Win A Free Copy Of LEO The Maker Prince, The First 3D Printing Book For Kids!

LEO the maker prince

LEO the maker prince

This week, Ponoko has partnered with author and designer Carla Diana to give away five free copies of her new book for kids (and adults!), LEO the Maker Prince.

The first book about 3D printing for children, LEO follows the adventures of Carla and her friend LEO, a 3D printer. Chancing upon each other during a New York hurricane, Carla and LEO traverse the fascinating new world of 3D printing and all of the creativity and common sense solutions that it offers. LEO is a machine; Carla is an accountant who had always dreamed of being an artist. Together, they discover how personal fabrication can, has, and will continue to change the world. It certainly changes Carla.

Published by Maker Media, each creation featured in LEO can be downloaded for free and produced on your home 3D printer. 3D printing isn’t magic, but LEO the Maker Prince is. Written for anyone who wants to learn more about 3D printing, this book explores today’s emerging technologies in a way that makes it understandable to readers of all ages.

How to Enter:

Leave a comment telling us what character(s) from which favorite children’s story book you’d like to 3D print—and why.


You may enter as often as you like between Jan. 13-17, 2014, but each submission idea must be distinct from your last. Repeat or similar entries from the same applicant will be disqualified. Author Carla Diana and a representative from Maker Media will choose the top five suggestions from your comments. And yes, creativity and smarts do matter.


Five winners will each receive a free copy of LEO the Maker Prince either as a PDF or hard copy, depending (the vagaries of shipping constraints outside the U.S. may determine).


Sweepstakes closes at 10pmPST on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. Winners will be notified by Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, and announced in an update to this post.

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I would like to 3D print Harold from Harold and the Purple Crayon. Harold is a Maker. Anything he can imagine and draw comes to life. The visual imagery of the twisting purple line from Harold’s crayon echoes filament coming from a 3D printer. Harold is the ideal representation of childhood imagination and creativity. If any character from a children’s story book would understand the power and joy of 3D printing it would be Harold.

I’d like to print the tree (and everything in it) for Stuck, by Oliver Jeffers. The sheer absurdity of incongruous items Floyd throws up there (“…a long distance truck to knock down the rhinoceros”) hoping to dislodge his stuck kite as well as the creative art just begs for some sort of 3-d playset.

My ideal character would be Max from Rosemary Wells’ sweet Max and Ruby books, but with current technology he’d be a statue rather than the soft plush that he really should be, so that’s out. On the other hand, the engines from Thomas the Tank Engine would all make marvelous prints, with nice primary colors and simple mechanisms that could actually be made to work. And of course interchangeable faces for all their varied expressions. Sadly, it will be a few thousand years before all the copyright terms expire and the characters enter the public domain, but we can dream. . .

Nathan Chapman

I would have to print out the muffin character from “The Muffin Man” nursery rhyme. It would remind me of all the good times I had reading it with my mom before bed.

I’d like to print Pete the Cat and his rocking shoes. I use Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin and James Dean to help students to highlight what they are learning but also the youtube video ( really helps motivate students to approach school with a positive attitude. I think that when you are rockin’, your positive attitude will help you be open to learning new things.

Next year when we celebrate International Dot Day which is based on Peter Reynolds book The Dot I will have students creating their own unique dot and printing it on our 3D printer. This year we used augmented reality but now with the 3D printer, we can create virtual as well as 3D dots. I can’t wait to see the interpretation of what a dot is using our 3D printer. It will also be a great support of the book which promotes the creativity in each of us.

I’d like to print The Little Prince and his rose, the snake that ate an elephant, the baobabs and all the characters. The book is still one of my favorite as an adult (I even wrote another episode). Not sure about the sheep as the best one was hidden in a box but I bet that The Maker Prince choose the one. 😉

Sara Camargo

los mostruos del libro Where the wild thing are, los odoro 🙂

Éva Szeli

Pippi Longstocking, because she is strong, irreverent, and a terrific stereotype-shattering character for young girls. My daughter loved the book, and I think she would be a great character to bring to “life” with such cutting-edge technology!

Charles Wallace Murry from “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle. I have in my mind’s eye what I think his cute little 5-year-old genius facial expressions would look like, all serious and pensive at one time and marveling at the wonders of the universe at other times.

I’d like to print Danny Dunn, the budding scientist from the series published in the 1950s-1970s. Because of him, I was inspired to always carry a bit of string, a pencil stub, and various other bits and pieces that might come in handy in an emergency. (Think: MacGyver)

Looking back, the science in the series is a bit ‘iffy,’ but it was through those books that I was introduced to ‘automatic houses,’ ‘smallifying machines,’ and other ideas that captured my imagination. When I was young, that all seemed so fantastical. Now many of those concepts are reality.

The 3D Danny Dunn would be a good reminder of the importance of creative thinking, the joy of discovery, and the wonderful sense of possibility. 🙂

hi, i loved the 3dprint i’m a maker and educator, I am currently armed my own printer. I have two beautiful daughters. i would print the cat of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Aluna Camargo

hi i would like to print The Trip To The Moon by George Melies is that it is a movie but I want k if you can print the moon would be a great movie but whether or not may want to print the comic personages of Astroboy if you can it would be very good I hope happy to win this contest because I love 3D printers and I hope to build a win thanks 😀

The first character that came to mind when I saw this contest was Max and his wolf suit from “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. Not only is it my favourite childrens story but I think my students could have so much fun trying to print any one of the characters from the book. With our Makerbot Replicator 2, we’ve already been up to much mischief of one kind and another…

Eddy Nader

I’d like to see the spider and the fly ffrom The Spider and the Fly. It’s my kids favorite book at the moment and I have to keep reading it. I think the art style is fantastic and probably challenging to print but also allows for a reinterpretation. My other choice was The Little Prince but I saw that was taken.

One of our favorites is “Mi Monstruo Mandarino” (My Monster Mandarin) by Mexico’s Veronica Murguia about Andrea and his monster friend who has a big round bumpy head like a mandarin (tangerine), ears like green mandarin leaves and two long horns on his head just like a pair of bananas. Mandarino is a little afraid of people so he changes shapes and sizes all the time to hide: he can take the shape of a three, become small so as to fit behind the salt shaker, or even take the place of the eraser in Andrea’s pencil (although this results in her having pretty bad handwriting). I would like to print Mandarino in his different forms and sizes to start getting my daughter used to the idea (she’s almost five) that anything residing in her imagination she will be able to make reality in her beautiful years ahead. Thanks.

I would print Waldo from “Where’s Waldo Now”. This way I can extend the story and its benefits of increasing awareness to the real world.

Wow. What a terrific and far-ranging collection of answers you gave. Who knew about Danny Dunn, boy genius, for example? Carla is going to have a great time (read: a difficult time) choosing her favorites. Our thanks to all who played along. We’ll announce the five winners of a free copy of “LEO the Maker Prince” on Monday, Jan. 20, but it kind of seems like we all won with this one. If you live in New York or Boston, please consider coming out to meet Carla and see LEO in action. She’s doing two free appearances at Makerbot stores the next two Saturdays. Let your little ones see characters from LEO come to life!

Many thanks to everyone who submitted answers, the Ponoko Team loved reading them. A special thanks to Carla Diana & Maker media for partnering with us, it was really fun. Congratulations to Josh, Ajima, Audece, KW, Stephen & Alejandro on their winning entries. If you haven’t yet, check your inbox at the email address you used to post your comment for details on how to get your hands on your book!

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