Is 3D Pen a Novelty or an Innovation?
We came across the 3Doodler 3D Pen on CNN and after clicking over to its Kickstarter page, we have a question for you. Is this 3D Pen a novelty (a flash in the pan that is temporarily catching people’s imagination) or an innovation, likely to persist in the arts and craft world as something that adds value to that universe?
The 3D pen works by heating and extruding plastic and then quickly cooling it as it passes through the pen, thus enabling you to either draw in two dimensions and then lift what you’ve drawn off the paper or other surface as a new plastic creation, or to also draw vertically as well to make cubes, pyramids, animals or other 3D objects (including their 3D Eiffel Tower model shown here).
The device is definitely fun and novel and you can see that it has captured people’s imagination by raising $1.8 million instead of the $30,000 they set out to raise. But the key question for us is about its staying power. Will people use it for a while and then get bored and stop using them? (resulting in sales of the 3D pen dwindling over time after an initial burst)
Or will it retain its place as a curiosity and a popular arts and craft purchase for personal use or gifts?
What effect will falling 3D printer prices have on its sales?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments and if you’d like to see more, check out the video below:
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My first reaction to the pen was similar, ‘Novel, yes, but what are the practical applications?’.
I think the interest it has captured speaks to the appeal, but the endurance of that appeal will have to be determined through the use of the product. With respect to the issue of quality in 3D printing, it’s impossible to know yet if the pen will be competition for even the most inexpensive 3D printing equipment.
If the printing quality is comparable, it will likely have some impact because using the pen removes a step. If the pen makes it possible move from hand drawing directly to quality 3D printing (without the file that is required for 3D printers) there is greater value to the art/design community.