Three Christmases ago, my son, knowing my love of building things from kits, bought me a make-your-own 3D printer. Much as I love constructing things, I rarely get round to actually doing so these days and the printer ended up being given away. I think my reluctance to build it stemmed from the fact that – even had I managed to navigate the scarily thick instruction manual – actually using a 3D printer is not for dilettantes.
Until now, that is. Polaroid, which seems to be a rejuvenated brand since it was acquired by the enterprising Impossible Project company in Holland, has this: a truly user-friendly consumer 3D printer that even looks superb on a desk or tabletop. The PlaySmart prints designs of up to 12cm3, and you can stop printing to reload the printer with different-coloured filaments and produce multicoloured objects. It even has a WiFi camera so you can remotely monitor how your object is coming along. With a plethora of designs and software available for all abilities, along with Polaroid’s really excellent phone app, I can imagine it being used not so much for hardcore industrial design, but for showing a proper designer the kind of thing you have in mind.