Saffron's Space

Draw in 3D

November 6, 2013 | Leave a Comment

This week in When Science Fiction Becomes Reality I have a very cool invention which is hot off the press to show you: a 3D pen.

It works in much the same way as a 3D printer except that you use it like you would any other pen. It uses melted plastic which cools to a solid almost as soon as it comes out of the pen.

I highly recommend you watch the videos of it in action, it really is almost like drawing in thin air.

3DoodlerOk, so at the moment you may say that its more of a toy without ‘real world’ applications but I disagree. Sure at the moment you would mostly use it for decorations (but that’s an important part of the ‘real world’ too) but what about the future?

Even now you could build some useful things with such a pen. What do you currently use that’s made of plastic? Need a paper clip? BAM draw your own!

3D Pen But more seriously folks; let’s say you’re trapped in your space ship with nothing but that pen (and several bags of the unmelted plastic which acts as ‘ink’). Need a cup? No problem, just draw one! Need a box to hold something valuable? No problem, just draw one! Need to patch up your space ship so you don’t die? No problem, just draw one!

And that’s just what could be achieved with the technology as it is. What could be achieved with further adaptations? What if the pen was modified so it could use items other than plastic? 3D printers are already being modified to use other ‘inks’ like cells and collagen to build bionic ears.

We already have soldering pens which put out metal much like this, using it to ‘draw on’ wires isn’t really that big a step. Or what about when we eventually get printing food worked out? It’s not a big stretch of the imagination to see putting the ingredients for a pizza into a pen like this and drawing yourself an edible pizza!

What would use this pen for? How would you want it to be adapted for even cooler uses?

The space ship in my science fiction novel has a 3D ‘food generator’ (read it here). How would you use this technology in your writing?

Learn more about this 3D pen here:


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