Daniel Cowen, former corporate lawyer is one of the founders and CEO of 3Doodler, the company which manufactures the 3D printing pen of the same name. The company really took off after a successful campaign on Kickstarter (late 2012).

With Maxwell Bogue and Peter Dilworth, the trio creates a 3D printing pen that can be used within minutes, without requiring any technical knowledge, software or computers.

Today, Daniel Cowen talks about this fun and creative tool for a wide range of people and the way the 3Doodler positions itself in the 3D printing industry. #OpinionoftheWeek

Tell us more about 3Doodler

The 3Doodler is a 3D printing pen we actually invented for 3D printing. This pen allows any user to create anything in the air (immediately).

Technically speaking, it extrudes heated plastic that cools almost instantly into a solid structure. The user can create anything: he can create pieces in 3D and join them together, 3D print or decorate everything he/she wants.

We now offer 3 types of 3D printing pens, for kids, adults and professionals: the 3Doodler Start, the 3Doodler Create and the 3Doodler Pro. Our aim is to open the technology up to anyone.

What are the key advantages a user may have when using a 3D pen?

The biggest advantage is the “immediacy” and accessibility of a 3D pen. In the education field for instance, it is important for teachers to use a 3D printing pen because of the capacity to create immediately. Children can understand a concept and create something immediately. Furthermore, they can do it in about 45 minutes.

Whereas with a 3D printer, they will have to download a file, to print, and come back 45 minutes later…so in terms of immediate accessibility of ways to create in 3D, it is definitely more interesting than a 3D printer.

Does that mean that only students can use a 3Doodler?

It is not only used for educational purpose. Users from all age categories and from different sectors of activity can use a 3D pen:  kids, parents, grand-parents, professionals…and the reason why, it is very easy to use is that the learning code is not defined. People should know that some people can play with a 3D pen, others might create with it, and another group of people can take advantage of its potential in a professional area.

And I also wouldn’t say that we are trying to replace a 3D printer which also has different uses but both can be used together. A 3Doodler for instance can help to fix a 3D print but the key of a 3Doodler is that it is so diversified and it can be used by a very wide range of people.

What are the different materials available for the 3Doodler? Is there any specific use for each of them?

For each of our 3D pens:

  • The “3Doodler start” for kids. This one uses a very unique material that we developed. We called it “Eco-Plastic”. It is made from food-safe materials, it is non-toxic, BPA-free, and completely biodegradable. We wanted it to “be safe for kids”.
  • The “3Doodler create” for teenagers and adults. This 3D pen requires ABS, PLA and a material called Flexy which is like rubber.

I always say, the big difference between the three of them is that the material ABS solves problems quickly; it’s a good material to use when drawing in the air. PLA, the eco-friendly material reveals the brightness of the color. And the last one, the Flexy material is used for flexible objects, wearables, things you want to have movement in them.

  • And the “3Doodler pro”. For this one, the aim is to have a professional series of materials. The package of this 3Doodler includes a JetPack portable battery pack, a power adapter, a Nozzle Set containing 6 different nozzles, an unblocking tool, and 5 packs of 3Doodler Plastic, each containing 25 strands in Wood, Nylon, ABS (Black), FLEXY (Black) materials, and PLA (Clear). These are the materials engineers and designers use the most.
Any advice you would like to give to beginners regarding the use of 3D pens?

Be patient” at first. It is a very new medium and the mind has to adjust. We’ve seen kids using it, they pick up very quickly. Adults will try to move the pen very fast. They need to move it slowly, observe every stage, and then use it in a way that is suitable for them.

A lot of resources are available to allow people to learn more about the use of a 3D pen: videos, guides…. We have a guide that enables beginners to find their marks. So, practice, practice, practice…Once they will find their marks, they will enjoy their amazing creations.

What are the prospects of development you can share with us?

We have already sold about 1.4 million pens and we believe we are just at the beginning of this market. There is so much possibilities and every day, we discover new things. As the community grows, we expect our market to grow as well and to improve our pens so that our products best address the needs of the market. It is a never-ending process.

Last word?

It’s going to be a very exciting year for us with new products to be released both for kids and adults.  #StayTuned

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