3D printers are clearly the hottest new tech tool for makers looking fabricate everything from prototypes to finished products, but here's another option that offers a quicker, more casual path toward actualizing the products of your imagination.
The 3Doodler is a pen that allows you to literally draw tiny plastic sculptures out of thin air. Created by two American expats who met in Hong Kong (one an alum of the MIT Media Lab), the 3Doodler rapidly heats and then cools plastic extruded from its tip, allowing the user to "draw" anything from simple plastic doodles to complex structures. Aside from creating things like jewelry, toys, and art, the device can also be used to trace stencils of elaborate designs that can then be connected, a dynamic the team showed off through the creation of a replica of the Eiffel Tower.
The product, which sells for $75, started out as a Kickstarter project, but the team quickly surpassed its funding goal by tens of thousands of dollars with 33 days to go, indicating that the device is already a hit with interested consumers. You can see the 3Doodler in action the video below.