The Little Designer teaches kids (and parents!) how to 3D print

The Little Designer by Nestor Llanos

Nestor Llanos recently stopped by Airwolf 3D headquarters to share a copy of his new book, The Little Designer. Nestor works as a design engineer for Local Motors, the trailblazing Arizona-based car manufacturer who created the world’s first 3D-printed car and the cutting-edge, self-driving Olli.

When you work as an engineer for a company as wildly innovative as Local Motors, it can be difficult to explain what you do for a living — especially to children. When Nestor’s kids started asking questions about 3D printing, Nestor found himself struggling to explain the technology in a clear way that his kids could understand. That’s when he decided to write The Little Designer.

A playful and whimsical book, The Little Designer is designed to teach kids about STEAM and 3D printing in a way that is fun and engaging. The book centers around a group of adorable characters, the Buddyracers, who join together for a big car race in Buddyland.

“So, do you have your ‘Buddy Bunny’ yet? Photo Credit: Dream Factory

The book effectively integrates arts and crafts with more technical content by leading the reader through simple projects, like how to 3D print and decorate a simple toy figure, before progressing into more advanced lessons on how to create even cooler, more complex characters and cars. Best of all, STEM lessons are cleverly built in to the books’ series of projects.

For example, while a child will follow the instructions in the book to create what might seem simply like a cool toy, she also must learn and apply math and spatial reasoning skills in order to successfully 3D print a part with proper supports.

Teaching Kids Cad
Teaching kids how to use CAD software. Photo Credit: Dream Factory

The book is a great method for anyone to learn 3D printing in a fun and very easy-to-understand way. Plus, it provides a great family activity because it requires parents to help their child use a 3D printer and guide them through the lessons in the book.

On a mission to bring 3D printing mainstream

Nestor Llanos at Airwolf 3D
Nestor Llanos at Airwolf 3D headquarters.

Another reason Nestor decided to write this book is to support the mission to bring 3D printing mainstream and help move us closer to a world where 3D printers are as ubiquitous as personal computers.

As Nestor explained, today’s children will be tomorrow’s makers and inventors. This is the first generation to grow up with 3D printing and we need to prepare and teach them now, so that we can pass the torch to them in the future and have them adopt and carry on the development of the technology.

We couldn’t agree more.

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Little Designer by Nestor Llanos today!