Perhaps today’s kids won’t think it’s weird or strange in any way to be able to doodle in the air with a 3-D printer pen, but some older people will be blown away by this product’s capabilities. This new pen is the same size and shape as a normal ballpoint pen, but it does much more than just write on paper. It allows the user to create real objects in the air and has a wide variety of applications from fashion to design prototypes. The project is being funded by Kickstarter and is coming to the market for consumers this September. It will retail for an affordable $139, and is the first 3-D printer pen that is as small and lightweight as a regular pen.
The 3-D printer pen allows people to doodle in the air by plugging into a regular USB port. The user will then feed a very thin strip of plastic through the back of the pen. The plastic will heat up inside and then be pushed out the tip of the pen by the user. So far, the pen has been used to make fashion accessories, standing sculptures, household objects like trashcans, jewelry and architectural prototypes, but the applications are limited only by the user’s imagination. Large objects can easily be created by joining small objects together, and small objects can be drawn in seconds.
Each strip of thin plastic will give the user about two minutes to doodle in the air before needing to be refilled with another strip. The pen is completely portable and only needs a USB port for power. Another product which is already available is called the 3 Doodler, and reviews of that product seem to indicate that, for professionals, it may be inferior to this new pen because the new product is more of a precision tool. The 3-Doodler, according to a review on Edgadget, tends to be “messy” and not all that easy to control.
The advantage to a 3-D printer pen that allows people to doodle in the air over a computer combined with a 3-D printer is that using a computer in combination with a 3-D printer is more time-consuming and the equipment is cumbersome and not portable. With the new product, doodles can be made anywhere at any time as long as there is a USB port nearby. The pen is also much cheaper than a standard 3-D printer.
The new pen will allow the user to draw at varying rates of speed, and the company behind the product, Lix, is targeting its marketing to professional architects, artists and other design professionals. The pen also allows for varying rates of thickness, giving the user more control over the final product.
The new 3-D printer pen is available on Kickstarter as an “earlybird special” when a donation of $135 is made. Lix hopes to have the product come to market within the next few months. Get ready to doodle in the air with this new futuristic tool.
By: Rebecca Savastio