In the city of London at the holidays, everything is all glitz and glamour, especially in the popular Piccadilly Circus. That’s the area where a lot of neon lights proclaim the glory of consumerism. Interestingly, not too far from there, an organization was presenting a Christmas party with a difference.

kids company christmas

The British charity known as Kids Company 3D-printed a collection of toys that were pre-ordered by customers for a cost of 5 pounds each. It was an effort to raise funds and gifts for indigent and vulnerable children living in London. Kids Company acquired six 3D printers to assist them with the project, and created a subsidiary, “Print Happiness,” located on Windmill Street in London.

3D printing

3D printers – kids company

The founder of Kids Company, Camilla Batmanghelidjh, began the project by creating an app for the organization’s website, through which the public could donate (even by texting) through a pop-up store.

Donors then choose or create the design of the toy they desire to give. Once a donation was made, donors could access a database of existing designs for toys (mostly dolls).

If none of the designs suited a donor’s taste, there was the liberty of designing a doll or toy of one’s own design on the computer. That design then could be uploaded to the database, to be accessed by the 3-dimensional printers creating the new toys.


This year, more than 8,000 toys were created this way– a wonderful development, since a couple of years ago, this effort might have seemed simply impossible.

3D printing was once considered as very wishful thinking.  Back then, experts could not figure out how designs made on computers could be churned out in exact replica via a computer, at the click of a button, and at very low costs. Now, all kinds of things have been printed with 3D printing, from toys to even guns.

Kids Company’s collaboration with the Ultimaker has shown us how important 3D printing has become–and how it is likely to stay and become part of our culture. This is especially so when we look at the way 3D has been used to provide less-privileged children in our society with a tangible item that represents a very deserved memory, “The Joy of Christmas.”

Now that it is the new year, Kids Company is running a “Plate Pledge” campaign and an effort to collect coats. You can see a video about the group’s hunger-relief effort below, and get more information about how the organization functions.


Please leave your thoughts, comments and feedback about this organization or about 3D printing!