The printing industry is aware of the tremendous potential in the children's market, but few companies have figured out a profitable way to make at-home 3-D printers work.
"You're talking about a relatively low margin, high volume business model, whereas [3-D printing in general] has always been based on the inverse: high margin, low volume, for the most part," Wohlers said.
Millions of people may use the device, and still the company may only make a few dollars off of that interaction. "So, how do you make that work from a business standpoint?" Wohlers asked.
A few major gaming companies, including Electronic Arts, have experimented with 3-D printing technology, but the toy industry is embracing the transformation in stride.
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In April, Mattel, one of the major toy manufacturers that uses 3-D printing for large-scale production of products like Barbies and Hot Wheels, teamed up with software provider Autodesk in a deal to bring toy customization apps and 3-D printing to kids.
The companies are working on a line of apps to let consumers "imagine, design and customize their own toys and help to make the toys real through 3-D printing," the companies said in a statement.
Last year, Hasbro, the toymaker behind brands such as My Little Pony and Transformers, launched a similar initiative with Shapeways with a website called SuperFanArt.com.
Wohlers expects 3-D printing to play an integral role in how students learn and play as the technology becomes more affordable and accessible, but so far most of the printing has been carried out in schools.
Most attempts to make cheap desktop printers have failed because manufactures haven't figured out a profitable business model, Wohlers said.
"We have long thought that there is reason to make a low-cost and safe 3-D printer for children," Wohlers said. "The major toymakers haven't taken that leap yet, but I think it's absolutely possible and it will happen. It's just a matter of time."