While this is pretty much a hot glue gun squirting out plastic, for $75 you can get yourself a 3Doodler, what they claim to be the world's first and only 3D printing pen. Legend has it that the first ever FDM (fused deposition modeling) 3D printer was invented by Scott Crumb when he 'printed' a frog for his daughter using a hot glue gun. Scott Crumb went on to form Stratysys and the basic technology upon which the entire RepRap ecosystem is based, including desktop printers such as the MakerBot, Ultimaker and the Cube.
Now 35 years later you too can simply draw objects in thin air with the 3Doodler too.
While it is a cute idea and a relatively simple concept that might be a fun toy to get people started with a very basic start at making things with plastic, they state the pen is not suitable for children under 12 years old (270c of hot metal squirting plastic at your fingertips), most likely their ideal market.
At the time of writing they have already raised over $145,000 from backers for their device with 33 days still to go so they have obviously found a market willing to give this novelty item a try.
Cool concept... would be great for repairing like they said.
Problem here is...
A. They are already planning to outsource the entire thing to China. Horrible
B. It's accuracy lends it to something for children.
C. It's not intended for children.
I'll stick with my Series 1 from Type A Machines* for 3d printing thank you.
If I need to design in 3d space with a Pen I use Zbrush and a Wacom.
"Anything that you can 3Doodle on can be personalized! It works well for most plastic objects such as iPhone cases, desks, laptops, monitors, pens, etc… You can write on them or doodle 3D shapes on them and voila, you have modified an ordinary object to be your very own! Add bling to your stuff like never before."
Duann, why so negative? Why make a post if it's just going to trash the product?
My positive thought's on the product are this:
It is another avenue for more people to be introduced to 3D printing.
$75 low barrier to entry to "3D printing" at home.
It could be used in conjunction with 3D printing from Shapeways- to modify an existing prototype quickly versus ordering another print.
I could quickly wireframe a design to get a sense of scale in a 3D physical space.
I see great potential here for future iterations. Better flow rate control, swap-able heads for different extrusion shapes, different materials...
I have since had a chance to try an early prototype of the pen and still think it is not really a great introduction to 3D printing. We have seen so much progress in the last 4 years in desktop 3D printing that it is a shame for this to be an entry point for so many people.