3Doodler sketches with extruded plastic rather than ink
February 19, 2013
WobbleWorks has developed a fun new way to express your artistic side – a pen which takes its inspiration from 3D printers. The 3Doodler sketches with the same plastic filament used in most personal 3D printers, allowing you to draw in the air or on paper to create wire-like artwork.
The 3Doodler is 24 cm (9.4 inches) long and weighs 200 grams (7 ounces), or about the weight of an apple. It works by heating 3 mm ABS/PLA filament to 270 degrees Celsius (518 degrees Fahrenheit), so for safety reasons it's not exactly something you want in the hands of young children. Kids aged twelve and up can trace stencils on paper (which can then be assembled into complete 3D objects like the Eiffel Tower), or just draw structures in the air.
The resulting doodles really are just that – doodles. With practice, though, you could probably make some pretty cool things with it. The quality of the pieces in the example photos may not exactly bowl you over, but WobbleWorks says the pen could be used to customize your smartphone or create jewelry and is teaming up with some wire artists on Etsy to demonstrate its capabilities.
According to WobbleWorks, a 1kg (2.2 pound) spool of 3mm ABS at US$30 to $50 will give about 110 meters (360-370 feet) of plastic. When extruded by the 3Doodler, that figure increases to more than 1,200 meters (4,000 feet). Many different colors are available, but it's probably much cheaper to just paint the plastic if you want multiple colors.
As of this writing, the company has more than doubled its $30,000 funding goal on Kickstarter, where a $75 pledge will secure a 3Doodler of your very own.
In the future, the company plans to release stencils free-of-charge to help artists get the most out of their new pen, and has some surprises planned if certain stretch goals are met. You can see the pitch video below.