The 3Doodler aims to bring 3D printing down to the handheld scale, with a pen that uses quick-cooling plastic to create hand-drawn 3D models.
3D printing has long been mooted as the future of manufacturing, offering anybody the ability to create complex DIY items. We’ve already seen some companies preparing for the boom, such as Filabot‘s device for making printing filament out of recycled household plastics. Now the 3Doodler aims to bring 3D printing down to the handheld scale, with a pen that can draw real objects into existence. The pen has received a lot of press in the past few weeks and it’s hugely successful Kickstarter campaign has come to an end today with a total of USD 2,344,134 raised of an initial target fund of USD 30,000. Operating in a similar way to a glue gun, users first plug it in to heat up the plastic filament inside and press a button on the side to push the liquid material out of the pen. By dragging the device across a space, the pen leaves a trail of plastic that instantly solidifies into a stable structure that retains its shape. Users can draw straight onto paper to create flat forms – peeling the paper off when they’re finished – or draw in the air to make more free-form designs. The pen has useful applications in both creating artworks or 3D sketches on the fly. The creators have also produced a 3D stencil – paper with pre-printed templates that users can draw over with the 3Doodler to make more complicated structures. The 3Doodler is an example of a business using forward-thinking for an emerging trend, finding a way into the market and future-proofing their concept. Product developers – plenty of inspiration here. Spotted by: Nameet Potnis