World's first 3D printing pen revealed

Emerging toy and robotics company WobbleWorks has just announced 3Doodler - a handheld 3D printer that's as simple as a pen to use

WobbleWorks says the 3Doodler is "a brand new way of creating 3D objects and will be the most affordable 3D printing device on the market," with products available to early investors for just $50 via Kickstarter.

The launch of the 3Doodler is great news for designers and creatives who can normally expect to spend around $2,199 for a MakerBot Replicator 2 desktop 3D printer or many, many times that for a fully pro version.

3Doodle showing model Eiffel Tower and ostrich

3Doodle showing model Eiffel Tower and ostrich

3D prints for everyone

Clearly a $50 device is never going to compete with proper 3D printer, but the 3Doodler uses the same kind of ABS or PLA plastic, and enables you quickly create 3D objects on any surface. It also taps into - and democratises - the whole 3D printing process, making it easy and affordable for anyone to do:

"Everyone knows how to use a pen, so we designed a 3D printing pen! If you can scribble, trace or wave a finger in the air you can use a 3Doodler," Maxwell Bogue, co-founder and chief technology officer of WobbleWorks says.

3Doodler ideas

3Doodler ideas

How it works

The 3Doodler works in a similar ways to a hot glue gun: "As you draw, plastic comes out of the pen, cooled by an integrated fan, and solidifies right in front of you," Bogue says.

However WobbleWorks is keen to stress that the 3Doodler is not a children's toy: Although the plastic that comes out of the end of the pen is cool, its nib can reach temperatures of up to 270-degrees centigrade. WobbleWorks is also planning to introduce a series of How To videos to show how the 3Doodler can be used creatively - and safely.

Possibly the worst thing about the 3Doodler though is the wait you'll have to endure to get your hands on one. WobbleWorks hopes to launch the pen in September 2013, but is asking for people to place their preorders now on its Kickstarter project page.

Etsy 3Doodles

WobbleWorks has also teamed up with Etsy artists to help raise the $30,000 it needs for its 3Doodler project. "We're working with some fantastic Etsy artists to provide limited edition 3Doodles as well as templates and stencils to help others create their ideas, designs and doodles," WobbleWorks co-founder and CEO Peter Dilworth says.

To find out more about the project or see the 3Doodler in action, check out the YouTube video below: