Brooklyn-based designer Fleet Hower is changing the way we think about puzzles. Using 3D printing technology, Hower’s Lock-Nesters challenge puzzle-solving in the next dimension, with detailed three dimensional objects. The unique puzzles come in colorful kid-friendly characters like pigs, ducks and dinosaurs, and give curious minds new spatial problem-solving challenges.
Hower’s Lock-Nesters are a quirky update to the traditional flat and symmetrical jigsaw puzzle. The models come in a variety of cute animal shapes in bright colors. There’s a green bear, a pink pig, an orange duck, blue and green dinosaur, red dog and… a white George Washington bust. Rather than typical standardized puzzle pieces, the Lock-Nesters are broken up into pieces that relate to their geometry. Each fragment is a sleek building block to a component of each shape’s form, giving kids a better feel for geometry and shape.
The puzzles were designed using 3D modeling, resulting in digital files, instead of traditional molds. With the digital files, parts can be customized, or printed off at will. Each puzzle can be printed as a one-off or as ordered, instead of in large manufacturing lots that require big start up costs. Because each part is 3D printed from PLA, a non-toxic bioplastic derived from corn starch, there is no waste in the manufacturing process. The designs can also be printed anywhere at a 3D Hub marketplace, meaning shipping products long distances becomes obsolete, which also saves on the overall cost of the product.
The durable and colorful puzzles are kid-friendly for little fingers, and the animals can be played with once locked in place!