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Hardware Hacking Printer Build Technology

3-D Printing Pen Can Draw In the Air 85

Several readers sent word of a new addition to the 3-D printing industry. Most 3-D printers are roughly the size of regular printers, and require design files on the computer to guide the extruder. Now there's a much smaller and much simpler alternative: the 3Doodler pen, which lets you draw 3-D objects by hand. The people making the pen set up a Kickstarter project yesterday with a $30,000 goal. They reached that within hours, and now have pledges exceeding $800,000. "The 3Doodler pen is 180mm by 24mm. The pen weighs less than 200 grams or 7 ounces (the weight of a typical apple), although the exact weight will depend on the final shell specifications once in production. And we are using a universal power supply, so provided you have the correct adapter for your country, 3Doodler will work just fine on 110v or 240v. ... 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 pen uses the same ABS/PLA plastic as most 3-D printers, and they're planning to host stencil designs on their website so that users have patterns to sketch from.
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3-D Printing Pen Can Draw In the Air

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  • by greywire ( 78262 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @06:57PM (#42960299) Homepage

    Webshooters would be more interesting than a glorified hotglue gun.

    But if you can get one of these at Michaels in the future for $10 I'd probably buy one.

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @07:17PM (#42960513) Homepage

    You can do some neat [] stuff [] with [] hot [] glue []. ABS, being a bit stronger of course, would support some unique work of its own.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @08:23PM (#42961045) Journal
    Tie this pen to a robotic arm to control the movement of the tip very precise. Also control the speed of travel and may be bead size. May be tie three or four such pens oozing different materials. That contraption is the equivalent of rendering images using scalable vector graphics instead of raster scanning!. If we adjust the temperature and material properties, and some kind of active cooling we could create very strong wire frames. May be these wire frames could form the skeleton with some kind of charge to accrete charge particles to acquire thickness, color and other surface properties. The possibilities are endless.
  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by forkazoo ( 138186 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {snarcesorw}> on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @09:00PM (#42961353) Homepage

    Well they're selling them for $50, that's not bad. And a hot glue gun doesn't have the same level of finesse/control, from what I can see online..

    I haven't actually gotten to play with one personally, but I am friends with the guys involved in this. Basically, yes, there is an analogy to be made with a hot glue gun. But, have you ever tried to "draw" a cube with a hot glue gun? Good luck with that. With the 3Doodler, you are working with a much finer 3D printing style plastic filament. It's essentially the printing head of a 3D printer that you can use to draw freehand with. The plastic coming out of the head cools very quickly, and is relatively strong compared to something like glue, so you can make all sorts of interesting shapes. They may post some additional videos to help clarify how easy it is to draw with.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @09:23PM (#42961517)

    ...and use some sofware to replay it on a conventional 3d printer. In this way you could mass produce your "sketches" as "prints". You could also lay out models by sketching in air, import the "sketch" to your modeling program to refine it, then print a finished piece.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling