Have you ever wanted to learn how to 3D print? Previously, 3D printing has been difficult to learn, pricey, and time-consuming.
Now, you can take 3D printing into your own hands with the 3Doodler. This innovative technology allows you to create simple and amazing things with the press of a button.
Find out more about this device and hear directly from the creators about how they came up with the idea, the difficulties they faced along the way and their advice to future innovators and entrepreneurs.
Company Name: WobbleWorks Inc.
Number of Founders: Three co-founders
What problem is your project trying to solve?
Transforming an idea into a three-dimensional form is hard. This has always been a challenge that we as humans face when communicating ideas in 3D. While 3D printing has made the process easier than, say, chiseling a form into stone, it’s still quite complicated and expensive. CAD/CAM software is challenging to learn and pricey; 3D printers, even at the low end, cost US $1,000 and up. Running a 3D print often takes a lot of time, and may or may not produce acceptable results.
The 3Doodler is the world’s first 3D-printing pen, which allows you to take an idea into three-dimensional space with virtually no learning curve and at a fraction of the price. The 3Doodler works by extruding plastic that cools almost instantly, enabling users to literally draw up into the air.2.
How does your solution solve this problem in a new and innovative way? Does it rely on other previously developed technologies?
We’ve just released 3Doodler 2.0, which is available exclusively via Kickstarter. The all-new 3Doodler is sheathed in sleek aluminum casing, is 1/4 the size of the original, and 1/2 the weight. And we’ve completely re-engineered the drive mechanism that feeds the plastic through the pen, as well as the entire nozzle design.
All of these improvements build upon the innovative technology that we pioneered with the first 3Doodler, and some of them are the result of feedback from our tens of thousands of users, as well as pioneering R&D. While the basis of 3Doodler technology is the print head used by many 3D printers, we’ve taken that basic concept a long way and at the same time made it more accessible than ever.
What was the spark that started the idea for this project? What steps did you have to take (or are taking) to make it a reality?
The basic spark that led to the 3Doodler was actually an error. Two of our co-founders, Maxwell Bogue and Peter Dilworth, were working in their lab and had just completed a 3D print job that had taken hours. But the 3D printer had made a mistake, and there was a gap in the print. They found themselves wishing that they could pick up the extruder head and quickly fix the error. That was the moment when the solution became obvious. They tore apart their 3D printer, placed the extruder head in a usable handheld form, and created what became the first prototype of the 3Doodler (also known fondly as the “tea-cup” because of its form factor and little handle)!
What has been the most rewarding part of the process?
By far, the most rewarding part of the process has been the delight and surprise that we experience when we see people using the 3Doodler in different ways, many of which were unimaginable when we started out. For example, we never would have expected the 3Doodler to be so eagerly adopted by the visually impaired, but they are now using it to write both in Braille and for raised letters or raised-line graphing. We’re constantly inspired by the educators around the world using the 3Doodler to teach everything from art and design to geometry and physics.
What has been the most difficult part of the process?
Our biggest challenge has been maintaining focus in the face of a lot of potential distractions. It’s a real effort to concentrate on building great products, developing our community, and reaching out to new markets. However, we think it’s worth that effort and we’re intent on realizing our vision and creating products that consumers love, and that help them to push the boundaries of 3D creation even further!
What advice would you give to youth who are interested in entrepreneurship?
Know yourself, stay confident yet humble, and don’t give up. Build something that you can be proud of, both as a product and as a business, and don’t forget that people are the key to everything: be it your team, your end consumers, or your partners in business.
For more information about 3Doodler, you can check out their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.