Storytelling and 3D printed crocodiles

I did a half term story-telling  and craft event with MyMinifactory at the iMakr 3D printing shop near Farringdon.


When I arrived at  iMakr  I was greeted by an army of 3D-printed Clarabella Crocodiles lined up  and ready for painting.


Each child was given their own Clarabella Crocodile to decorate with acrylic paints.


We used  bin-bag aprons. Très chic!


Extreme concentration required.



Even the grannies got busy painting.


Life-sized crocodile toothbrush at the story-telling session


With Eva Sbaraini, designer at MyMiniFactory who came up with the idea of a Clarabella Crocodile toothbrushholder and built the model. More about my collaboration with Eva and MyMiniFactory.


The iMakr shop is just around the corner from the Courtyard Studio so fellow Courtyarders Karin Littlewood, Sally Kindberg and Bridget Marzo popped by! Bridget and Sally couldn’t resist showing off their new books :).

My book ‘Smile, Crocodile, Smile’ is available as a paperback or as a digital MeBook.



Clarabella Crocodile 3D printable

UPDATE: Free event featuring the 3D printable Clarabella Crocodile character! Come to the iMakr store in Farringdon on Wednesday 27th May for story time and craft activities. You can even paint your own Clarabella 3D printed toothbrush holder.  More info and bookings

Do you have a child? Do they have teeth? Great!
Introducing Clarabella Crocodile, picture book star and toothbrush holder extraordinaire.


In one of those serendipitous Twitter coming-togethers, Eva Sbaraini contacted me to  ask if I’d be interested in collaborating on a project to create 3D prints from my book characters. Eva works as a designer for MyMinifactory, a curated 3D object download platform which gives its users free access to thousands of 3D printable files created by talented  designers. Eva and I  met in a coffee shop and discussed various ideas, including making tactile 3D prints for blind children along the lines of her other project based on  The Little Prince.

Eva went away with a stack of my picture books and came up with the idea of creating a toothbrush holder based on the Clarabella Crocodile character from  ‘Smile, Crocodile, Smile.’


She used one of my illustrations as a starting point for the design. Here you can see some work in progress:


I drew over the images so Eva could make adjustments.


A 3D printer was loaded with a spool of plastic to print the character. Watch this video to find out how 3D printing works:

The two part croc was cleverly designed to print support-free on a standard desktop 3D printer – the kind more and more commonly used by schools as well as  early adopters already using 3D printers at home. The design features a rotatable head and space to hold a toothbrush, making it suitable for both bathroom and toy box.


I decided to give Clarabella some colour using my acrylic paints.


And here she is: all finished and proudly holding her crocodile toothbrush!


You can print your own Clarabella toothbrush holder by accessing the file on MyMinifactory


And of course, don’t  forget to read the ‘Smile, Crocodile,Smile’ picture book to your children to encourage them to brush their teeth with crocodilian enthusiasm! It’s available as a paperback or digitally as a MeBook.

Many thanks to Eva. It has been fun working on this project together 🙂


The Tie –new short film