Amazing 3D-Printing Pen Lets You Draw Sculptures

February 19, 2013 | Andy Cush

Though the potential consumer and commercial applications for 3D-Printing get wider every day, its high cost and high-tech wonkiness has prohibited it from becoming a household item. The 3Doodler, a handheld 3D-printing device that’s currently funding on Kickstarter, may change all that.

“Everyone knows how to use a pen,” says Peter Dilworth, one of 3Doodler’s creators, in the above demonstration video. “So we designed a 3D-printing pen. If you can scribble, trace, or wave a finger in the air, you can use a 3Doodler to create simple or complex objects.”

Much like a traditional 3D-printer, the 3Doodler uses heated plastic “ink,” which is cooled as it leaves the device so that it instantly solidifies. What results is a unique, freehand form of printing that will allow for a level of artistic improvisation that’s not possible with MakerBot-style model.

The device’s creators launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its production earlier this week, and already they’ve nearly doubled their $30,000 goal.