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3Doodler, a $75 3D pen hits Kickstarter

by Mark Tyson on 19 February 2013, 09:48

Tags: Kickstarter

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Last year it seemed like 3D printers were all the rage, often in the headlines over the creative opportunities they provided and the fact that they were becoming ever more affordable. Now a new project has hit Kickstarter which plans to offer 3D printing pens for as little as US$75.

3Doodler is a product designed by a company called Wobbleworks and that really does seem to be an apt name. The doodles made with the device don’t have the crisp lines of other 3D print output we have seen before. The pen creates lines that would look at home in the Richard Briers voiced-over cartoon Roobarb.

The pen works by heating up and extruding molten strands of plastic, which are then quickly cooled by a fan near the pen’s nib. You can slow the speed of the extrusion enough to be able to lift your pen up and draw in the air. (but it’s best to draw a base first or it will fall over...) A 1ft long plastic string loaded into the 3Doodler allows for 11ft of doodling.

Wobbleworks describes the pen in its promotional blurb “Have you ever just wished you could lift your pen off the paper and see your drawing become a real three dimensional object? Well now you can!” The description enthusiastically continues “3Doodler is the world’s first and only 3D Printing Pen. Using ABS plastic (the material used by many 3D printers), 3Doodler draws in the air or on surfaces. It’s compact and easy to use, and requires no software or computers. You just plug it into a power socket and can start drawing anything within minutes.”

3Doodler promotional video

Wobbleworks suggests that, though the “creative opportunities are endless” you might find the 3Doodler particularly useful for; jewellery and ornaments, decorative art, personalisation of your gadgets and “much more”. The firm has given 3Doodler pens to some high profile Etsy creatives to see what they come up with.

Aimed too low, time for some “stretch goals”?

The 3Doodler project has only just kicked off on Kickstarter, however at the time of writing Wobbleworks are already half way to the modest $30,000 goal. It looks like they could have aimed quite a bit higher. The $50 funding level including a pen is all taken up. However there are lots of $75 funding level free pens left which include two bags full of mixed colour plastic to get you going. Estimated delivery is October 2013.

HEXUS Forums :: 2 Comments

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I'm probably going to come across as a bit of an idiot, but actually I quite like the idea of this - depending on how quickly you can “draw” with this thing.

It strikes me as being potentially quite useful as a way to do 3D sketching for product (re)design - so modification of existing models rather than necessarily as a way of creating models from a blank sheet of paper.

Even better still if the models created can be recycled and the feed material reused.

That said, I think any use I'd make of it would come across like a drunk trying to play World of Goo. :(
Sounds pretty good but can't really see a long term market for it outside of the niche “concept moddelling”. May be popular as a novelty in the short term though, I'd probably get one so long as it works as described / intended simply to make random 3d doodles like the photos above and to show it off to mates.