Your comment is right on the mark, GTOlover. I think it's very innovative and will be immensely popular, but one of the real geniuses here is the use of the name "3D Pen." When I think of a 3D printer, I think of something that autonomously builds a complicated product, layer by layer, off a software file. I don't think this falls in that category. As you point out, this is more like a very innovative hot glue gun. And as 3D printing continues to get the play it's been getting in the mainstream press, the name "3D Pen" will be a huge plus for this.
I can see this being a really valuable repair tool. But I think it would be limited by the surface you are trying to cling to, since you can't heat it as well. Maybe some sanding or prep work first. But the right material might just do the trick.
The hot glue is a thermoplastic that is melted and extruded through an orifice. As the glue contacts and sticks to a surfce it immediately cools. The term 'glue' may be a bit of a misnomer as the adhesive property is more related to the plastic used and not a chemical bonding.
The hot glue gun is a remarkably simple device that utilizes the human hand to force the glue stick through the heated orifice. The pen described uses a different plastic at a higher temperature, but this plastic is extruded through a heated orifice. The maker was creative in the packaging of the heater and extruder, but it essentially does the same thing as a hot glue gun (albeit more glamorously). The nice thing is the harder plastic (as hot glue tends to stays rubbery) could probably be sanded and sculpted. So yes, in a sense it is 3D printing in a freeform way.
I agree, Liz. I don't have much experience with hot glue guns, but I'd be willing to bet an Eiffel tower made of glue would probably fall/melt fairly quickly. I think there is a lot more to this han simply a remarketing issue.
Their number one question from users is if the 3Doodler can print chocolate, sugar, and other types of food.
Lauren thanks for the interesting post. Wow!!! 3D pen is so interesting, creative. It can draw structures in the space which we can feel and touch them with our hands. If WobbleWorks are successful in using chocolate then 3D pen will become kids favorites allowing them to create chocolate fountains, toys.
In his keynote address at the RAPID 2015 conference last week, Made In Space CTO Jason Dunn gave an update on how far his company and co-development partner NASA have come in their quest to bring 3D printing to the space station -- and beyond.
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