3D pen wows Kickstarter with nearly $2 million in pledges.
If drawing perspective has never been your strong point, a plastic extruding pen called the 3D Doodler lets artists draw in three dimensions. The innovative pen has taken crowd funding site Kickstarter.com by storm, racking up more than 20,000 backers and approximately $1.8 million in funding.
The 3D Doodler works similar to a cross between a glue gun and an FDM rapid prototyper. A 3mm ABS or PLA plastic filament — fed through the tail of the pen — is heated 270C by an extruder at its tip when a button along its length is depressed. This allows the plastic to not only be deposited in straight or curved lines on a flat surface but also straight up. The plastic cools quickly enough that the z-axis strands support their own weight without drooping before solidifying. By progressively intertwining lines, vertices and supports, complex and elaborate 3D figures develop that look, unsurprisingly, hand-drawn.
The brain child of Boston-based Wobbleworks, LLC and its two former toy-industry inventors, Maxwell Bogue and Peter Dilworth, 3D Doodler is currently in pre-order on Kickstarter. The company is presently looking for a factory in China or Hong Kong to handle production.