3D printers are great for making physical representations of our ideas, but the system is not as simple as asking for something and getting it. There are several design and modeling steps that separate asking and getting with 3D printing using a conventional machine, but now products like the Lix and 3Doodler are surfacing in the market, and 3D printing can finally be as easy as drawing on a page – only now without the page.
Though our arms are not near as accurate as an axial 3D printer head, this tool allows users to creatively 3D print without the constraints imposed by a conventional machine. These pens can print in ABS plastic filaments, which are the same materials used in many full-scale printers. The filaments are inserted prior to use and pushed during use into the pens heated head. The material then dries shortly after breaking contact with the head and remains suspended as the user sees fit. Creativity and ideas are what push us into a technological future, and amazing tools like this make it ever easier to generate and share them with the world.