3D Pen: Meet the 3D Pen That Let's You Draw in the Air

2D doodling is so 2012.

In the "future-is-now" world we live in, where 3D Printers are making jawbones, guitars, and even bikinis, even the age old art of doodling is getting a makeover. Now, instead of being constricted by a two-dimensional domain when scribbling with a pen or pencil, you can doodle in the air(!). Doodles become objects with The 3Doodler, the world's first 3D printing pen.

The concept is pretty simple: Instead of doodling shapes and swirls on a spiral notebook, you can "draw" sculptures out of thin air. 3Doodler's Kickstarter Page (which, with $1,116,052 as of Feb. 21, has easily surpassed its fundraising goal of $30,000) describes the pen as a 3D printing pen that allows you to, "Lift your imagination off the page!" While the 3Doodler turns sketching and scribbling into a whole new ballgame, other than its wow-factor, the device doesn't live up to the usefulness of other 3D printers.

The pen was created by the co-founders of WobbleWorks with the help of the manufacturers at Artisan's Asylum. While a price hasn't been set, the 3Doodler is described as the "most affordable way to 3D print ... by a looong way!" The pen is easy to use, all you have to do is plug the device into a power socket, wait a few minutes, and then start drawing. 

The pen works by pulling a heated plastic through the device. As it emits the plastic from the tip of the pen, the material cools rapidly and sits in place as a strong, stable structure. It really is quite amazing:


Artists can create anything their imagination comes up with. If a doodler is worried about skill in crafting with the 3Doodler, they offer stencils. In the stencil used as an example, a doodler would trace over the guides for each side of the Eiffel Tower. Then, they would put the pieces together and connect them using the pen. It really is fascinating:


The 3Doodler, while futuristic, awe-inspiring, and mind-blowing, does not seem that useful. The doodles are amazing, but then what do you do with them? Some of the artwork is fantastic, but those are professional artists. Most of us are going to create something that resembles a tangle of silly string piled on top of a deformed batch of a barrel of monkeys. 

One other issue with the 3Doodler: isn't the point of a doodle that it's an inconspicuous diversion? If you're in class or a boardroom meeting doodling away, your teacher or boss might think are studiously taking notes even though you're sketching an homage to your Best Friend Forever. I think they're going to notice when you create a to-scale model of the Empire State Building that engulfs your desk. 

Even as the usefulness of the device is questioned (with 3D printers, there is some crazy science saying they may be able to make food with these things), the cool-factor is not in question. Go to www.the3doodler.com to and watch the below video to learn more.


Enjoy some photos of creations as well:




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Liam Boylan-Pett

Liam is a culture writing intern at PolicyMic. His work has appeared in "Running Times" and other running publications. He is also a professional middle-distance runner for the New Jersey-New York Track Club. After graduating from Columbia University with his bachelor's degree, he earned a Master's of Professional Studies in Journalism from Georgetown University. Originally from Bath, Mich, he spends his time watching TV, reading longform journalism, and thinking about who is going to be in the NCAA basketball tournament's Final Four.

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