As 3D printing and desktop manufacturing become more common, 3D pens are going to be in more and more workshops and desk drawers. So why not, argues CreoPop, use the one designed to offer all the benefits, and none of the potentially agonizing burns?
3D Without Heat
3D pens are relatively commonplace, but they all share a similar problem: They need to extrude the material and make it pliable somehow, and that “somehow” often involves heat. It’s the same principle as a hot glue gun, and with all the attendant risks and problems of superheating a material and having it flow out a nozzle. So how does CreoPop do away with this problem?
Seeing The Light
Essentially by using a different form of plastic. Instead of common polymers that melt when heated and solidify when cooled, the CreoPop 3D pen uses photopolymers, which harden when they’re introduced to ultraviolet light. So, unless you use it in the pitch black, and that seems incredibly unlikely for a variety of reasons, the polymer will extrude and harden without needing to apply heat or really apply anything. It’s pretty neat, not least because, let’s face it, this means you’re playing with chemistry, and we all really love playing with chemistry.
Drawing In Three Dimensions
3D pens are just a lot of fun, really; being able to build something with plastic and a pen feels like arts and crafts from the future. But it’s also useful for design, detailing, and model building among other fun stuff, and being able to do that without risking a fire is probably one of the more useful ideas we’ve seen in a while. If you’d like to build something without heat, CreoPop starts at just $80 on its IndieGoGo page, but don’t expect this to stay a crowdfunded novelty. There’s too much demand for a 3D pen kids can use not to cater to it.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.