A Review Of The 3Doodler Pen, Which Raised Over $2 Million On Kickstarter
On crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, inventors appeal for funds directly from the public. If you’re inspired by the inventor’s pitch, you send some money, in return for a discounted version of the invention when it is completed, or some memento from the budding company.
These sites have made a lot of entrepreneurial dreams come true, and backers get the rosy glow of knowing they helped bring a cool idea to life.
Indeed, until now, there’s been only one problem: As you considered sending in a donation, you had no way to know if the invention was actually any good. You had to trust the inventor’s video.
Yahoo Tech can help. We actually test the prototype, find out how much promise it has, and help you decide if the thing is worth funding or buying.
Today’s Invention: 3Doodler, the world’s first 3-D printer pen.
The Claim: You can draw 3-D objects. The “pen” spits out a thread of molten plastic that cools and hardens instantly, so that you can draw three-dimensional cubes, spirals, sculptures, and an endless variety of other artistic and decorative creations.
Price: $100, plus $10 a bag for strands of colored plastic.
Goal: This Kickstarter project sought $30,000 in backing. Instead, it raised $2.3 million—an overwhelming hit with the public’s imagination.
Status: With all that money, the creators were able to move ahead with making the 3Doodler a real product. You can pre-order the 3Doodler now; the company plans to ship the first mass-produced pens in March.
What I tested: The company sent me an actual, finished 3Doodler pen.
What I learned: If the 3Doodler is a pen, it’d better lay off the donuts; its design has more in common with a cordless screwdriver than a Bic. You feed a one-foot stick of colored plastic into a hole in the top; once the pen has heated to the correct temperature, an indicator light turns blue. You press a button to make the pen start extruding (spitting out) a melted stream of plastic.
There are two buttons, actually: Fast and Slow, so you can control the rate of flow.