If you’ve got a child that has the maker bug, you’re sure to enjoy this one — a new Kickstarter called Ingocraft is offering up a two new tools that combine to give young kids an amazing opportunity to stretch their creativity skills. The Kickstarter combines both a digital tool and physical elements to encourage kids to experiment, test, and build objects.
For this Kickstarter, the team is offering up what they refer to as Kit 1, a collection of 72 parts. The parts include a mix of bolts, wheels, bars, and more. The image below shows you the entire collection and quantities of parts.
This collection of oversized parts (called Ingos) allows a child to build objects using their hands (but a driver tool is included for that authentic tool-use experience). Finger-tightening plastic bolts and snap-together elements allow young makers to begin making things right away.
In addition to the parts, there’s also an app (iPhone and iPad) that lets users create digital models in a sandbox environment — it offers both a challenge setting (where kids can earn badges/achievements for fulfilling goals) and a free-build setting where kids can use all the various parts that make up Ingocraft in any quantity. Yep – an unlimited supply of Ingos!
But here’s the cool part… Ingocraft is going to be making all the components available as downloadable digital files. This means if you have a 3D printer, you can print and print and print as many Ingos parts as you like! If your child designs something really amazing in the app, just print out a sufficient amount of extra parts to create a matching physical object of the digital design. Even better, the team at Ingocraft will be offering a gallery for sharing (and downloading) custom created components with other Ingocraft users.
My young sons have struggled a bit with Erector sets and their small parts (and often sharp or pointy edges). They see me in the workshop using power tools and hardware such as nuts and bolts… and they want to do the same. I can’t blame them! Making stuff is fun, but little hands and little brains can often get overwhelmed with the variety of hardware and tools available… Ingocraft looks to simplify it to a level that will still inspire kids to make stuff and be creative. I’m sold, and I’ve backed. And I’m really looking forward to the day when my boys and I can print out some custom parts (that maybe they’ve designed!) on our 3D printer and incorporate them into their own projects.