Although children drawings can be weird and hard to understand, there’s no doubt they are true masterpieces. Every parent has displayed their kid’s creations up on the fridge, at their desk at work, and some has even gotten a tattoo of them. But, have you ever considered turning those 2D masterpieces into 3D to display and preserve them? If not, you should take a look at Crayon Creatures’ creative idea.
Crayon Creatures was created by Bernat Cuni, as one of his projects for Cunicode, his design studio. Crayon Creatures is a 3D printing service that provides you and your children with a 3D printed model of their drawings. The idea of this project is to bring kids’ hand drawn sketches to life by converting them into a digital sculpture using 3D printing technology that allows parents and children to exhibit them as a memento or souvenir anywhere.
Cuni got the idea when his daughter asked him to turn one of her hand drawn crayon sketches into a toy on his 3D printer. Even though Cuni’s daughter was satisfied with a monochrome plastic version of her drawing, he felt that there was something missing. We all know that kids’ drawings are very colorful, and for Cuni, “colors made children drawings so unique and expressive”. Cuni had to re-design the sketch as to 3D print it in color. Once satisfied with the results, he made sure to share his idea with his family and friends, and the rest of the world as well.
To bring kids’ wildest imaginations to life, you simply have to upload an image of your kid’s sketch or drawing on the Crayon Creatures’ website. Once uploaded, Cuni takes the image in 2D and “inflates” them like a balloon. To understand the concept of “inflating” the 2D drawing, Cuni explains that he “defines the contour lines, creates a plane where the drawing is projected as a texture, then it is extruded, and finally some pressure physics is applied to soften the shape.”
Once the digital model is ready, Cuni uploads it to Shapeways because it uses a Z-Corp 3D printer that allows him to create the final physical model. The resulting sculpture is a symmetrical version of the drawing, which is two-sided. This means that you will be seeing the same drawing from both sides, even if the kid creates a character, it will have a face both in the front and in the back.
The service is easy to use as long as you can scan the drawing. Once you upload the file, you have to pay the cost of the 3D printed sculpture and the shipping. The price is €199 plus €15 for international shipping. If you would like to include an additional drawing that appears on the same sketch, the price for the addition is €99.
The sculptures’ material is referred to as “sandstone”, a colored gypsum-based powder which is mixed with an adhesive. Then, it is coated with a cyanoacrylate clear coat to protect it. The size of each 3D printed drawing is around 10cm (4 inches), being the longest measure. Since the sculptures are hard and rigid (and fragile), Cuni recommends that kids do not play with them. It is not a toy, as Cuni expresses on his site, “it is a keepsake, memento, souvenir, reminder, remembrance, token.”
Any drawing can get tattered after a while, and these 3D sculptures are a great idea for those parents who want to preserve their kid’s wildest imagination. Although Crayon Creatures is not completely kid-friendly, MOYUPI is the best option to turn your kid’s 2D drawing into a 3D toy they can actually play with. Another great option for those children who love to draw, instead of drawing on paper, they can simply try out 3Doodler Start and draw in the air! Or, if you have access to a 3D printer, why not 3D print the toys your children would like with Toy Maker?