x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

3Doodler hopes buyers get the doodle bug

Daniel Cowen, the co-founder of 3Doodler, talks about the company’s pen that prints plastic in 3D.

Artist Esra Oguz, from Turkey, makes a sculpture with a 3Doodler Pen during a demonstration at The Archive,  Al Safa Park, Dubai. Jaime Puebla / The National
Artist Esra Oguz, from Turkey, makes a sculpture with a 3Doodler Pen during a demonstration at The Archive, Al Safa Park, Dubai. Jaime Puebla / The National

The high-tech world of 3D printing is still nascent but new products and procedures are hitting the market already.

Here, Daniel Cowen, the co-founder of 3Doodler talks about the company’s pen that prints plastic in 3D.

Can you tell us more about 3Doodler?

3Doodler is the world’s first 3D printing pen, you can just plug it in and create amazing objects in 3D, or even start drawing in the air. It raised US$2.34 million on Kickstarter [a funding platform] last year, which was way above and beyond what we were expecting. We’re now retailing worldwide. We wanted to design a 3D printing device that could be used within minutes, without needing any technical knowledge, software or computers. We also wanted it to be affordable as well as fun, so that anyone could 3Doodle.

What are some of the most innovative uses/creations you have seen using 3Doodler?

We’ve been hearing some great and unexpected use cases, including architects and engineers, dance choreographers to quickly show fluid movement of the body, home decorating – one backer wanted to 3Doodle on their plastic pipes in the basement – very large art pieces, mixed-media art and much, much more.

One particularly surprising use is the teaching of the blind and partially sighted using the 3Doodler as a way of creating instant tactile objects, as well as jewellery makers and even garden planners to map our their garden layouts.

Which sector contributes the most to your growth?

To name a specific sector is near impossible. 3Doodler is used by crafts, 3D print enthusiasts, artists, hobbyists, anyone who likes doodling and so, in that respect, it can be a useful tool for many industries. It works on almost any surface, and can even be used for minor repair work.

Why did you create 3Doodler?

The idea came about as we frequently use our own 3D printers for rapid prototyping. One day, 3Doodler’s co-founder Pete Dilworth was watching his 3D printer printing away when it made an error. This meant there was a gap in the print, we wanted to take the item off the platform, fill in the gap, and put it back on to finish the print. And then it struck him that he could do just that.

We wanted to see if the process could be sped up and made “freer” by placing the parts of the 3D printer in a pen form. The first iteration was called the “teacup”, basically an extruder with a handle. It worked horribly, but it did work. The team then added to this, creating a unique cooling mechanism and evolving to the 3Doodler you see today.

What’s next for 3Doodler?

We’ve begun retailing worldwide, and are expanding in various countries including the UAE. But needless to say there are exciting plans in the pipeline – watch this space.

thamid@thenational.ae

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