Posted by Allison Boyer

3doodler inventors

The 3Doodler is the first 3D printing pen in the world, making 3D printing affordable from the comfort of your own home for the first time.

3D printing technology has possible applications in just about every industry, from fashion to healthcare to automotive. But what if you could, in an affordable way, print your 3D creations from the comfort of your own home, much like we can print text documents or images now?

The first step in making personal at-home 3D printing affordable for consumers is here: 3Doodler, a cool new 3D printing pen from WobbleWorks.

As opposed to other 3D printing machines that are currently available, like the $2,000-priced MakerBot Replicator, the 3Doodler will be available for just $75. You aren’t going to get the precise, complex results with this pen that you would with a high-priced printer or a service like Shapeways, but the 3Doodler is just downright cool. Check it out in action:

The masterminds behind 3Doodler are Peter Dilworth and Max Bogue, who previously worked primarily on robotics projects, such as Butch the Dino. The project launched on Kickstarter with a goal of $30,000, which was reached quickly. The 3Doodler went on to raise over $2.4 million from over 26,000 backers, including 1053 who donated the minimum $1 amount just to be a part of the project, even though a pledge of $50 – $75 is required to receive a pen.

The 3Doodler uses 3mm ABS or PLA plastic as “ink” and although 1kg spools cost $30 to $55, a little plastic goes a long way with this pen. You can expect to get about 11 feet of doodling out of just 1 foot of plastic. You can also buy smaller $5.99 bags of plastic directly from the company, which is great if you want to try out lots of different colors. Right now, there’s only one pen tip available, but WobbleWorks plans to introduce more sizes in the future. Worried about wasting plastic while you get the hang of it? Don’t lose too much sleep over it; the pen has a slow speed for beginners and more complex doodles and any plastic is recyclable anywhere that takes number 7 plastic.

The possibilities with 3Doodler are limited only by your creativity. You can trace designs and pick them up right off the paper, create designs out of thin air, or even use the pen to fix broken plastic items, sort of like welding.

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Allison Boyer is the Online Education Coordinator for NMX University, where you can learn more about blogging, podcasting, web TV, and social business. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister.