3D printing has been building significant buzz lately. Makerbot recently released a commercially available printer that is affordable enough for most, but it requires a fair amount of computer expertise, not to mention the computer itself.
Using thin strips of plastic that it melts and extrudes through the tip, the 3Doodler can be used for the arts and for slightly handier work. It's still in the funding stage on Kickstarter, but it's already passed its $30,000 goal by 435 percent. This thing will be hitting stores before you know it, so read on to find out more about this amazing new innovation.
1. There Are Tons of Uses
The 3Doodler can trace or draw on templates, freehand or in the air, but that's just the start of it. It can also be used to weld plastics, customize phone cases or sketch prototypes, among other things. It's not even available to the public yet, so new uses will no doubt be cropping up as more people start to mess around with it.
2. It's Not a Toy
The creators of the 3Doodler want to make very clear that it's not meant for anyone under 12 years old — the tip of the device melts the plastic as it comes out, and it can get to temperatures of 518°F. The plastic itself is warm when it exits the device, but it's cool enough to touch.
3. It's (Kind Of) Eco-Friendly
There are two kinds of plastic available for use with the 3Doodler. The device can use 3mm ABS or PLA plastic, and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. PLA is biodegradable, making it an easy choice for those Doodlers with a bent for environmental consciousness. ABS is not biodegradable, but it comes with its own advantages inherent to the printing process.
4. No Know-How is Required
The 3Doodler doesn't require any technical knowledge to use it. You don't even need a computer to get going — just load in the plastic, heat it up and start doodling! This feature makes it an easy sell for people who don't want to invest a huge sum of time and money into getting a full-scale 3D printer and learning the necessary coding skills.
5. It's Fast
The 3Doodler heats up in one to two minutes, and after that it's ready to draw. Since everything created with the device is made in real time, it's many times faster than conventional 3D printers. It will certainly be cheaper than, say, a Makerbot Replicator, so it's just a matter of time before public interest takes hold and the 3Doodler is a mainstay in the toolbox of many an artist.