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This Plastic-Printing Pen Lets You Draw In 3D

By melting then rapidly cooling plastic, this device lets you draw in the air

Yesterday, start-up company Wobble Works was looking for $30,000 to help fund the manufacture of a pen that lets you draw in three dimensions using malleable melted plastic. In just a day, the company found itself with more than $600,000 dollars from interested donors. In a Kickstarter campaign, now far more than fully funded, the company laid out their new device.


Reminiscent of a hot glue gun, the pen melts and extrudes plastic. New Scientist:

The pen’s key component is a tiny fan that cools the plastic as it leaves the nib. “This makes it solidify very quickly,” says company spokesman Daniel Cowen. Intricate “drawings” of a peacock and the Eiffel Tower in the launch video show how well it works.

TechCrunch’s John Biggs shows off his creation using the plastic-extruding pen:

The device is an interplay of two different crafting media—the mighty pen and the increasingly-ubiquitous idea of 3D printing. Technology Review:

3-D printing has always been about empowering smaller artisans, about taking what is traditionally the realm of major manufacturers, and bringing some of that power closer to the creators.he journey of 3-D printing, in many ways, has been bringing technology that’s traditionally been too expensive for individuals or even small businesses, and making that (or similar) technology available to the little guys.

… The 3Doodler is far cheaper and easier to use, and though less capable in some ways, it has the curious effect of leapfrogging the technology that it’s descended from… As a result, many people may be introduced to a “3-D printing pen” before they even know what a 3-D printer is to begin with.

More from Smithsonian.com:
How Spray-On Everything Could Radically Transform Manufacturing

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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