3D printing has a variety of practical uses, from prototyping products to making consumer goods. But it's also an easy way to make tangible objects from simple designs — think a kind of successor to a child's pottery wheel. Crayon Creatures, launched a few days ago, hope to take advantage of this by turning drawings into colorful (and sometimes slightly creepy) 3D printed sculptures made of sandstone. For the admittedly steep price of 99 euros ($130), the site will take a 2D drawing, model it, and print it out, delivering a product that looks to be a few inches tall.
Though Crayon Creatures is one of the most sophisticated ventures, it's not the first iteration of this idea. Printcraft lets Minecraft players turn their designs into 3D printable files, and Doodle3D software does the same thing for simple line drawings. As simple low-resolution printers get cheaper, getting children involved in every step of the project might become more common; for now, external printing services are still far more accessible.