Full disclosure (and maybe some bragging rights): I know the guy who came up with the 3Doodler. I even saw the 3Doodler in its prototype state in the fall of 2012. I first met Pete Dilworth, half of the brains behind Wobbleworks, at an electronic music show back in 2010. And it wasn’t Pete that drew my attention — it was his robot dinosaur, Butch. Butch is a triceratops about the size of a small dog, except it won’t take a crap on your floor. Pete and Butch were kind enough to attend an event I hosted last fall to promote my blog, Could This Happen (see photos of Pete and Butch here), where they both garnered legions of fans. In preparation for that event I visited Pete’s workspace just a few blocks from my house at a fantastic place called Artisan’s Asylum, where folks from the Boston area can build, 3-D print, hack, and program just about anything, and there I got my first glimpse of the 3Doodler, the world’s first 3-D printing pen. Since then, the 3Doodler has taken the world by storm. In a successful Kickstarter campaign, it eclipsed its $30,000 goal with pledges totaling over $2 million. Pete and his partner Max also got to show off the 3Doodler at the recent CES conference where they announced that the 3Doodler has gone into production and will be ready to ship in March.
This is the ultimate artist’s toy, allowing users to draw in the air or on any surface they want. You plug in the 3Doodler and it heats up the ABS plastic (available in an array of colors, of course) inside, which is what comes out when you draw. The plastic cools and solidifies quickly into whatever design or structure you’ve drawn.
Sellers on Etsy have used the 3Doodler to create art and jewelry. You can print out and use stencils to create more architectural works. And at CES Wobbleworks announced that it will also be making three new accessories for the pen: the DoodleStand, the 3Doodler Nozzle Set, and DoodleBlocks. DoodleBlocks are fillable molds for the pen, taking stencils to the next level. The stand is a holder for the pen and also helps with stability when using it. The additional nozzles will provide a variety of widths for the lines drawn, especially for larger ribbons and structure. The art one can make with a 3Doodler is limited only by imagination, as evidenced by this gallery of 3Doodles of the week.
Wobbleworks is currently filling its myriad Kickstarter orders, but if you didn’t get in on the ground floor, you can still pre-order your 3Doodler for March, shipping for $99. Me, I think I’ll take a little walk and see if I can get Butch to draw something.