Flying Toaster SD Card Holder by Swiss Thingiverse contributor Erich Styger. 

Yes, this is a simple SD card holder, and as such it is a useful item for anyone operating a desktop 3D printer, which most frequently use SD cards or USB sticks to transport 3D print files to the device. 

But the backstory on this design is more fascinating to us. For those unfamiliar with the rather strange idea of a “flying toaster”, we can say that this is a concept from way back in 1991, when a fledgling software company named “After Dark” produced a very unusual screensaver for Macs and Windows PCs. 

The screensaver made small flying toasters flit across your screen, as shown here. Also appearing were primitive toast icons. 

While unremarkable today, this screen saver was quite revolutionary in its time, as it demonstrated that screensavers could be a platform for extreme creativity. Prior to After Dark, most screensavers were simplistic systems involving colors or random patterns of one sort or another. Afterwards we saw the emergence of more complex and creative screensavers.

But today we have a physical representation of the venerable flying toaster, but instead of toast, this item holds SD cards. 

The model is made of several small parts that must be glued together. While it’s designed for SD card storage, it’s also possible to scale up the 3D model and make a larger flying toaster if that suits your style. 

In a small way, the creativity opened up by Flying Toasters years ago continues through today. The circle becomes complete with this retro-model. 

Via Thingiverse
Image Credit: Wikipedia

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!