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My personal advice to you is: if you want to 3D print your mechanisms, and your designs... 1. thing you should do: go to: and watch couple of tutorials. In about 25 minutes of tutorials you could get the knowledge how to design 99% of the basic objects in universe.

No, it's true.

To make something unique (your prototype) you need to model it first.
And that's why you need to get good at 3D modeling.

  1. thing is to get a 3D printer. I personally recomend prusa mk3s+ kit.

It costs about 750 euros/dollars and you need to assemble it by your self. if you want it assembled, wich is better 200 euros plus. also if you want it to print more colors/materials at once plus 200 euros.

Don't buy cheap printers, they are just a waste of time.

you can do both of those steps at the same time...
You first learn to print other peoples projects, and while they are printing (printing takes a lot of time) you start by modeling your basic prototypes.

When you model, try to think of as many things as you can, because you can loose a lot of material on simple mistakes.
Think of every screw, and where the things are gonna touch.

Star with keychains and post it holders...

Also, you need to look at some of the mechanical principles.

But, you want be able to do that thing your son needs before he walks.

Or you maybe could if you just start modeling and hire someone to 3D print it for you ( more expensive option). is my mail if you need more info.