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 idea behind the 3Doodler is that it takes the core functionality of a 3D printer, essentially an extruder and a heat source, and jams it into a pen-shaped handheld device. Loaded with either ABS or PLA plastic, common feedstock for traditional 3D printers, the 3Doodler “prints” plastic objects by letting you draw them in freehand in three-dimensional space.
Toy and robotics company WobbleWorks created the pen to make 3D printing affordable and accessible. While most 3D printers can cost you thousands of dollars, 3Doodler is available for preorder on Kickstarter for $75.
If you can scribble, trace or wave a finger in the air you can use a 3Doodler. As you draw, plastic comes out of the pen, is cooled by an integrated fan, and solidifies right in front of you. You can draw on any surface and lift it up into the air to create your own 3D objects.
The pen uses ABS plastic, the same material found in many 3D printers. You can start free- form drawing in the air or draw on surfaces to create flat objects for stacking and connecting. Check out the video, below, to see how it works.
The quick-setting plastic solidifies in an instant, making it ready for handling, but the pen’s metal tip heats to 518 degrees Fahrenheit, so you probably don’t want to give this to your 5-year-old.
WobbleWorks’ project reached its $30,000 goal in just a few hours and has since raised more than five times the initial amount. Aside from artistic purposes like reconstructing the Eiffel Tower, its creators say the pen can be used for repairs. Broken parts can be rejoined by drawing a plastic weld.
The company teamed with wire artists on Etsy to show the pen’s capabilities, and also plans on making stencils available for free download so doodlers can create intricate designs on their own.