Founded in 2016 on the floor of the creators’ shared apartment, Toybox is a family-oriented and kid-approved 3D printer that aims to remove the entry barriers surrounding 3D printing by focusing on useability and simplicity.
In a completely non-threatening way, this 3D printer has turned one of our most amateur employees into a 3D printing fiend and delivered on the promises made in the company’s mission.
In the following test and review, we’ll go over key stats and first-hand accounts on setting up the Toybox, multiple test prints, and user interaction not only with the printer but with the cloud-based software and other unique features.
Toybox: The Key Stats
- Toybox 3D printer price:
$329On sale for $249 (limited time only) — Available at Toybox’s Official store here
- Toybox Build volume: 70 x 80 x 90 mm
- What filaments can the Toybox print: 1.75mm diameter PLA filament
Building The Toybox
Unlike most 3D printers, the Toybox comes fully assembled, and all you have to do is unpack and plug it in.
Understandably, the preassembled printer comes with padding around the print bed, extruder, and frame, however, we found it difficult to remove and worried about tugging too hard and dislodging parts. After much finagling and coaxing, we managed to remove all the padding but it does take patience.
Once unpacked and plugged in, all you have to do is insert the filament, and you’re ready to print.
This is made easy with the filament holder included in the kit that slides into place on the back of Toybox. Here, you’ll hook on the filament spool and feed the loose end into the printer. There is an “insert” and “eject” function on the printer’s touchscreen, which will heat up the filament to allow full insertion and removal of the filament.
To print, you need to connect either your phone or computer to the printer with the respective app or web browser via typing in the code displayed on the touchscreen. We found the touchscreen very responsive and intuitive, and connecting the app to the printer was easy.
Needless to say, aside from the packaging, it was an effortless setup. And even then, we can’t fault the company for ensuring the machine stayed safe during shipment.
Read more: the best 3D printers for kids
Testing The Toybox
The Toybox printer comes with a staggering number of free files on their platform, not including the files you can create and upload yourself, however, we ended up choosing a few prints from the available catalog.
We did three tests: one quick print, one calibration print, and one multi-part print. The bigger models and buildable toys seem to be a high point for users, so for our multi-part print, we wanted to test how easy it was to do and the functionality of parts fitting together.
Quick Print Test: Printer Pets
We started off with a quick print test, just to see how it printed out of the box without any calibration.
Included in the Toybox files are printer pets, which are adorable single print critters that come with movable arms. We decided to print this because it was one of the most popular files on Toybox’s database, and we were intrigued to see how the printer handled making movable parts in one print.
All the animals take around 10-15 minutes to print, the seal took 13 minutes. On the bottom, you can see where there were some foundational mishaps, likely a result of not being calibrated. However, these are very minimal issues that do not affect the overall integrity of the model, which came out well and functional. It works great as a fidget toy, due to its small size and flappy arms, but also looks adorable as a desk decoration.
We also think these little quick toy prints are excellent for keeping little ones entertained while you print bigger toys.
Calibration Print Test: XYZ Cube
To correct the foundational mishaps on the seal, we calibrated the printer by following a video posted in the Toybox platform, and what better way to test our work than with the classic XYZ cube.
Again, another fantastic print free of stringiness and other integral issues.
The one fault is you’ll see where the leftover purple filament was still inside the extruder, printing a purple layer even after proper filament removal and insertion. However, the cube corners came out precise and the letters are visible and clear.
Our calibration seemed to work, as the full bottom layer was printed fully, whereas before it came out uneven and splotchy. So, it only needs minimal tweaking when calibrating.
Overall, we’re only further convinced of the useability and ingenuity of this printer.
Attempted Multi-Part Print Test: Puzzle Cube
In the name of full transparency, we didn’t finish the multi-part print test of the puzzle cube due to a few reasons that both fault us, as well as the printer.
The first reason was the noise of the printer drove us crazy after long periods. While in reality, the noise is no louder than a washing machine’s spin cycle, listening to it for 15 minutes is vastly different than listening to it for 2 hours. After 2 hours, our bandwidth for the incessant humming was maxed out, and therefore, printing any more of the puzzle cube was going to have to wait for another day.
That said, all you homemakers out there with a separate workspace to use the Toybox in, away from where you’re working or playing, won’t have this issue.
The second reason was simply time. The puzzle cube requires you to do the same print 3 times, in order to get 6 pieces that will fit together to make the model. 6 hours is a long time to dedicate to one toy in a day, and we mistakenly read the instructions wrong and thought all the pieces were included in one print.
So, our advice is, if you plan on printing the buildable toys, either choose one with quicker print times or prepare and plan appropriately for the project ahead.
TL;DR Toybox Test Feedback
Overall, we think this is an amazing and innovative piece of kit that would fit well into any family household.
The prints came out with good structure, no stringiness, and are functional. We even tossed around the toys to test their sturdiness and they remained perfect, so you don’t have to worry about fragility.
The printer itself truly creates an experience. While it’s not the cheapest 3D printer, the Toybox reaches a level of compatibility with children that other cheaper 3D printers don’t. From the outset, the Toybox looks… well like a toy! Seeing it immediately gets you excited to create and start working with the technology.
The touchscreen interface also feels very kid-friendly, with only 3 buttons that clearly state what they do, making it easy to work with.
The downside to the printer we would say, again, is the noise and the leftover filament remaining in the extruder.
One of the more ingenious aspects of this machine is its easy-peel magnetic bedplate.
The bed moves along the Z-axis, and on top of it sits about a 1cm thick bendy magnetic slab, that you can pull off the bed when the print is done for easy removal of the 3D model. The model comes off easy as is, but we found bending the easy-peel bed a bit helped the process.
The bed is not heated, so you only need to wait for the model to cool (about a minute) before taking it off.
One thing to beware of is oil sticks to the magnetic bed, so make sure your hands, and your kiddies, are clean before handling it to avoid dirty oil marks on the bottom of your next print.
App and Web Experience
When exploring reviews, this was one area that had complaints from customers, although none serious enough to dissuade them from loving the product.
We found the app to be very responsive, despite its low ratings, so we assume updates have been done in the time since those reviews were written. Using the web browser catalog to print was also responsive and easy, and we imagine children won’t struggle to use this interface at all.
Another high point here is getting access to other users’ creations. When you create a design, it’s shareable, so other Toybox owners have access to it.
✅ Toybox Pros
- Comes fully assembled – The printer comes fully built with filaments, a filament holder, plugs, calibration allen keys, and free access to the Toybox software included.
- Great quality with easy printing – We could not imagine a more straightforward process from choosing a model to the actual printing, and at no cost of quality.
- Enhanced safety features – Even though the printer has open sides, it’s still closed off enough to make it difficult to touch the extruder, and there’s an automatic cooling feature even after it’s turned off.
- Excellent useability – From auto-leveling and wireless connection to the platform’s interface, everything about this printer screams effortlessness.
- High noise level – A few minutes with the printer is no issue, however, the printer’s loud humming after a while can become overwhelming.
- Sticky filament – We’ve struggled to find a way of completely extruding the filament to avoid leftover over color in the next print.
Toybox Full Specs
- Price: Check price on Toybox store here
- Build volume: 70 x 80 x 90 mm
- 3D printer type: FDM 3D printer, 3D printer kit
- Toybox Speed: 60 mm/s
- Toybox setup time: around 5 minutes
- Display: 2-inch LCD touchscreen
- Connectivity: Wireless, WiFi
- Compatible filaments: PLA
- Filament: 1.75mm
- Max nozzle temp: 220C
- Max heating bed temp: non-heated bed
- Minimum layer height: N/A
- Single or dual extruder: single
- Print system: Smooth-Flow Extruder Head (Bowden)
- Nozzle size: 0.4 mm
- Weight: 3kg (6.6lbs)
- Auto-leveling: yes
- Bedplate: Easy-peel magnetic bed
- Fan system: N/A