IC3D Printers has launched their annual toy drive, the 2022 3D Printed Toys for Tots campaign.
Ohio-based IC3D Printers launched ten years ago, and is a bit unusual for a 3D print company. They manufacture not only 3D printers, but also the materials for them, providing low volume production 3D printing services, finishing services as well as consulting.
Their filament selection is actually quite broad, and lists a number of engineering materials suitable for production and prototyping: Nylon 126, CF-PA12, UV-PETG, PC-PBT, ABS, PLA, Recycled PETG, PETG, TPE-SEBS-95A, Pellets and more.
The company’s 3D print service uses their own equipment that has a massive 1220 x 1220 x 1067 mm build volume. That’s suitable for large parts, or large quantities of smaller parts all in one job.
Every year since 2014 the company has hosted a “3D Printed Toys for Tots” campaign, in which volunteer 3D printer operators everywhere can help produce 3D printed toys for needy children. IC3D Printers explains the background:
“In early 2014 IC3D Printers cofounder and COO Matt Organiscak envisioned enlisting the help of 3D printer operators around the nation to produce scalable and meaningful impact for needy kids. First launched in 2018, the annual 3D Printed Toys for Tots charitable campaign uses volunteer-driven distributed manufacturing 3D printing clusters across the nation to produce toys for all. IC3D provides thousands of kilograms of material and organizes volunteer regional coordinators—ElfHubs—that receive, inspect, and deliver thousands of 3D printed toys to Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots chapters in their area.”
IC3D Printer’s Claudio Donndelinger explained how it works:
“IC3D is proud to announce the launch of the 5th annual 3D Printed Toys for Tots charitable campaign. Each year, volunteers sign up to be part of a national distributed manufacturing network of 3D printing elves. Each elf chooses toys to manufacture from a pool of free/open source and donated premium digital designs, 3D prints and works with other volunteer elves in their region to distribute 3D printed toys to Toys for Tots chapter in their area.”
This is an admirable campaign, but what’s even more impressive is the scale of the event. Last year, participants produced more than 69,000 3D printed toys – massive increase over 2020’s “mere” 17,000 toys. This year the campaign hopes to hit 75,000 toys, and that’s likely given the growth rate of the event.
This event is so large they’ve organized it into regions, each having a “hub” for toy distribution. It’s a big project, no doubt.
IC3D Printers is also accepting US tax-deductible donations to assist with the costs of the campaign.
What exactly are the toys for the campaign? The campaign has obtained a number of toy 3D models from generous designers, and these are listed on the campaign page. They include animals, dinosaurs, vehicles and similar items.
If you’re interested in sponsoring the campaign or firing up your 3D printers to produce toys, hit the link below and fill out the registration form. There is also a Discord server where the “elves” can coordinate activities.