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$6,394 pledged of $20,000 goal
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$6,394 pledged of $20,000 goal
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About this project

3DFormer™: Drawing 3D Models Instantaneously in Air

3DFormer™ works like a pen. It is invented for everyone who enjoys making and designing 3D models. We made this simpler than ever by implementing the state-of-the art 3D printing technology into a pen. 

3DFormer™ Features:

  • No fan noise - using a patent pending natural convection heatsink cooling (CPU cooling method), there is no cooling fan in the pen;
  • No button on the top - speed control and Forward extrusion button on the sides to accommodate both left- and right-handed persons;
  • No painful gripping - hexagonal cylindrical designs offer less stress for gripping and operation;
  • 1.75mm 3D Printer ABS Compatible -  you may feed the filament from a standard 2.2lb spool, or use a stick, or a small spool;
  • Continuous Feeding - you may feed another continuously when you use up the current one;
  • Non-stop of use up to 4 hours, 2.5hours minimum - our stress tests and field trials guarantee the reliability for classrooms;
  • No filaments clogging - our technology and engineering simply rocks

A 3DFormer better than 1.0 & 2.0 3D pens 

3DFormer vs. Major Competition Gen 1 3D Pen
3DFormer vs. Major Competition Gen 1 3D Pen
3DFormer vs. Major Competition Gen 2 3D Pen
3DFormer vs. Major Competition Gen 2 3D Pen

Tracing your imagination in the air, 3DFormer™ draws smooth lines with colorful plastic filaments which stand still instantaneously following your movement. 

3DFormer in Action - drawing in the air
3DFormer in Action - drawing in the air

Design & Make Instantly

We transferred the complex 3D modeling and state-of-the art 3D printing into an easy approach that you can start making 3D objects like using state-of-the art 3D printers in less than ONE minute. 

Invent Instantly

3DFormer is for all makers and all skill sets. Just like the amazing 3D printed cars, 3D printed toys, 3D printed electronics, etc., using 3DFormer together with other electronic or mechanical components, the inventions are instantly happening out of your imagination with a new look!

Surprise Friends with Artworks  

Rush to get your beloved or friends a big surprise for Valentine’s day or Christmas? No worries. We have the patent pending paper 3D pop-up templates for you. Simply tracing the 3D Pop-up following the guidance, a well made artwork will be ready in minutes. Making your first artwork becomes easier than ever using the 3DFormer.

Proto & Visual Your Dreaming Designs

Design and making things could be boring and frustrating when going through a long cycle without having the physical prototypes. Using 3DFormer, your dreaming design concepts could be visualized immediately.

Goodbye Scissors, Glue & Papers

Developing crafts using scissors, glue & papers adds extra complexity. With 3DFormer, you may draw the objects in the air while keeping your creative thinking going on simultaneously. 

ARTS & STEM Education   

3DFormer was developed for arts and STEM education projects. Kids may design and build artworks, and develop geometrical, engineering, and astronomical models for learning. 3DFormer may help kids to be more creative than ever.

We’re really excited to see what you come up with using 3DFormer! We've been working on 3DFormer for 18 months now, and we can't wait to take it full production! We want to make 3DFormer affordable to everyone without paying $100.00+ and make it last long enough for classroom and daily practices, so we need to setup our production line at a large scale and drive the cost down for the retail market. 

Furthermore, we are trying to engage educators and artists to work as a team to empower the 3D printing influences. The traditional education approach is facing all kinds of challenges in this fast changing world. We may utilize the new technology and products to help our kids be more creative and innovative. We are looking for your expertise, your engagement as well as your advice. 

We, the inspiring young generations and the 3DFormer team, need your help and engagement to make it happen - this brings us to the Kickstarter. With your help, we would be able to build the mass production line and set the educational programs in motion.

Two Months to Expect 3DFormer in Hand

After a few iterations of testing and developments, we are now ready to get into products commercialization. The first batch of 3DFormer™ out of our production line will be shipped out to our backers as early as April 30th.

The Birth Timeline of 3DFormer
The Birth Timeline of 3DFormer

3DFormer(tm) in Technical Details

I.Handheld 3D printer as a Pen

The idea of a handheld 3D pen is originated from plastic extrusion welding guns [1][2]. While the conventional desktop 3D printing practice requires CAD software, CAD Modeling skills, and power computers besides a 3D printer, it is very difficult for the young generations to get involved with 3D printing innovations. We, a team of veteran engineers specialized in 3D printing technology, thermal management and electrical engineering, have devoted 15 months to research, design, prototype, test, tune, and manufacture the hand-held 3D printing device - 3DFormer™. 

Reference:

[1].http://www.twi-global.com/technical-knowledge/job-knowledge/extrusion-welding-of-thermoplastics-057/

[2]. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4156

II.Key Features Make 3DFormer™ Better Than Better

3DFormer™ has three key features: 1) on-the-fly ultra-wide flow speed control (continuous variable speed control) for easy control of solidification process of the thermoplastic filaments while drawing, 2) ergonomic design for easy gripping and precision in movement in the air and 3) advanced cooling technologies to prevent clogging and assure quick heat dissipation.

1): Ultra-wide flow speed control on-the-fly

  • The slide bar enables the on-the-fly extrusion speed adjustment
  • Max flow rate: 20.0 mm/second – at this flow rate, the extruded filament volume allows you to deposit multilayer plastics on a two dimensional surface for layered structures and increased strength
  • Min flow rate: 0.5mm/second – at this flow rate, the extruded filament solidifies instantaneously

2): Ergonomic design for precision in movements

  • Hexagon cylindrical shaped body  increases the grip span and comfort
  • Balanced gravity center with attached filament considered for precise movement and easy gripping
  • 27mm grip width ( large gripping area) reduces gripping pressure and minimizes  muscle stress and fatigue
  • Separated buttons for speed and operation control  fits both left- and right-handed users

"If you increase the area, you will decrease the pressure," says Doreen Stiskal, a professor of kinesiology at Seton Hall University who researches grip. “It's a basic principle of physics: pressure equals force divided by surface area.”[3]

[3]: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2002-11-28/features/0211280067_1_ballpoint-pens-dr-grip

3): Patent-pending Cooling Technologies & 3D pop-up templates

a) Advanced Cooling Technologies for clogging avoidance (patent pending)

The challenge in the 3D printing nozzle design is to maintain a high temperature to melt the ABS/PLA filament for extrusion while keeping temperature in filament feeding chamber low enough to avoid swelling in filaments. For a hand-operated 3D printing device, the form factor of the nozzle makes the challenge even bigger than that for the desktop 3D printers. On the other hand, to prevent injury from overheated nozzle we must keep outer shell temperature at 50 degree Celsius or lower.

Led by engineers and technology experts in electronics and 3D printing, the 3DFormer team implements the state-of-the-art cooling tech found in the enterprise electronic systems for CPU cooling. The localized natural convection cooling method keeps the right temperature for extrusion, jamming avoidance, and heating injury protection.

b) 3D paper support pop-up to get you started (patent pending)

Drawing in the air could be frustrating as the control of the filaments may be difficult lack of the support in the air. 3DFormer team has been working with this pop-up alike paper 3D support structure to help you get started. With a 3D paper support, you will be able to trace the outlines or profiles of the support and start making well designed artworks.

Competition Comparison

Competition is always a driving force to motivate us to make our products better. Here is a glance of the 3DFormer vs. major competitors (please be noted that some of the products may not be available in the market yet and the information may not be 100% accurate.)

Competition at a glance
Competition at a glance

The Game-changing Team

We started to develop the 3DFormer since 2013. The team together brings in 15+ years of 3D printing technology, 3D printing products, and 3D printing application experiences. Inspired by their young kids and students the team working with, we come up the most robust handheld 3D pen for classroom and family fun. 

3DFormer Development Team

The core 3DFormer team members include Dr. Xin Wu, who is a well-known technologist in electronics industry and was among the first to adopt state-of-the art 3D printing technologies in enterprise electronic products development; Mr. Bin Hu, an entrepreneurial business owner and a materialist who earned his M.S. from University of Michigan; Mr. Kevin Liu, one of the brightest 3D printing engineers in the industry who did his master research work in 3D printing technologies at a National Key Research Lab in 3D printing and developed the renowned FreeSculpt Druker Ex-1 FDM 3D printer; and, Mr. Jonathan Rounds, who contributed a lot of excellent ideas from human ergonomics perspective. Our manufacturing team members with our contract manufacturer bring their 30+ years of electro-mechanical products production experiences in mold designs, injection molding, quality assurance, and assembly.

Martha Slark, M.S., Independent Art Director 

Martha is a pioneering educator in bringing 3D printing technologies to the classroom. Martha is a well-recognized art teacher at Denton High School in Texas. Martha is the first teacher who brings the 3D printing pen for art education in the U.S.A. She is well recognized as a 3D printing educator.

Follow us on FACEBOOK | Twitter | 3DFormer

Acknowledgement

All the video clips and artworks are developed by the students at Denton High School, our education partner through their arts education practices in classroom. Thank you very much for your contributions, and your creativity. The 3DFormer team is inspired to make things happen and make products better!

The 3DFormer Team also wants to thanks all their family members, friends, co-workers, and helpers. Without your support, we've never been able to make the concept this far. 

Risks and challenges

We’ve been working diligently on the design and perfection of 3DFormer, and now we are ready to gear up the manufacturing process. We've been able to run the pilot production. This is where we need your help.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Big helper:

    Even just $1, it brings 3DFormer one step closer to the classrooms and inspired talents.

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    High-fiver: give us a high-five for our efforts in technology innovation and education

    Your name will be listed as our high-fivers on our website.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Pop-up Surprise:
    A Patent Pending 3D printing paper pop-up for 3DFormer designed by one of the well-known paper craft artist partners

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Diehard Supporter:
    A 3DFormer 3D pen with ABS filaments samples in a package from our first day of full production; retail price $69.99

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Early Bird:
    A 3DFormer 3D pen with ABS samples in a delicate retail package; retail price $69.99

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    Single Former:
    One 3DFormer 3D pen in a delicate retail package; (Retail: $69.99)
    3X multicolor ABS filament retail packages (Retail: $30.00)

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    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    3DFormer Family:
    2X 3DFormer 3D pens in a delicate retail package, one for yourself and one for your beloved; (Retail: $139.98)
    6X multicolor ABS filament retail packages (Retail: $60.00)

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    STEM Education Starter:
    For school/non-profit:
    5X 3DFormer 3D pens in a delicate retail package; (Retail: $350)
    3X multicolor ABS filament 1Kg spools(Retail: $90.00)
    A Plaque of appreciation of the backer($25)

    For backer:
    1X 3DFormer 3D Pen in retail package (Retail:$69.99)
    3X 3DFormer multicolor ABS filament in retail package (Retail:$30.00)
    Your school pick & a certificate

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    STEM Education Lab:
    For school/non-profit:
    10X 3DFormer 3D pens in a delicate retail package; (Retail: $700)
    5X multicolor filament 1Kg spools(Retail: $150.00)
    A Plaque of appreciation of the backer($25)

    For backer:
    1X 3DFormer 3D Pen in a delicate retail package (Retail:$69.99)
    3X 3DFormer multicolor ABS filament retail packages(Retail:$30.00)
    Your school pick & a certificate

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    Pledge $1,100 or more About $1,100

    STEM Education Center:
    For school/non-profit:
    20X 3DFormer 3D pens in a delicate retail package; (Retail: $1400)
    10X multicolor ABS filament 1Kg spools(Retail: $300.00)
    A Plaque of appreciation of the backer($25)

    For backer:
    1X 3DFormer 3D Pen in a delicate retail package (Retail:$69.99)
    3X 3DFormer multicolor ABS filament retail bags (Retail:$30.00)
    A Plaque of appreciation of the backer($25)
    Your school pick

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    EDU Program Ambassador:
    Be one of our partners! As our EDU program board committee member , you are going to help us define, observe, and implement the EDU program. As a committee member, you will enjoy the influences that you bring in to our program, schools, and most importantly, the future designers.

    Awards:
    5X 3DFormer Pens & multi-color ABS filaments retail bags
    A Plaque of appreciation
    A Certificate of Committee Member
    Annual board member meeting (priceless)
    2-year committee seats(priceless)
    Certified distinguished lecturer of 3DFormer(priceless)

    Enjoy the changes that we work together.

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Funding period

- (31 days)