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3D Printing: The pen that can draw a solid Eiffel Tower


If there was any doubt as to whether people would want a pen that can draw in 3D, the inventors behind the 3Doodler have dispelled it. Just two days after setting up a Kickstarter account to crowdsource $30,000 of funding to launch their mind-boggling new toy, the team had hit an incredible total of $1.1m, with thousands of backers pledging money in exchange for the opportunity to get their hands on the first pens off the production line.

A bit like a cross between a 3D printer and a glue gun, the pen releases hot plastic, like ink, which “freezes” almost instantly, meaning you can draw up and off the page. When it becomes available to consumers early next year, it could retail for as little as $75. “The beauty of it is that it’s so simple,” says Max Bogue, co-founder of WobbleWorks, the toy and robotics company behind the pen. “If you plan out your doodle beforehand, you can really do anything.”

Architects and professionals who use existing 3D printers could find the 3Doodler a useful tool to embellish prototypes by hand. The crafting world, particularly fans of wire art, will certainly be pricking up their ears; the website already boasts a gallery of 3D “sketches” of everything from dragonflies to a miniature Eiffel Tower. As for the first thing Bogue drew when he picked up the pen, it should be obvious: a cube.