3D printers have become much cheaper in the last couple of years with big pushes from systems like MakerBot to bring 3D printers to the home. Those printers are much cheaper than previous designs, but are still into the thousands of dollars. A new company called WobbleWorks has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a new 3D printing pen–called the 3Doodler–that costs a mere $75. Resembling a hot glue gun, the 3Doodler can melt ABS or PLA plastic and allows users to draw plastic parts on surfaces or even in three dimensions.
The 3Doodler pen measures 180mm x 24mm and weighs approximately 200 grams. Up to 2ft of 3mm ABS or PLA plastic can be fed into the pen, where the tip heats up to 270°C to melt the plastic. It has two temperature settings and two speed settings that allow it to use either ABS or PLA plastic and feed it through slowly for intricate drawings or faster for filling in areas (like bases for figures and 3D models).
The Kickstarter campaign has a goal of $30,000, but it has blown past that goal with current contributions of $207,734 and 33 days remaining. Needless to say, it has been much more popular than WobbleWorks expected!
The designers have teamed up with a couple of Etsy artists to showcase what the 3Doodler pen is capable of. So far, they have created wire-frame artwork and miniature 3D animal figures. The WobbleWorks team has also created stencils for putting together an Eiffel Tower replica. The Eiffel tower is created by drawing out the various pieces on paper, and then welding them together with more plastic to assemble them into a 3D model. The designers further claim that the pen is capable of drawing in the air, provided you have the patience and steady hand to do so.
As of now, the 3Doodler is expected to launch sometime in October 2013. No word yet on retail availability or price, but if you want a 3D printing pen, you can get in on the Kickstarter for $75 and get a free pen if it launches.
More information is available on the 3Doodler Kickstarter page.