3D printer pen lets you draw real objects

Here at Digital Arts we're as obsessed with good old-fashioned drawing as we are with groundbreaking tech like 3D printing – so when a project comes along that combines the two, we get very excited.

The 3Doodler is a pen that uses ABS or PLA plastics – as used by 3D printers such as the Makerbot – as ink, so you can draw real-world objects onto surfaces or right into the air.

As with a conventional 3Dprinter, the pen heats the plastic until it becomes liquid – allowing you to draw out shapes as in the video above. The liquid plastic cools, becoming a solid object with more stength than you'd expect.

While creators Wobbleworks say ABS cools quickly, it's not instant – so using the 3Doodler is likely to be more like using a glue gun than fast freehand brushwork (the video above is clearly sped up so you don't get bored watching it).

The video shows two main ways of working with the pen: either freehand in the air (as was used to create the ostrich below), or onto a surface using a stencil (for the Eiffel Tower below)

The 3Doodler is currently a Kickstarter project, but the creators have working prototype – and at time of writing are $13,000 past their $30,000 funding goal with 33 days to go.

The 3Doodler pen should be around 180 x 24mm and should weigh less than 200g (exact specs will depend on the final design).

We can't wait to try one out.

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