3D-printing useful widgets and dohickeys is great and all, but sometimes you just want to mess around. And what could be better for that than good, old-fashioned Play-Doh? What was once a ThinkGeek April Fool's prank is now a reality from another company altogether: Meet the 3D PlayDoh printer.

Hyrel 3D, maker of 3D printers in the $2,000 to $3,000 range, has come out with a special extruder that forgoes all that specialized plastic for simpler materials like plasticine, air-drying modeling clay, and Play-Doh. You know, for when you just want to have some fun.

3D printers still cost a bit much for toys whether they're printing with Play-Doh or not, but skipping hot plastic for something reusable and non-toxic could be fantastic for schools where bright little rapscallions are just starting to cut their 3d-printing teeth.

Hyrel 3D doesn't seem to be selling the extruder on its own, but it'll only work with its printers anyway, so you're on the hook for at least two grand if you want to play. Hopefully this is a fad that'll catch on with some of the other big boys, too. Now where are those Bane walkie-talkies? [Hyrel 3D via Geek.com]