New nonprofit 3D prints toys for local children

The Fresno couple need donations in order to purchase filament to keep supporting local children and schools.

A Fresno couple recently started a nonprofit to donate 3D printed toys to local children. 

Two years ago they got their first 3D printer for their own enjoyment and quickly decided that they could turn it into a charitable venture, a way to teach their two young sons about giving back to the community. 


The first year they printed around 250 toys, but without any local partnerships built up, they drove them up to San Francisco and delivered them to Toys for Tots for the Christmas season. 

“And the next year I’m like, ‘Well why don’t we do it here? Because these kids are a little bit more impoverished than the kids up in the Bay Area.’ So we decided we’ll do it here,” Vince said. 

After the first Christmas season was complete, they ramped up their operation and didn’t stop printing in the entirety of 2023, getting about 3,500 toys from their printer. 

They donated around 3,000 to Toys for Tots locally and gave hundreds to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) in Fresno and Madera Counties, an organization that supports foster children. 

Along with Toys for Tots and CASA, they started giving toys to local elementary schools and printed bookmarks for school libraries to sell. 

They also printed Dungeons and Dragons 3D models for high school students. 

Toy cars and trucks made up their first donations, but since then they have expanded into making larger vehicles such as dump trucks and cement mixers, as well as animals such as dolphins, dogs, cats, turtles, hammerhead sharks, goldfish and red pandas. 

All the toys and models were funded from their own pockets. After a full year printing, they looked into setting up the operation as an actual business, but they didn’t have time to run it as one, leading them to take the nonprofit route. 

The IRS approved their nonprofit application at the end of April, and now Vince and Allyson are asking for donations to help continue making 3D toys for children. 

They have never taken any donations up to this point for their operation, called 3D Printing Elves, and while they have seven printers continuously churning out new models, they’re in need of filament to keep things going. 

“The biggest issue is buying filament,” Vince said. “That’s the biggest cost, because we’ve got the machines – we just need the filament.” 

Vince continued, “No one takes a salary. If the machine breaks, I personally pay for that. It’s really just covering filament costs and regulatory filings.” 

Donations will allow them to not only keep up with printing thousands of toys for children every year, but they’ll be able to expand to more local schools and school libraries with more money for filament coming in. 

Down the line they would also like to start donating 3D printers to children who don’t have the money to purchase one for themselves. 

Anyone interested in helping out 3D Printing Elves provide toys for children and helping local schools can donate on their website

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