Flexi-rex for small child?  

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Lize
 Lize
(@lize)
Estimable Member

I was thinking of printing the FlexiRex:
https://github.com/DrLex0/print3D-FlexiRex/blob/master/Flexi-Rex-improved.stl

I'm sure I shouldn't have any problems printing it but I don't know anything about children so what I'm not sure about is whether it would be suitable for a small boy about 3 to 4 years old?  Not sure on print size, would it be OK to print at supplied dimensions circa 80mm or might it be finger nipping?

Was thinking of either yellow or orange PLA - both Prusament food safe so shouldn't be a worry for putting it in the mouth.

If not the Rex, can someone suggest something else please?

I'd just hate to give it as a present and then it be unsuitable or make the child cry!!
Thanks

Posted : 22/04/2021 6:04 pm
Dan Rogers
(@dan-rogers)
Honorable Member

Here's my advice (my wife runs a pre-school, and I print for children all the time).

Not PLA.  Unless you plan on throwing the toy out after a day or two and printing another.  You cannot clean PLA.  PETG can be put in the dishwasher to sanitize.

Choking hazard - print your toy, and then see if it slides through a paper towel roll.  If it can slip through a paper towel roll tube, it is not sized for a small child.

Choking hazard II - break the toy into pieces because if you can , the child will.  Run the pieces through a paper towel roll test.  If the pieces are too small, it is not a suitable toy for a small child, IMO.

Pinch hazard.  If you can pinch your ear with it, or the sensitive skin on some other part of your body, a child will likely pinch themselves and the toy is not suitable for a child who has not leaned about pinching.  It is not a bad this one as the others above (clean, and choking) - because the child will learn that valuable lesson, but you may want to think about that.

 

Posted : 22/04/2021 8:15 pm
Swiss_Cheese and Lize liked
Lize
 Lize
(@lize)
Estimable Member

Thanks Dan.  Very informative, I'd have never thought all that, pets are so much easier!

I'll print it a bit bigger for added strength and give it the break test plus toilet roll and then consider whether fingers may get pinched.  I was trying to save the last of the orange PETG for something else but I've got some transparent red which might look funky and be better than black.

His Dad is handy and likes making things so I wondered about a chunky screwdriver/spanner and nuts/bolts set but its a job to know how big his hands are.  Perhaps I'll knock those up in Fusion incase the Rex doesn't turn out.

Posted : 22/04/2021 8:58 pm
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Illustrious Member

I did some test pieces and decided to do some "kid testing". I tossed a PLA print onto the garage floor and was surprised when it shattered into sharp little pieces. I was more surprised when PETG did the same. Whatever you print, it is probably worth giving it a whack with a hammer or three to see what can happen. Filaments vary widely.

My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan...
Posted : 22/04/2021 9:58 pm
Lize
 Lize
(@lize)
Estimable Member

You have surprised me with the PETG in particular.  I've nearly full roll of red ASA handy which is a nice bright cheery colour, perhaps I'll try that.

Posted : 22/04/2021 10:11 pm
Swiss_Cheese
(@swiss_cheese)
Honorable Member

I've had this exact same experience with PETG multiple testing's with different brands. I would use a tough TPU

 

Posted : 22/04/2021 10:20 pm
Dan Rogers
(@dan-rogers)
Honorable Member

My understanding and experience is most store-bought kids toys are ABS (legos, tonkas, etc), or roto-molded or injection molded Polyethylene (outdoor climbing toys, play houses)

I've found that PETG can be extremely flexible - when thin.   It's much tougher and harder to shatter (but still will).  Toys like the ring with helicopter work out well - the piece the kids chase is thin, the zip strip is thin, and the ring is chunky and hard to break by hand.  In some ways it bents more easily than PLA - so it's kind of lousy for tools other than a screwdriver handle, snow shovel handle.

 

Posted : 22/04/2021 10:56 pm
Lize
 Lize
(@lize)
Estimable Member

I printed the Rex last night, it's a terrific little print, much better than it looks in photos.

Unfortunately I've deemed it unsuitable for the child, I did 3 perimeters in ASA and its very strong to drop/smash type tests but I tried flexing it and exerting pressure in my hand (sort of screwing it up) and one of the links broke and the separated parts are small.  I'm debating increasing size considerably but even then the tail parts will be small although it would be stronger.

Posted : 23/04/2021 3:02 pm
Swiss_Cheese
(@swiss_cheese)
Honorable Member

TPU

Posted : 23/04/2021 5:45 pm
Lize
 Lize
(@lize)
Estimable Member

@swiss_cheese

Yes, I agree but I don't have any and it's a bit of a last minute idea.

Posted : 23/04/2021 8:45 pm
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