Remember 3Doodler — the world’s first 3D-printing pen that took Kickstarter by storm a little over a year ago? By using a special, quick-hardening filament, it allowed users to draw free-form three-dimensional objects by hand, instead of drawing out designs on a computer and using a printer to bring them to life. It was a groundbreaking idea, and gave people a new way to create things, but it was also somewhat squirrely and imprecise. For all of it’s creative potential, it was more of a fun toy than a serious design tool.
Kickstarter continues its hot streak in funding 3D printer projects. The $300 Micro has blown past $3 million, weeks after the Robo3DPrinter raised nearly $650,000 in February. Now a plucky British company is making waves with the LIX 3D Pen, an experimental new 3D printer that enables people to literally doodle in the air. The tip of the pen melts plastic filament, which forms a rigid wire as it exits the pen and cools down. The trick to creating wire sculptures lies in moving the pen in the air at a steady speed. Lix has raised £300,000 (USD $500,000) in a day, which is none too shabby. The pen is drenched in nerd glamor — as LIX describes it, the pen “melts and cools colored plastic, letting you create rigid and freestanding structures and has a hot-end nozzle that is power supplied from USB 3.0 port.”