Open Toys, Hack Your Veggies With 3D Printing




About: We are passionate about technology and craft. We are at the heart of the european Maker movement. Our company distributes the 3D printer brand Makerbot in France and also organize events such as Maker Faire.

The Open Toy project is the result of a 2013 workshop at Domaine de Boisbuchet. Samuel N. Bernier had decided to use material waste from the band saw, such as cork and wood, to create toys by 3D printing small accessories with a MakerBot he had brought on site. He designed six accessories that would transform the found objects into planes, helicopters, birds and so on.

It’s was a week after the project had been presented, while looking at the Domaine’s garden, that Bernier had the idea to replace the wood and cork from his project by comestible material such as vegetables and fruits. The vegetables also had the advantage of being easier to pierce without tools than wood.

The project was left behind during almost ten months when Thomas Thibault, intern in Bernier’s design team at le FabShop's creation studio, started creating new parts for the collection. The rocket and submarine parts are from him.

The Open Toys were presented for the first time in October 2014 during a workshop at the Autodesk Pop-Up gallery, in Paris. The kids present at the event transformed with great interest potatoes, carrots, eggplants and cucumbers into cars, sea vehicles and space ships. The Mister Potato from de digital fabrication age had just been invented.

It’s to celebrate the release of their exercise book « Impression 3D Pas à Pas » that le FabShop decided to publish for free download the Open Toys files on all principal 3D printing platform : Thingiverse, YouMagine, Cults 3D and Instructables. Hoping that the users of these communities will contribute to the Open Toys collection big creating new models. Le FabShop’s designers are engaging themselves to do the same in the next months.

Share your "open toys" on our Facebook page and Twitter.



Step 1: 3D Print the Models

You'll have to downloas and 3D print the Open Toys. If you don't own a desktop 3D rinter, you can use the 3D Hubs services :

Use PLA of ABS with a filament machine, but don't use SLS or SLA 3D Printers. SLA is too porous (using powders) and SLA (liquid resins) is just a very bad idea. PLA and ABS aren't the ideal for foos safety either, this is why, if you read the tutorial until the end, you'll see that we cook all the ingredients after they were used.

All the models were designed to be 3D printed without the need for support material. Just print them flat.

Here is the link to download the files :

Step 2: Choose Your Ingredients

Notice that we used vegetables and fruits that are quite hard and big. No need to tell you that berries, lettuce and grapes are not ideal.

Keep in mind that you'll have to cook them when you're done playing, so if you use apples, have an apple pie recipe, or similar.

Notice that I used courgettes and eggplants. Perfect ingredients for a......

You'll see in a few steps.

Step 3: Play

This part is quite easy. Put the Open Toys and vegetables in front of a bunch of kids and they will do the rest.

What I find very funny doing this kind of workshop is that, as adults, some combinaisont seem very logic to us, like the eggplant for the submarine, and the carrot for the race car,(the way I imagined them) but young minds see things a different way. They are much more creative and silly. We've seen cucumbers completely covered with wheels!

Once they are done, playing, wash the Open Toys with a brush. You can even use the DishWasher if you want. It worked for me. (Guessing that you don't have one of these industrial ones like in the restaurants that reaches very hich temperatures)

Step 4: Prepare

Wash the ingrediants again (don't wait too long after the kids played with them because the holes in the skin will stark leaking juice.

This receipe is for a Ratatouille. For the Game, I used

1 eggplant,

1 round courgette

1 normal courgette

1 onion

1 tomato

1 potatoe

1 wild carrot

1 small turnip

and one Sweet Pepper

Use a sharp knife or, even better, a mandoline japonaise to cut very thin slices of each ingredients.

In a pan, put olive oil and cook the onion until it gets translucid, then had the pepper and the tomato. Cover it and let it cook at low heat for 20 more minutes, adding salt; pepper and Thym.

Cook all the other ingrediants separately in a pan with olive oil (yes, you'll need a lot of olive oil in the end).

Cook them until slightly roasted. You'll have to deal with many pans at the same time to do it the same way.

In wide plates, place the big eggplant slices in the shape of a flower. Then, on top, still in the same shape, add the courgettes, the carrots and the turnip. In the midle of the plate, create a small mountain with the now soft misture of onions, tomatoes and peppers you prepared at first. Cover the result with more Thum, black pepper and salt flakes (fleur de sel).

Step 5: Enjoy!

Cooked the right way, a Ratatouille is trully delicious. Not only this project will allow the kids to play with food, it will also make them eat their toys. Hoping they are not too sensitive about their creations.

I hoped you liked this silly project. Don't forget to vote for the contest!





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    13 Discussions


    2 years ago

    So much for not playing with food.

    The cloud 1808

    3 years ago

    now that's what I call playing with your food


    4 years ago on Introduction

    All LeFabShop models can be downloaded for free @MyMiniFactory:


    Ok, I am going to be the Devils Advocate here. Make sure you use a food safe filament. There is way too much debate about the safety of 3D printed items food contact. Make sure you use these at your own risk. I believe that polyurethane coating would can generally be considered food safe after it fully cures but I am not sure as to what brands or types.

    2 replies
    Antzy Carmasaic

    4 years ago

    That's a great improvement on the ol' Mr. Potato! Thanks for making the files open source.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I LOVE it! Getting kids involved with playing with their vegetables and then having them cook them - brilliant!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    my school has a Solidoodle 2nd or 3rd gen 3d printer, I might have to try this


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Great instructable , really hope you win the dremel idea builder


    4 years ago

    That's really cool..... If only I had a 3d printer.


    4 years ago

    Play with your foooood!