Hands on with the 3Doodler: the pen that lets you draw in 3D

A pen that lets you draw in 3D. Approximately half a year ago, 3Doodler was the Kickstarter project that nobody tired of talking about. And now it’s here. Naturally, when we attended the IFA in Berlin we were eager to check whether the device lived up to the hype.

What is immediately striking is the caboodle the 3Doodler makes. The noise is similar to that of tattoo pens. Another thing that becomes apparent is how simple the concept really is: just like a glue pistol, you insert long colored sticks in the back of the device. These are then heated so that you can draw simple figures with the pen.

The 3Doodler was slyly introduced six months ago as “the world‘s first 3D pen”. It was touted as a device that would make the lives of architects and designers a lot easier. However, after toying around with the pen for a while, it looks like we’ll have to regard the pen as a funny new hobby product. Even though you can create vertical threads to achieve a ‘3D effect’, the warm plastic is so sticky that it quickly gets stuck to the device. This means you have to break off threads with your free hand.

In actual practice, it remains very difficult to create a cube. But perhaps the journalists who rushed to the IFA lack the patience or experience to get the best from this device. However, the creators of the 3Doodler also showed that the easiest way to use the product by far is to calc over preprinted shapes on paper and subsequently piece these shapes together. This is how the model of the Eiffeltoren was created.

The 3Doodler is expected to hit the consumer market towards the end of the year. By then, the hundreds of thousands of people who invested in the Kickstarter campaign will have received their first copy in the mail. You can currently order the device for a price of $99 via the 3Doodler website.