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The 3D Printing Pen That Draws in the Air Might Be Your Childhood Dream Come True


"...it extrudes heated plastic, which quickly cools and solidifies into a strong stable structure."

How often when you were younger and busy making crayon creations did you wish what you drew would come to life? Thanks to 3D-printing technology such an idea is now a bit closer to reality -- at least when it comes to taking what was once only possible in 2D and giving it 3D potential.

The 3Doodler pen by Wobble Works draws objects in thin air or on surfaces.

(Image: Kickstarter video screenshot)

"As 3Doodler draws, it extrudes heated plastic, which quickly cools and solidifies into a strong stable structure," the company stated on its Kickstarter site. "Most people will instantly be able to trace objects on paper, and after only a few hours of practice you will be able to make far more intricate objects."

This 3Doodler design was listed as a more advanced structure. (Image: Facebook)

The 3Doodler doesn't use software or computers but it does need to be plugged in to a power source. As of right now the 3Doodler only comes in one pen tip size, but Wobble Works plans to release more sizes at a later date.

(Photo: 3Doodler)

Watch this video to see how the 3Doodler works:

Another attractive feature of the 3Doodler, as Wobble Works pointed out, is that it costs much less than current 3D printers on the market. It is unclear how much the 3Doodler would cost to a commercial audience, but those backing the Kickstarter project received one of the pens and a bag of the plastic used to draw for a $50 donation. Full 3D printers on the other hand can cost thousands of dollars.

(Photo: 3Doodler Kickstarter)

Many people are on board with the idea. Initially the project hoped to earn $30,000 from the crowd-funding website to get 3Doodler going. Now, even with 33 days left, it has more than $150,000 pledged for the product that will begin shipping September 2013.

If you don't think you're much of an artist, the 3Doodler team is putting together free, downloadable stencils that can be traced. It is also collaborating with Etsy artists who are showcasing the way the pen can be used. Some of the artists will be selling their first 3Doodler designs while others are offering a template to help users make the art themselves.

The company's website pointed out that such a tool could be used to make repairs for plastic parts as well.

The 3Doodler website specifies that as cool as the pen might be, it's not a child's toy.

"While the plastic extruded from 3Doodler is safe to touch once it has left the pen, the pen itself has a metal tip that can get as hot as 270C," the website stated.

Learn more about the 3Doodler on its Kickstarter site here or its official website here.

(H/T: New Scientist)

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