About this project
What is it?
Have you ever just wished you could lift your pen off the paper and see your drawing become a real three dimensional object? Well now you can!
3Doodler is the world’s first and only 3D Printing Pen. Using ABS plastic (the material used by many 3D printers), 3Doodler draws in the air or on surfaces. It’s compact and easy to use, and requires no software or computers. You just plug it into a power socket and can start drawing anything within minutes.
Oh, and it’s also the most affordable way to 3D print… by a looong way! With 3Doodler we’re making fun 3D creation accessible to everyone.
How does it work?
If you can scribble, trace or wave a finger in the air you can use a 3Doodler.
As 3Doodler draws, it extrudes heated plastic, which quickly cools and solidifies into a strong stable structure. This allows you to build an infinite variety of shapes and items with ease! Most people will instantly be able to trace objects on paper, and after only a few hours of practice you will be able to make far more intricate objects.
3Doodler is a brand new way of creating objects and artistic works. Whether you are an artist, hobbyist or 3D printing fanatic, we can’t wait to see what you 3Doodle!
What can I make with 3Doodler?
There are many ways 3Doodler can be used. 3Doodles can be created as flat forms and peeled off a piece of paper, as freestyle 3D objects, or in separate parts, ready to be joined together using the 3Doodler. The creative opportunities are endless, including:
- Basic 3D shapes and 3D models
- Jewellery, pendants and hanging ornaments
- Decorative art and fridge magnets
- Personalization of everyday objects (iPhone cases, laptops, pens, etc.)
- A mini Eiffel Tower or a soccer pitch for your Lego men
- And much much more…
3Doodler works on almost any surface, including plastic, allowing users to personalize items such as iPhone cases, or anything else they feel like 3Doodling on. 3Doodler can even be used for minor repair work.
We’re particularly excited about 3Doodler "stencils" - sophisticated print-out stencil kits to help you create awesome objects (like our Eiffel Tower). We'll be making these available online for everyone. Simply print it out, 3Doodle each part according to the stencil and then join them with your 3Doodler. As time goes by we, and the 3Doodler community, will be able to create hundreds (maybe thousands) of stencil kits that can easily be emailed and shared with friends. We’ll be hosting these on our website, the3Doodler.com, for anyone to download and use for free.
We’re looking forward to seeing what people create and supporting 3Doodler communities everywhere.
The Sellers of Etsy Special
We're collaborating with some fantastic sellers on Etsy, all wire artists, to showcase how 3Doodler can be used to create beautiful objects and pieces of art. We're thrilled to be working with Bud Bullivant, Ruth Jensen (Sparkflight), Nakisha and Ele McKay to bring our vision to life.
Bud and Ruth will be creating a limited edition run of the first professional 3Doodles (see the Seller on Etsy Special Reward above). The ideas are already flowing, and we'll be working together to bring you a truly unique 3Doodle creation from these top artists. The expected size of the 3Doodle is approximately 4 x 2 inches. It will be beautifully boxed and shipped by August.
Nakisha will be producing an exclusive template for anyone ordering a 3Doodler. Created especially for you, the template will showcase 3Doodler's capabilities and allow you to make your very own artist-designed 3Doodles. And we'll be announcing a special collaboration with Ele shortly.
More to come on all of this in an Update! Bud, Ruth, Nakisha, Ele, we're truly grateful for your support!
3Doodler Components & Accessories:
The pen: The 3Doodler pen is 180mm by 24mm. The pen weighs less than 200 grams or 7 ounces (the weight of a typical apple), although the exact weight will depend on the final shell specifications once in production. And we are using a universal power supply, so provided you have the correct adapter for your country, 3Doodler will work just fine on 110v or 240v.
3Doodler is not a toy for children (it's recommended for ages 12+). While the plastic extruded from 3Doodler is safe to touch once it has left the pen, the pen itself has a metal tip that can get as hot as 270C. There is no reason for any user to touch the tip while in use, but safety comes first, and we are creating a video series that will explain how to use the 3Doodler, covering off the different techniques and safety precautions necessary.
The Ink (i.e. ABS/PLA plastic): The 3Doodler uses 3mm ABS or PLA plastic as its "ink" - just like a 3D printer. Each 3Doodler backed on Kickstarter comes with at least one bag of plastic; each bag will contain ten 1ft strands of plastic; and each 1 ft strand produces approximately 11 ft of 3Doodling fun... yes, you read that right, a foot of plastic goes a very long way in the 3Doodler.
ABS is one of the most common plastics around. It's used in most of the plastic stuff around you. PLA is what we call a "bioplastic". It's made from corn, is biodegradable and has a lower melting temperature than ABS. We are offering both choices as each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
We plan to offer plastic sold in strands (making it easy to switch colours and create different styles), but 3Doodler-compatible plastic is also available in 1kg spools from between $30 to $55 from a variety of sources... such as here, here, here, here, and here. And for some stunning PLA have a look here. This is no ink cartridge model!
Fun Fact: The average 1kg spool of 3mm ABS contains approximately 360-370 feet of plastic. That's approximately 3,960-4,070 feet of 3Doodling, or 3 Empire State Buildings with enough to spare for several more weeks of doodling.
The Future of 3Doodling: We have a ton of ideas for add-ons and accessories that will make 3Doodler even cooler, more useful, fun, and generally awesomer (is that a word?). We hope that the 3Doodler will be a big success so that we can share all our ideas and offer you even more 3Doodling fun...
We have a lot we want to tell you about 3Doodler, so we’ve created an extensive FAQ to answer all of your questions. And we’re on standby to respond to any other queries you may have!
*The 3Doodler was created at the Artisans Asylum in Boston. The whole team would like to thank the Artisans Asylum for their help and support. Without hacker-spaces like this, projects such as 3Doodler could not happen. Read more about then Artisans Asylum at http://artisansasylum.com.
*Video music: Instrumental Folk-Pop - I Can't - by Kaila Picard & Mark Zubec
Risks and challenges
We've been working on 3Doodler for almost a year and had initially intended to launch in December 2012. We held back so that we could ensure the prototype worked perfectly (check out the video, it does!) and so that we could speak to more factories (and make related visits to Hong Kong and China). Comfortable that we can deliver this, we’re now launching 3Doodler!
Below are a couple of the main challenges we will tackle:
Choice of Factory: As with any physical item there are a number of challenges to getting it right. We have been part of numerous projects that have made it through development, into the factory production phase, and then into consumer hands. While our experiences have helped prepare us to avoid major pitfalls, we have been very selective in our choice of factory, choosing a partner that we know we can work with and that is perfect for our needs. They are large enough to scale 3Doodler, but without being so big that we'll be lost amidst the shop floor, and they have a great development team. We also intend to spend a large amount of time in person at the factory.
Quality Control: Good QC is a major focus of ours. The quantity of orders on Kickstarter will help determine how we handle this. If we receive orders for under 1000 units, we will hand test each and every 3Doodler ourselves at 3Doodler HQ in Boston. If we received over 1000 orders we will carry out all QC in situ at the factory, with the assistance of dedicated QC personnel, and with relayed video footage of each 3Doodler going through testing.
This is about getting the best possible 3Doodler into your hands ASAP. So please go back to the top of the page and pledge now.
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