Pen that doodles 3D objects


Jennifer Jung-Eun Kim

Headline: Pen that doodles 3D objects attracts $500,000 on Kickstarter


A pen that can “print” 3D drawings in mid-air has attracted nearly $500,000 in one day from Kickstarter backers. The $75, “3Doodler,” by U.S. toy and robotics company WobbleWorks is described on the crowdfunding website as the world’s first 3D printing pen. It works like a hot glue gun to extrude plastic filament in a fine line, which quickly cools and solidifies into a stable structure.


“While the unintended consequences of new technologies are difficult to  predict before they unfold, many people still seem to be surprised by the fact that technological innovations have cultural consequences.” Anne Balsamo – Designing Culture

The invention of 3Doodler amazes me with numerous possibilities to incorporate this technology in my work as a designer, however, it is also interesting to try and predict the cultural consequences of this new technology.

The first thing that I noticed when I view the images of the 3D doodles, was that they all had an uneven line-quality that created a certain sketchy aesthetic. I though that it would be interesting if this pen became widely used and our everyday objects were decorated with this form of artwork, because it would be an example of technology affecting aesthetic trends.

Another thing that concerned me was the use of melted plastic as a medium. It makes me wonder if the manufacturer has confirmed that the use of this product would not be hazardous to people’s health. Also, I was curious if the melted plastics were reusable – if not, then it would endanger the environment as well as our own health.

From trying to predict potential consequences of a new invention, it makes me realize that I should think about the unintended consequences of my ideas as well and that I should try to address the potential problems my products may cause.


Global Issue:  Technoculture

Primary Design Lens:  Aesthetics

Secondary Design Lens: Envionmental Issues

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2 Responses to Pen that doodles 3D objects

  1. coops558 says:

    This has already topped $1,000,000+

    Looks so crazy!

  2. Barbara says:

    Jennifer, this is a very interesting example. It’s funny too how, since the president mentioned 3D technology in his state of the union speech, there is such an explosion of interest. Your link to Balsamo is apt and your concerns in terms of the consequences are likely only two of many implications. Let’s discuss this in recitation.

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