3Doodler, the pen that writes in 3D

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by Veho, Feb 19, 2013.

Feb 19, 2013
  1. Veho
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    Global Moderator Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    Imagine being able to draw on air, being able to lift your drawings from the paper and turning them into real objects. Imagine a magical pen that brings your drawings to life aaaaand enough with the sappy inspirational bullshit, and your drawings would probably be horrible abominations; the ones that aren't stick figures and penis doodles, that is.

    Anyway, there's a "pen" thing that, by extruding plastic instead of ink, lets you draw in 3D. It's on Kickstarter right now. It's called the 3Doodler, and it is to a 3D printer what a regular pen is to a regular printer: it lets you sketch out a rough outline (or wireframe) (or a detailed sketch, or a beautiful drawing, depending on skill level) in the air, in 3D, out of the PLA/ABS plastic used by current fused deposition modelling printers like RepRap and Makerbot.



    You can either draw on paper, "peel" off the lines and have a free-standing plastic doodle (or draw sides of a 3D model, peel them off the paper and stick them together), or draw the whole model in freeform from the ground up. The plastic solidifies really fast and supports itself (more or less; you'll still need scaffolding for the more extravagant designs), so you can pretty much just start drawing and it stays up.

    Some images:
    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    But wait, there's more! Since this is a device that oozes molten plastic, in addition to drawing 3D wangs and signing your name on things in something more impressive than marker, you can also use it to fix stuff, stick stuff to other stuff, and fill cracks, if that's your thing.

    Anyway, like I said, it's on Kickstarter right now. It has reached the funding goal already, but there's still time to back the project and/or order one. $75 will get you a 3Doodler pen and a bag of colored plastic. Or you can just wait for someone else to snatch the idea and come out with a smaller, lighter and cheaper version.

    No word on a launch date yet.

    Kickstarter page
    Website
     


  2. porkiewpyne

    Member porkiewpyne Report-er

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    This reminds me a little bit of this "Puffy" paint thing (I don't know the exact name. Never actually owned any. But when you have wealthy friends who buy weird stuff like those, it does wonders to those art & design intensive group projects) many years back. All I remember is it expands and puffs up considerably when exposed to heat (we used hairdryers). Not as rigid as this so we couldn't make models out of it.
     
  3. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    Looks like a fun toy and prototyping object.

    Maybe if it used a higher-strength plastic or something that could bond stronger materials it could be more useful.
     
  4. Rizsparky

    Member Rizsparky Saiyan Prince

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  5. Devin

    Member Devin "Local Hardware Wizard"

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    What came to my mind was Hot Glue gun with colored glue.
     
  6. Gahars

    Member Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    One art please!
     
  7. Ethevion

    Member Ethevion Wannabe Artist

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    Very cool indeed. I love how quickly the plastic ink dries up.
     
  8. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I am sure I could find room in my "fun for a month but then gathers dust" collection of nice electronics for this, sadly it seems even less use (accuracy and such like) than a makerbot/reprap would be for what I need and I already resisted splurging on those for the same reasons. Equally I usually find the crazy method of "bend a few bits of wire" does the same thing, but I am sure those more fond of gesticulating than I will have a great time.
     
  9. Tom Bombadildo

    Contributor Tom Bombadildo Honk!

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    3 minutes ago - Tom Bombadildo:
    I'm pretty sure the first thing I'd draw with that would prolly be boobs.
    2 minutes ago - Tom Bombadildo:
    Yummy, plastic, wireframe-like boobs
     
  10. SifJar

    Member SifJar Not a pirate

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    Looks pretty cool, although as FAST mentioned, I can see it being a "fun for a month" type thing. (Although for me it would probably be more like a couple of days). For about £50, it'd need to have actual use/long term appeal for me. Maybe if/when there are cheaper clones etc., I might splash out.

    EDIT: If I hadn't missed the $50 one (~£35), I might have been tempted.
     
  11. Brian117

    Member Brian117 GBAtemp Psycho!

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    That is extremely awesome.
     
  12. Veho
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    Global Moderator Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    Little update: the Kickstarter drive has collected over 1 million dollars in pledges, of the 30,000 goal, with 31 days still to go. I'd say the project is well and truly funded. They should be revealing their stretch goals soon, and by "revealing" I mean "coming up with", because I don't think they expected this kind of response.

    "And if we raise 40,000, we'll offer the Doodler in more colors. And if we reach $45,000... oh I dunno, every pledge gets a foot of plastic. Should we think of more?"
    "Don't be silly, we'll never reach $50,000. Tell you what, let's think about that if we get there."

    :ha:

    They could work on making it lighter or smaller or cheaper, or maybe work on a way to switch between plastic colors on the fly, like those multi color pen things.
     
  13. Veho
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    Global Moderator Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    A challenger has arrived:



    [​IMG]


    ...and it looks much better ;O;

    It's smaller, lighter, sleeker, looks way more elegant, and the marketing team has hired better artists to doodle examples for them ;O;


    Warning: Spoilers inside!



    Source.
    Kickstarter
    ($155 will get you the pen.)
     
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  14. porkiewpyne

    Member porkiewpyne Report-er

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    That looks pretty damn awesome. Pity I missed out on the Super Early Bird ones. I would actually get one. But now that the price is double of that, I don't think I will any more. Hopefully this becomes popular enough to be mass manufactured so the cost can be reduced. It would be a wee bit annoying if it tanks and there isn't an official supply of refills.
     
  15. Veho
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    Global Moderator Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    It uses 1.75 mm ABS/PLA plastic filaments used by many 3D printers, refills are widely available and they will be available if this particular project goes bust.
    Spare parts would be a problem though.
     
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  16. Nathan Drake

    Member Nathan Drake Obligations fulfilled, now I depart.

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    I feel like these pens would be a better investment if they didn't just come off as primarily being playthings that would be forgotten about shortly after buying. I can appreciate that the newer one tries to market itself off as being a more professional device, but even then, this doesn't seem all that practical for much of anything. If you're trying to prototype an item, there are much easier ways than painstakingly designing it with a pen like this. If you're designing something, a paper schematic is easier to change than a hunk of plastic you would spend far more time having to mess with. I can't think of any professional task that would actually be made easier by a pen like this being used over the methods being used now.

    It can look sleek and have better marketing, but in the end, it's still more of a toy than anything else.
     
  17. Densetsu

    Former Staff Densetsu Pubic Ninja

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    With drawings like that, I'm surprised the pen wasn't called LXIX :tpi:
     
  18. Gahars

    Member Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    Pfft, whatever. I got a 3Doodler all my own, but you don't see me waving it in the air like some sorta jackass.

    Not since the court order, anyway...
     
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  19. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Whoo bumping.

    Anyway had a go on a 3d printing pen earlier today (apparently the 2.0 variety of this http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/3doodler-20-3d-printing-pen-n03eb ), just with ABS though but it is not like PLA would have been any better.

    I think I would still prefer to keep my spool of wire for 3d "sketching"/showcasing. Uses for this would seemingly be purely on the artistic side of things, maybe in a pinch a 3d demonstration but again some wire and some pliers would be the better bet. With that said I would not mind using one enough to get reasonably good at it.
     
  20. BurningDesire

    Member BurningDesire An aspring gaming Industry news reporter

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    I have a 3D Printer myself by makerbot. They are awesome! A 3D pin though huh. Now that is something to write home about!
     

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