3Doodler: 3D printing with a pen

Just as we were all starting to get used to the idea of 3D printing, here comes the 3Doodler -- a pen that lets you draw with plastic.

The latest episode of Diary of an Internet Phenom involves a Boston-based company, Kickstarter, and a new invention the whole family can enjoy.

WobbleWorks, a Boston-area toy company that needed funding, went onto Kickstarter at the beginning of this week with a total goal of raising $30,000. As of last evening, people had pledged $900,000 and counting. What could be that compelling? How about a two foot, plastic Eiffel Tower drawn with what's called "3Doodler," a new pen that's a 3D printer.

3Doodler Intro Video

 

Imagine a magic marker with an electric cord. Press the button and out comes, not ink, but a thin stream of melted plastic that solidifies. Ever see people build little models with toothpicks? It's like that, but no toothpicks, instead you doodle it free-hand in plastic.

"The same way that you use a pen, you can use a 3Doodler, except that when you lift the 3Doodler off the paper, the pen keeps spilling out ink, so you can write in the air," says Max Bogue, co-founder of the company that invented the 3Doodler.

The 3Doodler uses biodegradable plastic as ink, which instantly cools and hardens as you draw. That may sound neat, but Bogue thinks the real advantage of the 3Doodler is its simplicity.

"There is no software, there is nothing to learn, all you have to do is just draw with it," says Bogue.

About the author

David Brancaccio is the host of Marketplace Morning Report. Follow David on Twitter @DavidBrancaccio

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