Cool Kickstarter project to create a 3D printing pen

There’s no denying that 3D printing is starting to become more mainstream. While it’s still expensive, the prices are starting to come down: A full printer from Makerbot can be purchased for $2,200, while RapMan kits can be purchased for under $1,500.

If that’s too rich for your blood, but you want to get into the 3D printing game, then Kickstarter might be an option for you. WobbleWorks has come up with a unique idea for a pen-like device that, instead of being limited to paper, can draw in three dimensions. Do you want to draw a stick figure? Go ahead. A 3D house? No problem. The Eiffel Tower? There’s a stencil for that! We suggest that you watch the above video as it will wow you more than we can explain in an article.

The gadget, called the 3Doodler, looks like a huge success. Max and Pete, the duo who make up WobbleWorks, created the project last night with a modest goal of $30,000 in 34 days. When we first saw the project early this afternoon, it was already funded at over $100,000. When we checked back after dinner, the funding had ballooned to over $309,000! The low price points (you can pledge $75 for your very own 3Doodler pen), combined with the “wow” factor of the video have obviously inspired over 3,500 people to pledge to the project.

While it appears that the 3Doodler already has a working prototype, we want to remind everyone that there’s always a risk when donating to a Kickstarter project. Although most projects we’ve seen have been successful, some never materialize leaving backers financially out in the cold. That said, let us know what you think of this new spin on 3D printing; we’re looking forward to receiving our own and will write a review when we get it!

Source: Kickstarter | Image via Kickstarter

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Brony: yes, agree.

What's the big deal? From watching the video isn't this just a glue gun but with plastic?

Where's the 3D printing connection? Since it's a pen, spatial positioning (X,Y,Z) is down to the skill of the handler.

Suspect lots of people investing without actually thinking this over! ;-)

(of course, would love to be proven wrong....)

They are using a 3D print head, so it can handle the much higher temperatures of ABS or PLA. It is also plastic, it isn't an adhesive. It is true there's a lot of art that gets created with hot glue guns, but it isn't the same material at all. If you stick ABS or PLA in a hot glue gun(even a high temp one) it'll just sit there, never flow. Most glue guns also have a mechanical system to advance the stick, this is motorized to provide even flow and has instant off(again, from using a print head from a 3D printer where that's mandatory). Considering early on you could get one for $50, that's a pretty damned good deal. The StepStruder print head for the MakerBot is $199.

So discarding the technicalities, as a 'concept' or layman's description, then the answer is "yes, glue gun but with plastic". Basically, an average joe isn't going to be producing art work or usable objects like they could from a 3d printer.

They will be producing art work of the same material as 3D printers that are usable. They will not have the same level of precision.

Cool stuff. I reckon he challenge of 3D printer nowadays is the type of plastic compound to use. Would it work with polypropylene or polystyrene or polyethylene, or...? Different plastics have different characteristics so I might need to create a model with a different compound. Would it work with all of these, some of these, or only one of these?

Also, for each compound you can have hundreds of different formulations.

I'm not expert, but the site says: "The 3Doodler uses 3mm ABS or PLA plastic as its "ink" - just like a 3D printer. "

PLA = polylactic acid and ABS = acrylonitrile butadiene styrene.

Thanks for the info!!!

The good news is that PLA it is made of renewable sources. But the issue is, different models might require different plastic types and different formulations For instance, I might need a model where the plastic is quite hard, but I might also require another model where the plastic is quite flexible. I reckon this is the biggest challenge. Good to know this prototype works with two different types of plastics.