PARENTS
01/09/2013 01:37 pm ET

Crayon Creatures Makes 3D Figurines Out Of Children's Art

Shrinky Dinks are getting a 21st-century upgrade.

Thanks to advances in 3D printing, Crayon Creatures will turn your child's handiwork into sandstone figurines.

Of course, some drawings are better suited to artistic permanence than others (animals, mermaids and houses, yes; awkward mom portraits, maybe not so much).

The newly-launched service uses technology to adapt children's aesthetic sensibilities into sculptures -- pledging to preserve the "attitude" of kids' drawings while translating them into multi-dimensional keepsakes.

On the company's website, Barcelona-based designer Bernat Cuni describes his artistic process. "Basically, I inflate the drawing like a balloon," he explains, elaborating: "Technically, I define the contour lines, create a plane where I project the drawing as a texture, then I extrude it, and finally I apply some pressure physics to soften the shape." (Gizmag goes further into the specifics here.) Cuni told Wired that the inspiration for the project came from his daughter, who requested a 3D version of one of her drawings.

Cuni has also made figurines from his 4-year-old son's artwork. (He told Fast Company the little boy isn't always a fan of the finished result.)

At roughly $150 (including shipping from Europe), the 4-inch figurines are expensive -- and unfortunately, they're not completely kid-friendly. Crayon Creatures warns that the sculptures are "intended for decorative purposes" and "not suited to be used as toys or to be given to underage children."

For parents hoping to turn their children's drawings into toys, though, there are other options. Artists like Wendy Tsao of Child's Own Studio transform kids' pictures into soft dolls -- and Indonesian company Cryoow makes children's drawings into puppets (thanks for the tip, Design Mom!).

Still, we'd love to see what Cuni could do with some of the cute kid notes we receive at HuffPost Parents. Although he'd probably struggle to do justice to this one.

Click through the gallery for examples of Crayon Creatures' figurines:

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Crayon Creatures Brings Kids' Drawings To Life

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