One for the kids (and kids at heart)

See this:


Yeah – that’s an awesome half of a box. But not just any half of a box. That half-box fits over the end of a juice box. “Whoopty-do” you say, and I admit that by itself it’s not that big of a deal. But… what if…

Juice Box Weirdos

While working out the logistics of a Sketch Jam! for the office that involves my Thing-o-Matic, I was needing to find how people were making their own snow globes from salsa jars; how they were best sealing the lids, what they were using for “snow”, etc.

While doing so, I discovered that — tangential to my original point — a lot of people were using paper, stickers, markers, and straws to turn ordinary juice boxes into toys for their kids (even some that float). And I thought, “I have a 3D printer! I could make all sorts of cool things to augment juice boxes!”.

Now, see that plain half-box up there? What if you could add things to the flat end to turn the plain half-box into something more fun? Like a robot, or a cat, or a shark, or the ends of a boat. Suddenly, the plain half-box doesn’t seem to boring, does it?

I looked around on the Internet and was surprised that these products didn’t exist already! (Really? I would have thought this was prime “market to kids” territory!)

I bought some juice boxes (delicious research!) and I started sketching some “things” that I thought would be cool — pirate ship bows, fish tails, articulated robot arms, etc. Maybe wings or boat masts or dinosaur back plates that would have ends that could stick into the box. What if the shark head could rotate around at and angle to either face forward, like it’s swimming, or to the side for when you put robot legs on the bottom (it would need to see where it’s walking, after all).

I realized that I was making things too complicated (a common problem of mine), so I went back to basics and instead of needing to jump into Blender with all the power of NURBS and surface patches, I went to SketchUp with basic shapes and extrusions. If a piece of paper could work for a sailboat sail, certainly non-moving robots would be okay.

And so, a few hours later I had the start of a whole line of “things” that would fit the bill; a robot, a truck/car, a rocketship, and an owl wearing goggles (thus “weirdos”).

GroupI still imagine boat parts, cats, dogs, alligators, beetles, a goblet that the juice could be poured into (or maybe has a straw built into it so the juice could be squeezed up?), and so on. Lots of pieces-parts that kids could mix and match to create new creatures. Of course the best part is that a kid could sketch something and the parent could make it and print it and the kid would have their own custom parts (which could be worth a lot to the school lunchroom crowd ;-).

I didn’t want to make all of these pieces as a “this is my vision” thing. Rather, I wanted to just make a few and put the idea out there, into the collective subconscious. It’s for you to dream; for you to make.

The STL files can be found on Thingiverse here:

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