Toy company WobbleWorks has launched a Kickstarter campaign today to try to fund the world’s first 3D printing pen, which will allow owners to draw objects that can then be picked up or sculpted into new three-dimensional objects.
At its most basic level, the ‘3Doodler’ can be used to trace or draw a 2D object and then lift it off the page. This could be a word, or the outline of a random drawing. What’s interesting is that it can hold its shape, allowing you to pick it up and use it elsewhere.
It’s an enjoyable way of creating durable art, but the pen gets really interesting when you realize that you can lift it off the page at anytime and keep drawing. So after creating a simple square on a piece of paper, it’s then possible to draw upwards, creating a cube. Or if you’ve doodled a flat 2D reindeer, you can take it off the page and add the equivalent of a wire frame around it to turn it into a 3D model.
Wobbleworks has shown off a number of interesting use-cases for the tool, including 3D springs (that actually have some resistance and spring back), as well as a series of dragonflies that look like they’ve been taken straight out of a museum display cabinet.
It says most of these projects can be completed in just under a few minutes, although a final demonstration in the company’s Kickstarter video shows a scaled-down model of the Eiffel Tower, which looks incredible and took roughly 45 minutes.
The 3Doodler, which uses ABS or PLA plastics as its “ink”, can only be used while it’s plugged into a power socket, and looks sort of like a small power tool at the moment. However, given that the pen will be aimed not just at creative types but families too, the company is showing concept art for a much smaller and friendlier dispenser.
WobbleWorks says the pen has been in development for a year already, with early prototypes hitting production this month. Provided the company hit its funding goal of $30,000, the first 3Doodlers will be shipped this September.
Early backers wil be able to pick up the 3Doodler from $50. However, the team has also partnered with Etsy artists to supply limited edition ‘3Doodles’, as well as templates and stencils to help users create interesting objects from the get-go.
Kickstarter, meanwhile, has already established itself as the go-to online crowdfunding platform. After successfully funding the Pebble smartwatch and Ouya video game console, it launched a new iOS app yesterday to help backers and creators keep track of new projects.