3Doodler lets you draw in the air with ABS plastic, the same stuff used in 3D printers.
Two guys with roots in toy manufacturing and robotics have teamed up to create what might become the must-have gadget of 2013, a 3D pen that makes doodling in the air almost as easy as scribbling on a piece of paper.
3Doodler is billed as the world’s first 3D printing pen, and is currently in the final stages of raising money on Kickstarter to start manufacturing in quantity. The pen uses ABS plastic, the same material used by many 3D printers. Except there is no printer and no need for a CAD model; it does not need a computer. You just put the pen in your fingers, press the button, and start drawing a plastic line that quickly freezes in the air, on paper, or wherever you draw it.
The pen is 180 mm by 24 mm, approximates 7 inches long and 1 inch thick, and weighs about 7 ounces (200 grams). A universal power supply allows 3Doodler to work with either 110v or 220. Because the tip is hot—up to 270C (518F)—the 3Doolder is recommended for ages 12 and up. The inventors say the plastic is cool enough to touch as soon as it leaves the pen. The pen is loaded with a 1 foot strand of 3mm ABS or PLA plastic (as used in some 3D printers), which can produce approximately 11 feet of 3D lines. A 1kg replacement spool of plastic will run between $30 to $55, depending on vendor; enough for up to 4,000 feet of 3D lines.
In addition to making new doodles, the pen can be used to “heal” existing plastic objects made from ABS plastic—a form of welding or soldering. In addition to a variety of art and craft possibilities, the inventors foresee people creating 3D stencils to form 3D objects from several surfaces created using the pen.
3D stencils can be drawn (above), then each of the surfaces brought together to create more complicated objects (below). (Source: 3Doodler)
The video below shows the 3Doodler in action.