WoodyMac - the wooden designer of the future

    I can’t pretend to say that everyone, but at least most of us, in childhood, came across designers.
    Some of them were remembered more, some of them remained forever in the “nut boxes” (if we are talking about the iron constructor “Designer”).

    And if we leave aside the “premium” for those days Lego and its Chinese substitutes from the 90s, there remains one more niche - wooden designers.

    In addition to, in fact, classic cubes - I still have distinct memories of the constructor "House"


    However, progress has inexorably approached them ...

    Despite the fact that this is the second launch, the project “the world's first interactive wooden magnetic constructor” reappeared on Kickstarter. Unlike the usually sad reasons for stopping the project, this time the funding collection was stopped due to a wave of letters from around the world asking to expand the geography of deliveries (initially delivery was planned only for participants from the USA).

    As usual, the idea is simple as all ingenious - the wooden parts are held together by small, but very powerful neodymium magnets. The blocks are made of completely natural, non-toxic, and hypoallergenic materials (wooden parts from beech and plywood), as well as inserts with neodymium magnets.

    Well, it took only ten years to find an elegant design solution for the chimney forever falling from the roof.

    The assembled structures, thanks to the guides in the wooden blocks, are very durable. This photo especially struck me personally:


    With the constructor from childhood, the House could only be played in this way by the invasion of giants with the immediate destruction of the entire property with their feet.

    The number of unique details is great - these are arches on the roof, canopies, sliding doors, triangular roofs, garage doors, railings, fences, panels with opening doors from painted and unpainted parts and much more. The manufacturer also promises that standard parts will always be available.


    However, the highlight of the project is the constant addition of new parts proposed by the WoodyMac customers themselves. All future details will be developed taking into account all previous components. And the lucky owners of 3D printers will be able to print out the details they like by choosing them from the future parts catalog.

    In fact, the idea sounds very reasonable - allowing all participants to come up with new sets and enlisting the support of creative people, the company's products will also constantly improve and evolve. It’s enough to recall Lego’s successful experience on this path - their sets created “upon request” are well sold. For interaction, a mobile application was announced for modern platforms (the “Big Three” - iOS, Android, Windows Phone), where it will be possible to demonstrate success to other participants in the design, see other people's work, vote on the proposed details, leave feedback to the manufacturer, upload mock-ups for their 3D printers or order the necessary part - as the manufacturer’s (if the part is popular and mass production is planned), and other participants (if we are talking about an exclusive part - for example, a unique spire on a tower or other individual order). I think that owners of 3D printers should especially appreciate the prospects of this idea. The inventor plans to create a designer from which it will be possible to build not only toy houses, but also the entire situation in the apartment.


    In the best traditions of the iron constructor of our childhood, it is easy to make things that are more useful in everyday life from wooden parts. In any case, for "handmade" strong frames that can easily be assembled and disassembled will not be redundant for sure. Well, with proper dexterity, you can create competition even for some things from IKEA.

    It seems to me that one of the first requests will be a set of a dozen or two of “just cubes” of different colors. MineCraft in the apartment - which of the real fans will suit this temptation! Given the popularity of Minecraft among children, the presence of such a set is especially relevant, because spatial thinking is necessary in such diverse fields as mathematics, architecture and art. In order to establish solid motility and spatial thinking, children must manipulate material objects and play and learn in a three-dimensional world. And modern children are difficult to attract from their virtual sites back to the physical world. Thus, similar, simple at first glance, things can become a bridge between the virtual and physical worlds.

    As for the organizers of the Kickstarter project, they do not tell too much about themselves. An important detail is that their team is constantly developing environmentally friendly toys, there are already preliminary agreements with suppliers and manufacturers, and they have been working on the WoodyMac project for more than a year. Having collected the necessary amount, the designer will be available to customers from all over the world.


    Participants in the crowdfunding campaign will be able to receive their first set based on the amount of the donation. In total, three sets are available - WoodyMac Start, 88 parts, future retail price $ 125; WoodyMac Start + a set of additional parts, only 184 parts. The price of the set is $ 195. And finally, the most expensive set of 628 parts is $ 500. By the way, in any kit there is a LED lamp in the kit - so that the houses will glow from the inside, as it should be for real residential buildings.

    For the very first customers, the sets will cost much cheaper, and for all who donate later - cheaper by about a third. The price seemed overestimated to me until I got acquainted with the prices of ordinary "non-magnetic" wooden constructors.
    Alas, toys are now an expensive pleasure. In any case, if you are interested in a wooden constructor with magnets and good development prospects, it makes sense to take part in financing and get sets cheaper than the future cost.
    It seems to me a good trend that game projects are increasingly turning to crowdfunding as a way to create something really useful. And after a successful collection on a “paper airplane with a motor”, the chances of the designer are really high. And if you connect WoodyMac with another crowdfunding project with neodymium magnets and a superconductor ... But this is a completely different story;)


    Start of the campaign today. If you just want to support the undertaking - the minimum contribution is $ 20, everyone gets eight parts, four cubes and four levels - they will make a good photo frame for the refrigerator. It is enough to evaluate the quality of materials and the prospects for further expansion of the range of parts.

    UPD: To answer the question “how are magnets mounted there,” I am enclosing a drawing from WoodyMac.

    And finally, a few long pictures that perfectly demonstrate what can be built from WoodyMac:


    PS: And for those who have flipped to this place - there is also a video on YouTube (in English) .

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