When you watch the video of the 3Doodler in action, it looks like a camera trick, but the 3D printing pen is a real thing and is quickly gaining backers on Kickstarter. The device uses 3mm ABS or PLA (corn-based) plastic wire that is heated and cooled as it’s fed through the pen, allowing the user to “write” with the soft, melty plastic that quickly hardens into 3D shapes.
There are three basic ways you can use the 3Doodler. You can draw or trace flat shapes on a surface such as paper and then peel it off, build 3D wireframe-type shapes or models, or add some flair to an existing item such as your phone case. The guys behind the project also note that you could use it to patch or repair plastic items, too.
To be clear, the 3Doodler is more of a toy than a tool. It’s not for young kids, either, as the tip of the pen gets as hot as 270 degrees Celsius. However, it does look like a dream for crafters (get ready for entire Pinterest boards dedicated to 3Doodler art and projects), and this clever innovation bodes well for the 3D printing industry as a whole, which is new and growing.
The folks behind the 3Doodler, WobbleWorks LLC, were hoping for $30,000 in funding, but they surpassed that amount within hours of launching the project on Kickstarter. (As of this moment, 3Doodler has 961 backers and $84,301 pledged.) If all goes well--and it appears that things are--the 3Doodler should ship this August.